The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Gymaholic Workhorse's Avatar
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    Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Excercise (Cardio)

    I did some research on this and depending on the excercise you're doing, you can decide on what is best for you and your goals.

    Aerobic Exercise
    Aerobic exercise is exercise that involves vigorous and continuous physical activity for at least 20 minutes.
    Some examples include swimming and roller-skating.

    Aerobic Exercise
    - Uses more oxygen
    - Raises your metabolism
    - Causes fat, not blood sugar, to be burned as fuel
    - THR is between 70% and 85% of intensity.

    Anaerobic Exercise
    - Oxygen is not present, and is unnecessary
    - Will not help to increase metabolism or lose weight
    - Uses blood sugar, not fat, as fuel
    - THR is raised to 92% of intensity.

    Conclusion
    We conclude that exercise benefits everyone for different health purposes whether one is trying to lose weight or gain weight to increase muscle mass.

    Recommendation
    - People trying to lose weight should engage in aerobic exercise, such as walking or biking.
    - People trying to gain muscle should engage in anaerobic exercise, such as calisthenics and sprinting.
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  3. #2
    HomeYield WillKuenzel's Avatar
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    Why would you be doing anaerobic exercise if you are not trying to lose weight? Would it be more for sports related training or just to maintian LBM while improving cardiovascular fitness?
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  4. #3
    Gymaholic Workhorse's Avatar
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    Mostly for sports related training... but the anaerobic training they are talking about basically means the HIIT cardio that a lot of people do to try and lose fat...correct?
    Last edited by Workhorse; 05-21-2003 at 12:45 PM.
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  5. #4
    HomeYield WillKuenzel's Avatar
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    That's my take on it. I thought it was actually beneficial for trying to lose fat though.
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  6. #5
    Gymaholic Workhorse's Avatar
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    So did I... until I did a bunch of research on it... I can't find much on saying it'll help burn fat. Most of the stuff I read says that maintained cardio with a THR of 75% for 20 minutes is the best for losing fat... ????

    Now I'm just confused.
    Last edited by Workhorse; 05-21-2003 at 12:50 PM.
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  7. #6
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Oh dear.

    Normally I'd say just go read the HIIT sticky, but I'm in a festive mood so I'll type it out again.

    Anaerobic exercise, in and of itself, does not use oxygen, and thereby fat, for fuel. It uses glycogen. That part is correct.

    However, delve a little deeper into the energy systems. What happens during glycolysis? Long story short, you get lactic acid. Once the exercise level reaches a certain intensity, lactate builds up faster than the oxygen available can clear it. Eventually, the activity has to stop.

    The lactate has to go somewhere. The body converts it back to pyruvate for use in the Krebs cycle, which is oxygen-dependent; pyruvate is a precursor of Acetyl-Co-A, which is a major catalyst of the beta-oxidation process.

    From another thread:

    "My current thinking is that this is what is largely responsible for the increase in beta-oxidation, which has been observed to increase in most of the HIIT studies I've seen; the pyruvic acid is quickly and easily converted to aceytl-Co-A, which is a fundamental catalyst for beta-oxidation. Since glycogen levels are lowered and heart rate is heightened, the "resting state" is being provided with its primary fuel-- triglycerides. And it has plenty of free, readily available substrates with which to oxidize them.

    So, basically, you're using more total calories, and the energy deficit created is replenished via triglycerides, which is not the case in distance work. Not only that, but the muscle tissue is adapting to use fat more efficiently; this is key because the muscle tissue itself is given no stimulus to catabolize nor undergo any sort of negative (for our purposes) fiber-type shift as would be the case in long-term endurance training."


    Additionally, and this is something I've just started looking at, but lactate formation also produces H+ ions, which are what actually causes the burning sensation and ultimately causes fatigue. H+ is used in the electron transport chain, which again requires oxygen to metabolize; not sure how much this is involved, but I think it definitely needs a closer look.

    Basically, its not the anaerobic activity itself, but rather the cumulative effect of *mulitple bouts* of anaerobic activity; it seems to make some majorly bad-ass oxidative adaptations in the muscle tissue.
    Last edited by PowerManDL; 05-21-2003 at 02:20 PM.
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  8. #7
    Gen_chat worst nightmare
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    Anaerobic exercise will make you lose weight if you're on a restricted calorie diet. I lost 20 pounds in four months without a SINGLE cardio session, all I did was weight train. I could have lost fat at a faster rate but I am trying to minimize muscle loss.

