Growing up, any time my Dad needed to lose a couple extra pounds he would go out for a run 3 times a week. So it was ingrained in my mind that if you want to lose weight you simply go for a run. It wasn’t until I started digging deeper into nutrition, weight loss, and running that I started to second guess myself. I even wrote an article titled “Why running makes you fat” but yesterday I went for a run because I’m trying to lose a little extra weight. What gives?
For me it’s simple, I supplement my weight lifting with some intense hard runs in order to boost weight loss even more. I would never use running as my sole exercise for losing weight, because many studies have shown that it’s not nearly as effective as weight lifting for losing weight. It’s a really easy visual to understand as well. Watch the participants in a marathon and you will serious runners who have put in a lot of training (meaning running endless miles) and they often don’t look like a serious athlete. I’m not knocking marathoners here, many of them love to run so I say go for it. But if you don’t absolutely love to run and are just doing it for weight loss, there are better alternatives.
Get in the weight room 3 times a week and you will see a noticeable difference in 2-3 weeks. And if you haven’t lifted in a while (or ever) boy will you feel it! It’s a good soreness though and it will go away quickly. Stick to the basic multi-muscle lifts like squat variations, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press along with planks and pull-ups. That’s literally all you need for your first six months of lifting, nothing fancy required. Try and lift as heavy as you can for 6-8 repetitions and do each exercise 3-5 times. Easy right?
This is what I like to call a metabolic finisher. Get a heavy kettlebell and do two handed swings 25 times. Take a SHORT break and do it again. Get to 100 or 150 if you are really good and you will FEEL it. Your lungs will be burning, your legs will be burning, and you will hate me. But it’s AWESOME for losing weight.
Still feel the need to run? Sprint instead. Go all out for 10-30 seconds and take a short break to rest. It’s awesome for weight loss and way better than long slow runs. Your metabolism will be fired up for hours!
Running can be beneficial, but it’s not the best for long term weight loss especially if you are trying to lose a lot of weight. Running also isn’t easy on the joints for heavier people. Try lifting weights instead and occasionally running (or better yet sprinting) to get maximum weight loss.