In contries such as the United States,  Australia and the United Kingdom, at least 50% of adults are overweight. Defined as body mass index [BMI] ≥ 25 kg/m2. A whopping 30% meet the criteria for obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) [1]. After several decades of an increasing trend in obesity rates; recent evidence shows we may be seeing at least a temporary plateau in obesity rates [1]. 

Tina Sims' amazing transformation built on FIRE (Focused Intense Resistance Exercise)
Although this is encouraging, it remains a top public health priority to encourage efforts to reduce the current rates of overweight and obese individuals. It is well established that being overweight and obese is associated with increased risk of chronic disease and premature death. Some of the chronic conditions associated with this are: hypertension, type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, heart disease, stroke, various types of cancer, osteoarthritis, respiratory problems, and gallbladder disease [2, 3].

To “hit-home” the seriousness of this issue, poor nutrition and a lack of physical activity (PA), often precursors of obesity, have been cited as the second leading “actual cause of death” in the United States, right behind tobacco usage [4]. In addition, the economic impact of being overweight and obese is staggering, estimated at more than $215 billion annually, with $147 billion in direct medical costs [5].

Although a considerable number of adults report that they are trying to lose weight, few are making the necessary lifestyle changes required to promote weight loss [6]. In addition, 80% of individuals who have lost at least 10% of their bodyweight are unable to maintain this weight loss for 1 year [7].

Chell Williams over 12 months and several FIRE Programs later...
A comprehensive lifestyle approach to weight loss/weight management afford individuals the best opportunity for successful long-term weight loss success. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in cooperation with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the Obesity Society all recommend attention be given to the following three areas [8]:

1. Diet-a reduction in daily caloric intake; specifically, a reduction in foods and beverages that tend to be high in fat or simple sugars, but lack essential nutrients. Note: when you eat with Metabolic Precision you’ll know exactly the right type of foods to eat and when. 

2. Physical activity/exercise-Most adults do not get enough exercise. Less than 45% of adults currently meet the minimal PA recommendations

3. Behavior modification-This has to deal with identifying behaviors associated with or contributing to poor dietary choices and a sedentary lifestyle and then implementing strategies that influence favorable changes. Again, this is why Metabolic Precision is so unique and so successful - MP integrates a series of simple but highly successful behavior modification systems that provide the solutions to the situations you face every day! 

  Matt Madden's amazing transformation built on FIRE

Aerobic-type activity is important for managing weight loss. There are recommendations for aerobic-type PA (walking, biking, swimming, etc.). Most recently, an updated ACSM position stand was released in 2009 [9]. This update provides clear and concise PA recommendations based on a particular weight management goal (prevention of weight gain, weight loss, or maintenance of weight loss). The recommendations are summarized below:

• 150-250 min/wk of moderate-intensity PA will help protect against initial weight gain.
• >250 min/wk of moderate-intensity PA can result in a “clinically significant” weight loss.
• For improved maintenance of weight loss, 250-300 min/wk of moderate intensity PA is recommended (“approximately 2,000 kcal/wk”).

Let’s take a look at the potential role of structured resistance exercise or FIRE (Focused Intense Resistance Exercise) as part of a comprehensive weight management strategy. 
Typically, individuals perform resistance exercise in order to enhance strength, muscle mass or both [10]. In addition, resistance exercise causes favorable changes in body composition, muscular endurance, bone density, cardiac risk factors, psychological well-being, and metabolism [10-12].

Peter Norris's metabolism was built from FIRE
Strasser and Schobersberger published an extensive review article and concluded that resistance exercise caused favorable changes in body composition (decreased fat mass and increased lean body mass [LBM]), can help “maintain reduced fat mass in obese patients after exercise training or energy intake restriction,” and is effective in reducing abdominal obesity [13]. It is important to note that although the inclusion of RE might not enhance short-term weight loss; it does result in healthy changes in body composition and may play an important role in successful long-term weight management. 
A six-month study utilized brief, but intense resistance exercise and illustrated the potential weight management value. In this study, overweight adults engaged in 3 sessions per week completing 1 set of 9 different exercises using loads equivalent to 85-90% of 1 repetition maximum. The average amount of time to complete each workout was 11 minutes. Results showed a 50% increase in upper-body and lower-body strength, and a 2.7% increase in fat-free mass (FFM). A very interesting finding was that the resistance-trained subjects demonstrated a significant increase in both resting metabolic rate (RMR) and sleep metabolic rate (SMR) when compared with control subjects.