    Whoever wrote that is not getting the whole picture in my opinion, mainly because:

    There no such thing as pure anaerobic or aerobic exercise. One term or the other is used depending on the primary energy pathway used.

    The fact that you're burning less fat during anaerobic exercise is irrelevant for weight loss as total calories burned versus calorie intake is what matters.

    "Will not help to increase metabolism or lose weight"

    This is also plain wrong. Cardio won't raise your metabolism beyond cessation of exercise, once you're done on the threadmill you're pretty much done, contrary to vigorous anaerobic traning which will mantain a increased BMR for up to 24 (can't remember exactly how much) hours beyond the end of the session.
    Last edited by restless; 05-21-2003 at 02:24 PM.

  9. #8
    Gymaholic Workhorse's Avatar
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    I've read the HIIT sticky. I read your post and I don't see where you're saying HIIT actually burns fat. I don't understand.
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  10. #9
    Gymaholic Workhorse's Avatar
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    restless... that's what I thought too... I'm not saying what I posted is right... I was questioning it... I've always understood HIIT to actually be the better of the two types of cardio (if we can call them that) to burn fat.
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  11. #10
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Beta-oxidation is the fat-burning process in the cell.

    HIIT is uniquely suited not only for providing the biochemical conditions needed to facilitate that fat burning process, but also the physiological conditions under which it needs to occur (high heart rate, oxygen deficit, etc).

    Also, it provides on-going adaptations that make the body more efficient at this process even while at rest.

    Basically, it doesn't use fat during the actual activity, but that's about the ONLY TIME you're not using fat.....and it also improves the efficiency of fat-burning at the cellular level.
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  12. #11
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    He says it here:

    "The body converts it back to pyruvate for use in the Krebs cycle, which is oxygen-dependent; pyruvate is a precursor of Acetyl-Co-A, which is a major catalyst of the beta-oxidation process.

    Since glycogen levels are lowered and heart rate is heightened, the "resting state" is being provided with its primary fuel-- triglycerides. And it has plenty of free, readily available substrates with which to oxidize them.
    "

    Triglycerides are a form of fat.
    Last edited by restless; 08-29-2003 at 01:29 PM.

  13. #12
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    Powerman knows his stuff, just kind of has some dificulty in putting it in layman terms.....

  14. #13
    Gymaholic Workhorse's Avatar
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    I see now... I just didn't understand all the "scientist" talk...lol j/k

    I'm doing a bunch of searches on the information.... trying to find a layman's term version of it all....
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  15. #14
    Gen_chat worst nightmare
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    Doing searches is good but one must beware of all the missinformation lying around the internet. Confirming things around here is probably a good course of action to learn to tell what's legit and what's not.
    Last edited by restless; 05-21-2003 at 02:51 PM.

  16. #15
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    IMO, this thread has the information packed better into one page than the HIIT sticky does in several. I'm bookmarking this.

    PowerMan: Thank you, sir.

  17. #16
    Gymaholic Workhorse's Avatar
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    I got a thread bookmarked... I feel so honored. Thanx.
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  18. #17
    Senior Member aka23's Avatar
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    I disagree with a lot of the information in this thread.

    Aerobic exercise is exercise that involves vigorous and continuous physical activity for at least 20 minutes.
    Aerobic exercise is "when the body uses oxygen while producing energy for physical activity." There is nothing magical about 20 minutes and it does not need to be vigorous intensity. Walking at an easy pace is aerobic exercise, as is a light jog for 18 minutes.

    Some examples include swimming and roller-skating
    Swimming and roller skating can be done both aerobically and anaerobically. It is more a function of intensity than specific exercise. Note that it may be difficult for untrained persons to exceed their anaerobic threshold while swimming.

    Causes fat, not blood sugar, to be burned as fuel
    As Restless pointed out, a mixture of fat, glucose (blood sugar), and glycogen is used as fuel. The proportion of the mixture depends on many factors including intensity, duration, diet, and previous training. It is quite likely that the majority of the fuel will not come from fat when aerobic exercise is done for 20 minutes at the intensity recommended in the original post.

    Will not help to increase metabolism or lose weight
    I think other posters have made it clear that certain types of anaerobic exercises can be beneficial for increased metabolism and fat loss. Weight loss (not fat loss) is more a function of calorie balance. If calories remain constant and exercise increases (either aerobic or anaerobic), weight is likely to decrease.


