With so many different styles of workouts available, which is is the most effective for weight loss? The answer is there is more than one! Exercise workouts expend caloric energy, which contributes to a positive energy balance, this is where the body is utilising adipose tissue (fat) to meet the energy deficit in the body. 


3 of the best workouts to support weight loss

Aerobic training 

This is also known as cardiovascular training, effectively working your heart. The definition of aerobic training means with oxygen. Whilst performing activities such as brisk walking, running, swimming, or cycling your breathing and heart rate will increase. 

What are the benefits? 

A benefit is that it utilises fat oxidation for energy at higher levels in comparison to resistance training. Aerobic training is continuous and can be sustained for long durations at a sustainable pace. The American Journal of Sports Medicine (2009) recommends aerobic training as the primary workout to lose weight. With supplementation of resistance training, which will be further discussed. Other benefits include; improved cardiovascular health, helps to lower blood pressure, helps to regulate blood sugar levels, reduces chronic pain, aids sleep, regulates weight, strengthens the immune system, boost mood, etc. 


Resistance Training

Resistance training involves your body pushing against resistances to promote muscular hypertrophy (growth), strength, and endurance. It has weight loss benefits such as increasing your resting heart rate and metabolic rate (daily calories expended at rest) due to lean muscle tissue requiring more energy. In addition, it increases fat oxidation (the process of breaking down fatty acids) which also promotes weight loss.

What are the benefits? 

Increased muscle mass can have many benefits. Firstly, it can decrease your risk of injury, protect your joints. Secondly, it can help with weight management, improve your mobility, posture, increase your bone density which will reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Improve your sense of wellbeing – resistance training can boost your confidence, improve your mood, increase self-esteem. Therefore, enhancing your ability to perform daily living activities.   


High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) 

Lastly, HIIT, a modern way of training that involves high-intensity periods of exercise followed by short durations of rest repeated. These workouts are usually much shorter (anywhere between 10-45 minutes) but are highly demanding, followed by a high level of post-exercise oxygen consumption, which supports the quest for weight loss. Post-exercise oxygen consumption occurs when your body burns more calories when recovering from an intense workout.

What are the benefits? 

HIIT enables you to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. It can be a more convenient way to lose weight as you do not have to spend as much time working out. According to The British Journal of Sports Medicine, they found that people who did HIIT workouts lost 28.5% more fat than people who did moderately intense continuous exercise, like running. HIIT also enables you to use lots of muscles groups within one workout. For example, you could do squats, push-ups, and burpees which all target different muscles. 


To Conclude 

In retrospect, a suitable workout program for weight loss would focus on aerobic training supported by resistance training to avoid muscle mass deprivation as well as HIIT training to vary the workouts and keep it exciting!

Written By: Adam Benjema

Who is studying Sport & Exercise in Health BSc. A graduate of the University of Kent.