Thursday, March 14, 2013

Optimizing Your Workout Schedule

The ideal balance between aerobic and strength training is a topic of controversy.  As an endurance athlete, it is often difficult to find the motivation to fit weight lifting into the schedule.   However, especially for older women (and even for younger ones), there is evidence that such exercise will strengthen the skeletal system and prevent osteoporosis.

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham studied 72 women between the ages of 60 and 74 years old.  The participants were divided into the following groups:

A.      1 day per week of aerobic and 1 day/week of resistance exercise
B.      2 day per week of aerobic and 2 day/week of resistance exercise
C.      3 day per week of aerobic and 3 day/week of resistance exercise

Surprisingly, group B appeared to experience the greatest increase in energy expenditure per day.  However, all three groups became stronger and more aerobically fit in addition to reducing their fat mass.  The conclusions of this experiment imply that if weight loss is your goal, a moderate exercise program, with both aerobic and strength training, may be your best bet!

Read the abstract here.