    - People trying to lose weight should engage in aerobic exercise, such as walking or biking.
    - People trying to gain muscle should engage in anaerobic exercise, such as calisthenics and sprinting.
    As mentioned, earlier weight loss is primarily a function of calorie balance. Both aerobic and anaerobic exercises benefit fat loss and reduced body fat % more than predicted by calorie balance alone.

    I think that people trying to gain muscle should do weighlifting, which is more like an anaerobic exercise than an aerobic one. Other anaerobic exercises and aerobic exercises to a lesser extent may also result in muscle gain; but I think weightlifting is the most effcient option. Neither aerobic or anaerobic exercise should significantly interfere with the muscle gain when done in the desired manner (avoiding overtraining the legs, providing adaquate calories/fuel, not done excessively, etc.).

    this is key because the muscle tissue itself is given no stimulus to catabolize nor undergo any sort of negative (for our purposes) fiber-type shift as would be the case in long-term endurance training."
    In depends how you define long-term endurance training. I believe that the amount of muscle catabolized during aerobic exercise is insignificant except during certain special situations that are usually related to very low glycogen levels. Muscle fiber type is primarilly determined my genetics. A certain type of type II fiber can act as either type I or type II depending on training. I feel that this type of fiber change should not be a major concern for the amount tyically done by users on this forum.

    Cardio won't raise your metabolism beyond cessation of exercise, once you're done on the threadmill you're pretty much done, contrary to vigorous anaerobic traning which will mantain a increased BMR for up to 24 (can't remember exactly how much) hours beyond the end of the session.
    Both traditional cardio and HIIT keep metabolism elevated for a good amount of time after the exercise completes. However, HIIT usually keeps metabolism elevated for a longer period and to a greater degree. 3-14 hours is common for anaerobic execise, depending on intensity and a number of other factors.

    There no such thing as pure anaerobic or aerobic exercise. One term or the other is used depending on the primary energy pathway used.
    I agree to a certain extent. However, while the anaerobic threshold is exceeded virtually none of the energy is coming from aerobic energy pathways.

  19. #18
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by aka23
    In depends how you define long-term endurance training. I believe that the amount of muscle catabolized during aerobic exercise is insignificant except during certain special situations that are usually related to very low glycogen levels. Muscle fiber type is primarilly determined my genetics. A certain type of type II fiber can act as either type I or type II depending on training. I feel that this type of fiber change should not be a major concern for the amount tyically done by users on this forum.

    Its largely genetic yes, but training can influence this make up. The actual classification of the fibers is done by MHC content; but this is independent of metabolic character. The problem comes in that excessive endurance-style training can actually cause a shift in MHC content; IIa (or maybe its IIx, its been awhile) fibers can shift to become type I with too much work.

    Both traditional cardio and HIIT keep metabolism elevated for a good amount of time after the exercise completes. However, HIIT usually keeps metabolism elevated for a longer period and to a greater degree. 3-14 hours is common for anaerobic execise, depending on intensity and a number of other factors.

    Not just that but the type of calories being burned is more preferentially fat.

    I agree to a certain extent. However, while the anaerobic threshold is exceeded virtually none of the energy is coming from aerobic energy pathways.

    No, but that's not the point with HIIT. The recovery mechanism is what's more important in this case, and that *is* oxidative in nature.
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  20. #19
    Senior Member aka23's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by PowerManDL
    Its largely genetic yes, but training can influence this make up. The actual classification of the fibers is done by MHC content; but this is independent of metabolic character. The problem comes in that excessive endurance-style training can actually cause a shift in MHC content; IIa (or maybe its IIx, its been awhile) fibers can shift to become type I with too much work.
    I agree. When I said a certain type of type II fiber can act as Type I or Type II, I was referring to the same type II shifts you are talking about. IIc-undifferentiated fibers can become type IIa or IIb. IIa are aerobic, like type I. IIb are anaerobic. (I realize I have oversimplified things in the above statements, and some texts label muscle fiber types differently than I have stated above.) These changes can occur with training. However, I still believe that this type of change should not be a big concern for the amount of endurance training users on this site typically do.

    No, but that's not the point with HIIT. The recovery mechanism is what's more important in this case, and that *is* oxidative in nature.
    My comment was not directed at HIIT. I was responding to a previous comment about a mixture of aerobic and anaerobic energy pathways always being used. While you exercising above the anaerobic threshold, less than 1% of the energy is coming from aerobic pathways. I realize that once you drop below the anaerobic threshold during interval type training (HIIT), other energy pathways are used.
    Last edited by aka23; 05-21-2003 at 06:26 PM.