 In addition, there was an increase in 24-hour energy expenditure (EE) and a decrease in resting and sleep respiratory quotient (RQ) values in the resistance-trained group. The lower RQ suggests a greater reliance on fat as a fuel source [14]. These findings offer compelling support for the inclusion of RE as part of a weight management strategy. There is also evidence that during periods of reduced caloric intake, RE could attenuate [15] or even prevent [11] the loss of FFM as opposed to subjects on the same reduced caloric intake who performed aerobic exercise experienced a significant loss of FFM. 
Another weight management benefit of resistance exercise is its potential to preserve RMR during periods of weight loss. This would conceivably cause a successful maintenance of weight loss and long-term weight management. It’s been reported that the energy expenditure associated with 1 kg of muscle tissue is approximately 13 kcal/d, whereas 1 kg of fat tissue requires approximately 4.5 kcal/d [16]. Thus, it appears that resistance exercise protects against loss of muscle tissue and better preserves RMR and would be an important strategy for long-term weight management [17]. 
FIRE (Focused, Intense Resistance Exercise) is a research-proven form of exercise that speeds body composition changes, more muscle, less body fat! [19-21]

ICE (Intense Cardio Exercise) is a science-based approach to maximizing fitness and fat loss at the same time! When you learn how to combine FIRE & ICE correctly you have a science-based, research proven programming system that prevent over training, speeds recovery and maximizes results in the shortest possible amount of time spent training [18].
Take home messages:

• Aerobic-type physical activity is associated with a wide variety of health benefits (e.g. increased VO2 max, decreased body fat) and is recognized as a critical component of a comprehensive weight loss/weight management program.

• Resistance exercise promotes improvements in muscle mass and strength in addition to other health benefits.

• Exercise programs combining both aerobic and resistance exercise are shown to be superior in terms of producing favorable changes in body composition.

• A weight management strategy that combines a controlled/reduced calorie diet, the combination of aerobic and resistance exercise may be the best for reducing body fat and preventing the loss of LBM and RMR.

So many different people, so many great results

Want to learn more? Follow the MP 10 Point System to ensure you’re performing just the right amount and type of exercise to ensure the best results in the shortest possible amount of time! 

Dr. Paul Henning is leading scientist at the Military Performance Division, United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. Paul's an avid bodybuilder, lives the MP lifestyle and is a proud member of the MP Team. Read more from Dr Henning here.

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3. Field, A.E., et al., Impact of overweight on the risk of developing common chronic diseases during a 10-year period. Arch Intern Med, 2001. 161(13): p. 1581-6.
4. Mokdad, A.H., et al., Actual causes of death in the United States, 2000. JAMA, 2004. 291(10): p. 1238-45.
5. Hammond, R.A. and R. Levine, The economic impact of obesity in the United States. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes, 2010. 3: p. 285-95.
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10. Hass, C.J., M.S. Feigenbaum, and B.A. Franklin, Prescription of resistance training for healthy populations. Sports Med, 2001. 31(14): p. 953-64.
11. Bryner, R.W., et al., Effects of resistance vs. aerobic training combined with an 800 calorie liquid diet on lean body mass and resting metabolic rate. J Am Coll Nutr, 1999. 18(2): p. 115-21.
12. Williams, M.A., et al., Resistance exercise in individuals with and without cardiovascular disease: 2007 update: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association Council on Clinical Cardiology and Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism. Circulation, 2007. 116(5): p. 572-84.
13. Strasser, B. and W. Schobersberger, Evidence for resistance training as a treatment therapy in obesity. J Obes, 2011. 2011.
14. Kirk, E.P., et al., Minimal resistance training improves daily energy expenditure and fat oxidation. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2009. 41(5): p. 1122-9.
15. Geliebter, A., et al., Effects of strength or aerobic training on body composition, resting metabolic rate, and peak oxygen consumption in obese dieting subjects. Am J Clin Nutr, 1997. 66(3): p. 557-63.
16. Wang, Z., et al., Evaluation of specific metabolic rates of major organs and tissues: comparison between men and women. Am J Hum Biol, 2011. 23(3): p. 333-8.
17. Sword, D.O., Exercise as a Management Strategy for the Overweight and Obese: Where does Resistance Exercise Fit in? Strength and Conditioning Journal, 2012. 34(5): p. 47-55.
18. Park, S.K., et al., The effect of combined aerobic and resistance exercise training on abdominal fat in obese middle-aged women. J Physiol Anthropol Appl Human Sci, 2003. 22(3): p. 129-35.
19. Cribb PJ, Hayes A Effects of supplement timing and resistance exercise on skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006 Nov;38(11):1918-25.
20. Cribb PJ, Williams AD, Hayes A. A creatine-protein-carbohydrate supplement enhances responses to resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 Nov;39(11):1960-8.
21. Cribb PJ, Williams AD, Stathis CG, Carey MF, Hayes A. Effects of whey isolate, creatine, and resistance training on muscle hypertrophy. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 Feb;39(2):298-307.

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