One important thing to note was that there was no actual diet intervention in this study, it was strictly a study focused on the ability of aerobic exercise to produce weight loss. The really neat thing about this particular study was that these exercise groups were followed for 16 months. As it turns out, doing steady state cardio for almost a year and a half is a reasonably effective way to cause weight loss in young males. Far more interesting was the fact that despite expending 2000+ kcal of energy at the gym each week for 16 months, young females lost absolutely zero weight.
Why does steady state cardio work for males and prove to be absolutely useless for females? Whenever females start doing hours and hours of cardio, their resting metabolism (or possibly even their appetite) will adjust to make sure their precious levels of body fat can be maintained.
Now this doesn’t mean that steady state cardio exercise will never help females get lean, because it can.
So for all those ladies out there trying to remake their physique, stop slogging away for hours in the gym with little to no noticeable benefits. In this particular study, researchers studied four groups of individuals: 2 exercise groups (one male, one female) and 2 control groups (also one male and one female). So for someone training 5x week, 2000 kcal amounts to spending ~30-40 minutes in the gym during each of those five sessions.
For anyone wondering, almost all the weight loss for these males (96%) came from fat, so this exercise intervention clearly was effective.
Think about that for one minute, these young ladies spent over 213 hours in structured physical activity over a period of 16 months and they didn’t lose a single lbs… talk about depressing! But unless a female is doing a minimum of 3-4 hours of intense physical activity a week, I never recommend they do steady state cardio (if fat loss is a goal). Instead spend the bulk of your time at the gym resistance training, but pair it with a rock solid diet plan.
However, 16 months gives us a nice amount of time to see what actually happens when people do all this exercise.
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