For those of you participating in endurance based exercise, you may think it is contributing to fat-loss or at least maintaining status quo.You would be sadly mistaken and here is why…

If your goal is to lose fat and improve the shape and appearance of your body, boosting your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) should be at the top of your list.


Raising your RMR by building new muscle tissue will allow you to burn more calories throughout the entire day. Regardless of whether you are sitting at your desk, watching TV or asleep in bed.

Building new muscle will therefore:

  • increase fat-loss
  • improve your body shape
  • increase strength and mobility
  • generally make you feel much better and younger.

And in order to do that, you should be performing some structured resistance (weights) exercise. At least 2-3 times each and every week.

However, it can also be tempting to try other outdoor activities, hobbies and sports especially with the nice weather rolling in. Many people spend the warmer months participating in outdoor events and activities such as fun-runs, triathlons, bike rides, ocean swims and the like. We think that’s great! It’s important to challenge yourself, experience new activities and get out into the wider community. Unfortunately though, this is often where many people sabotage their fat-loss efforts without realising it.

Signing up for an endurance-type event or activity requires regular training and practice in order to improve fitness, technique and performance. On the contrary, adding hours of endurance activity to your regular exercise routine can firmly put the brakes on your fat-loss goals.

Research out of the US Army Research Institute Of Environmental Medicine showed that subjects who performed resistance training concurrently with endurance training showed subpar results in muscle synthesis compared to subjects who performed resistance training alone, and also compared to subjects who performed resistance training concurrently with interval-type CV training. (Less muscle synthesis means a slower RMR which results in impaired fat-loss.)

So, the take home message is that if fat-loss is your primary goal you should make resistance training (along with some interval-type cardiovascular training) the corner stone of your exercise regime. By all means participate in the endurance events you enjoy, but you should at least be aware that it may delay the fat-loss results you are working towards.