Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

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Post heavy training energy expenditure comes mainly from fat

The heavier the weights you train with, the more energy your body uses after the training. We wrote about this recently. According to sports scientists at the National Taiwan Normal University, the body gets the extra energy for post-exercise excess oxygen consumption [EPOC] mainly from fat.

The Taiwanese got 16 male students, all of whom had been training for at least six months, to train their main muscle groups on two occasions using 8 basic exercises. The students did biceps-curls, upright-rows, bench-press, triceps-pushdowns, leg-press, squats, bent-over rows en leg-extensions. They did 3 sets of each exercise, and rested for 2 minutes between sets.

During the first session the students used weights that were half of the amount at which they could manage to do 1 rep. So they trained at 50 percent of their 1RM. [LO] The subjects did 15 reps at this weight. On the other occasion they trained at 75 percent of their 1RM and did 10 reps. [HI] The amount of energy the student used during the LO and HI training sessions was practically the same.

The researchers monitored the studentsí energy expenditure for two hours after the training session. Their energy expenditure was higher: not as much as in other EPOC studies, but nevertheless considerable.

The EPOC after the training session with heavy weights was higher than after the training with the light weights. Nothing new here. What is new is that the researchers were able to work out that the increased energy expenditure after the training was mainly derived from fat burning. The researchers donít know why this is.

The figure below shows not only that the absolute amount of fat that the body burns increases after training with heavy weights. The relative amount also increases.

Look at that. Another argument for training with heavy weights, if weight loss is your goal.

J Exerc Sci Fit. 2006; 4(2): 103-9.

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