  21. #20
    the stone cold stunner Ironman8's Avatar
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    O.k, what's better for your metabolism in the long run. Lifting, or aerobics?
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  22. #21
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    gaining lean tissue would be more significant than temporary elevations from cardio

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  23. #22
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Screw it.....I'm gonna make this a sticky too.
    Vin Diesel has a fever.. and the only prescription is more cowbell.

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    galileo: hate

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  24. #23
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    Both traditional cardio and HIIT keep metabolism elevated for a good amount of time after the exercise completes. However, HIIT usually keeps metabolism elevated for a longer period and to a greater degree. 3-14 hours is common for anaerobic execise, depending on intensity and a number of other factors.
    Well, I've done some research to refresh my memory and this is what I've found to support my points.

    Number one found no significant increase in BMR resulting from light-moderate aerobic (60-80% VO2 max) activity.

    Number two didn't either.

    Number three found a significant increase in BMR resulting from concentric resistance training in healthy (advanced) middle age men for up to 48 hours.

    Some studies did find some increase in RMR after aerobic exercise but these were done with up to 1.5 hours of cardio 5 X week.

    In short, I think it's safe to say that anaerobic exercise is brutally more effective in stimulating RMR, which is nore what we're talking about here, not BMR.

    (1)-Metabolic rate during and after aerobic exercise in post-obese and lean women.



    Shah M, Geissler CA, Miller DS.

    Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, King's College, University of London, UK.

    The effect of aerobic exercise (cycling on bicycle ergometer for four 10-min periods/60-80 per cent max VO2) on energy expenditure following the activity was investigated in 16 post-obese and 16 lean control women over 24 h and shorter periods. In addition, net energy expenditure during aerobic exercise was compared to that during prolonged mild activity (stepping for four 30-min periods at 12 steps/min). The measurements were made in a room respirometer. Aerobic exercise did not significantly stimulate the 24-h resting metabolic rate of either the post-obese (3 per cent, 50 kcal) or lean controls (2 per cent, 30 kcal), nor was there any significant stimulation over shorter periods: during waking hours RMR was non-significantly increased by 5 per cent in both the post-obese and lean controls. Sleeping expenditure remained the same in the post-obese and was decreased by 2 per cent in the lean controls. All subjects found the aerobic exercise to be quite uncomfortable, yet in both groups the net cost was smaller than that of prolonged mild exercise which was found to be acceptable (post-obese: aerobic 180 kcal, mild 250 kcal; lean controls: 220 kcal, 290 kcal). It is suggested that prolonged mild activity (eg, as in walking frequently) is more appropriate in increasing energy expenditure as a means of preventing or controlling obesity. Total expenditure at each level of activity is also expressed as multiples of BMR calculated from FAO/WHO/UNU (1985) prediction equations and from measured sleep values. The results show that the equations overestimated BMR in the post-obese.

    (2)-The effect of exercise and improved physical fitness on basal metabolic rate.

    Bingham SA, Goldberg GR, Coward WA, Prentice AM, Cummings JH.

    MRC Dunn Clinical Nutrition Centre, Cambridge.

    1. The suggestion that there is a sustained enhancement in metabolic rate after exercise was investigated during the course of a study in which six normal-weight volunteers (three men, three women) took part in a 9-week training programme. Baseline values were assessed in a 3-5 week control period of minimal activity before training. At the end of the study the subjects were capable of running for 1 h/d, 5 d/week. 2. Throughout the entire study the subjects were maintained on a constant diet. Measurement of energy expenditure by the doubly-labelled water (2H2(18)O) method showed that the subjects had an energy imbalance of +3% in the control and -20% at the end of the training period. The subjects were in positive (1.1 (SE 0.2) g) nitrogen balance in the second week of the control, and in negative (-0.6 (SE 0.3) g) N balance in the last week of the exercise period. 3. Over the course of the study maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) and high-density-lipoprotein-cholesterol levels increased by 30%. Heart rate at rest and when performing a standard step test fell significantly. 4. Body composition was assessed weekly by 40K counting and skinfold thickness measurements, in addition to 2H2 dilution at the beginning and end of the study. Fat-free mass was apparently gained in the early phases of the study, but there was lack of agreement between the different methods of assessing body composition. Changes in body-weight were not significant. 5. Basal metabolic rate (BMR), overnight metabolic rate (OMR) and sleeping metabolic rate (SMR) were measured on three occasions: in the control period, and the beginning and end of the training periods. Average BMR in the control period was 5.91 (SE 0.39) MJ/24 h and was not changed with activity. There were no changes in OMR (5.71 (SE 0.27) MJ/24 h in the control) nor in SMR (5.18 (SE 0.27) MJ/24 h in the control), nor in BMR, OMR or SMR when expressed per kg body-weight, or per kg fat-free mass. 6. These results do not support the suggestions that there is a sustained increase in BMR following exercise that can usefully assist in weight-loss programmes.


    (3)-A single bout of concentric resistance exercise increases basal metabolic rate 48 hours after exercise in healthy 59-77-year-old men.

    Williamson DL, Kirwan JP.

    Noll Physiological Research Center, Pennsylvania State University, USA.

    BACKGROUND: It has been shown that basal metabolic rate (BMR) decreases with age. The extent to which some of the decrease can be reversed by exercise in older men and women is unclear. Resistance exercise has been shown to significantly increase muscle mass in older individuals, and because muscle is a highly active metabolic tissue there is potential to increase BMR as a secondary outcome to the training adaptation. METHODS: Twelve healthy men aged 59-77 years performed single-leg knee extension exercise (right and left leg) and bench press lifts (16 sets, 10 reps/set with timed recovery between sets) at 75% of the individual's 3RM. Subjects only performed the concentric phase of the lift. BMR was measured on two separate occasions, once after a nonexercise control period and again 48 hrs after a bout of resistance exercise. RESULTS: BMR was significantly increased (p < .006) 48 hrs after exercise (EX) compared to control (CON) (284.0 +/- 34.0 vs 274.9 +/- 34.0 kJ/hr, respectively). Calculated over a 24-hour period, the energy expenditure corresponded to 1570 +/- 193 and 1627 +/- 193 kcal/24 hr (p < .0002) for the CON and EX measures, respectively. VO2 (L/min) was higher (p < .0002) 48 hrs after the EX bout compared to 48 hrs post-CON (0.232 +/- 0.03 vs 0.225 +/- 0.03 L/min, respectively). CONCLUSION: We conclude that in healthy 59-77-year-old men, an acute bout of resistance exercise causes a sustained increase in BMR that persists for up to 48 hours after exercise.
    Last edited by restless; 05-22-2003 at 01:01 PM.

  25. #24
    Senior Member aka23's Avatar
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    You can find some studies that support the increased post exercise RMR and others that do not . This is both the case with traditional cardio and types of anaerobic-like exercises, such as resistance training. It depends on what they are calling significant, the intensity/duration of exercise, and calorie balance, among other things.

    One study that supports increased RMR after traditional cardio is:

    "For the first week they cycled at 60% of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) until 150kcal was expended. By the eighth week, they cycled at 80% VO2 max until 300kcal was expended....
    When measured on an outpatient basis, exercise training significantly increased RMR by 11% (P <0.01) (pre 1.17 [+/-0.031] kcal/min versus post 1.29 [+/-0.019] kcal/min). "

    Poehlman ET, Danforth E Jr: Endurance training increases metabolic rate and norepinephrine appearance rate in older individuals. Am J Physiol 261:E233-239, 1991.


    One that found no significant effect with both traditional cardio and weight training is:

    " One group participated in an outdoor walking program of progressively increasing distances. The other group participated in a weight-training fitness class of progressively increasing resistance exercises. The exercise was done 3-4 times per week for 3 months. At this level of intensity, there were no exercise-induced changes in FFM or REE, regardless of the type of exercise. "

    Sale JE, McCargar LJ, Crawford SM, et al: Effects of exercise modality on metabolic rate and body composition. Clin J Sport Med 5:100-107, 1995.


    My take is that when done at the THR and minimum duration recommended in the original post, aerobic exercise is likely to elevate metabolism for a significant amount of time after the exercise. When measured in terms of total calories or 24 hour RMR this amount may be considered insignificant in comparison to the activity itself.

    The intensity and duration of the exercise makes a large differnce in terms of the elavated metabolism. High intensity exercise is far more likely to make a significant difference than low intensity aerobic exercise. One study that supports this conclusion is:

    "light exercise could be expected to lead to burning an extra 5-10 calories afterwards; moderate to an extra 12-35 calories. In contrast, strenuous exercise was shown to increase post-exercise energy burning by a huge 180 calories"

    Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption - magnitude, mechanisms and practical implications', Bahr et al, Acta Physiol Scand, suppl 605, pp 1-70
    Last edited by aka23; 05-22-2003 at 02:25 PM.

  26. #25
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    how is sprinting anaerobic?

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