Running vs. Weight Training for Weight Loss – The Debate ENDS Here!

Jeff Baldelli
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The Real Reason We Want to Lose Weight

Have you ever looked at a fat person or a skinny person and wondered how they can be that way? The truth is, it’s not really that simple. There are several different causes for being overweight and many different ways to fix the problem. When you want to lose weight, you have to find what works for you and be consistent with it.

There is one thing that almost all overweight people have in common ” they want to lose weight. And being able to blame the yo-yo dieting on genetics or anything else doesn’t change that fact. If they really WANT to lose weight they will find the best way to do it and do what they have to do to succeed.

The problem is that there is no good universal way to lose weight fast. If there were some sort of mystical weight loss method out there that could get you thin overnight, you’d be able to buy it at the store.

No one is going to sell it to you. Not the doctor, not the dietician, and certainly not your neighbor, the personal trainer. No one will sell you the weight loss secret because it WON’T MAKE THEM ANY MONEY.

Is Running Better Than Going to the Gym?

There are many reasons why people state that it is better to run than go to the gym. Some of these reasons are more valid than others.


A lot of people would go on the treadmill or an exercise bike at a low number of miles per hour. They would be focused only on burning as many calories as they could in as little time as possible. In the real world, you may not have to worry about how fast you can run from an angry bull, but you need to get yourself to the end of a race.

If you are a beginner, it may be wise for you to walk briskly at a low speed until you can get your heart rate under control. After you have spent several weeks building a foundation, you can start running faster.


You can go outside and run whatever you like, but you are aware that you will be running against the car that is coming at you. The only person that you can depend on is you. This is the case in both the real world and when you are in a race.

A gym is where you can be in a comfortable environment while you get your workout in. The equipment gives you a level of protection that you do not have while you are outside. It is a common belief that if you train in the real world, you may be gaining more than just the knowledge of how to be fit.

Does Running Help With Weight Loss?

Runners and non-runners alike are constantly debating on whether running is the best way to lose weight fast. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of running before we can determine once and for all that this is a good, or rather bad, idea.

The Negative Side

Before we get into the pros of running, there is one little thing that we want to point out: Running can have a negative effect on your bone density.

When you are running, your shin bones hit the ground with as much as three times of your body weight. Although we all know that running is good for your heart, it will also make the knees swell, as well as make the back hurt.

The Most Serious Case

Running is also known as one of the most serious sports. When you don’t take care of your body, it can also lead to chronic joint problems, and the list goes on. As you can see, the negative side of running is pretty long, and this is why you should avoid it at all costs if you just want to shed those extra pounds.

Pros of Running

Vs. Weight Training for Weight Loss – The Debate ENDS Here!

Many believe that weight training is the way to go for weight loss. You can build lean muscle and get the calorie burning results that you’re looking for.

Let’s compare running and weight training.

Running in general is better than just weight training. Why? You’re actually burning more calories, increasing your metabolism, and building your muscles.

As we all know, muscle is metabolically active tissue. It uses more calories to sustain it. That means that once you build lean muscle, your body will burn more calories, even while you’re resting.

Weight training is technically anaerobic, which means that it creates energy in the absence of oxygen. Anaerobic activity burns calories and is important for building muscle, but it also creates lactic acid, which causes that burning sensation in your muscles that you feel during exercise.

Cons of Running

Running is an active sport that has its own set of benefits, including being a great calorie burner.

Great for outdoorsy types, decent for those who like to be among other athletes, and exercising without a lot of time to exercise. And of course, it is a sport that has a familiar structure that many are comfortable with.

However, there are a number of aspects to running that make it not a great fit for everyone.

Weight loss is often the goal with physical fitness, and running is not the best way to go about it.

There’s also the fact that running can be repetitive and boring, especially if you do the same course over and over again.

Then there’s the bulkiness of the equipment you need to run comfortably: running shoes, clothes, body, safety gear, water, and snacks.

There’s also the possibility of a repetitive stress injury.

And finally, running is really just an activity … it’s not really a sport.

What About Weight Training?

Regular strength training is an important part of any weight loss program. How many times will people tell you “If you want to lose weight, you should exercise!?

While running is an excellent way to burn calories, research shows that it’s better to combine running with weight training rather than just running. Adding a weight training regimen to your running routine will slow down the fat burning process, allowing your body to burn fat for longer and in addition to burning fat, your metabolism will increase.


Because your body must use calories to work muscles.

Even if you do not lose any weight at all, your body will use more calories during the day, helping you to reach your weight loss goal.

Why Add Weight Training?

To be more specific, weight training is important because it will build muscle which will improve your body’s natural curve, help you burn more calories throughout the day, and it will possibly help you lose any excess fat you may have.

Many dancers, and other athletes used to spend a lot of time working on their endorphin production because of this reason. Because they felt more confident about themselves, they were able to handle any situation with confidence and stature.

This self-confidence makes a huge difference and you will find it to help you in all areas of your life.

How to Lose Weight with Weight Training

In recent years, weight training has been gaining a lot of popularity. Celebrity athletes have followed in the footsteps of the professional body builders of the 50’s and 60’s, and this has drawn a lot of attention to fitness in general, but especially to the value of weight training.

Running, on the other hand, has become less attractive as people discover that it is becoming one of the worst choices for getting into shape and losing weight. To make matters worse, some trainers have taken this as an opportunity to try to “sell” weight training as an alternative to more popular cardio.

Loss of Muscle Mass

This is one of the biggest fears that people have when it comes to weight training. They see it as a last resort for when they can’t be bothered to do cardio, and they feel like they have no choice. Statistics show that over 80% of Americans are overweight or obese, which makes this fear a legitimate one, especially in light of the rising obesity rates.

How to Build Muscle with Weight Training

There are two different ways to build muscle, by weight training and by bodyweight training.

Bodyweight training means building your muscle by doing exercises using your own body weight, such as pull-ups, pushups, lunges, squats and sit-ups.

Bodyweight training is also referred to as “resistance training,” and it usually refers to exercises in which you position your body against an external load, like dumbbells, to work various muscles.

Weight training, on the other hand, entails putting relatively heavy weights on the muscles you want to build. For example, you could lift a dumbbell while doing a bicep curl.

Weight training does tend to be a more efficient way of building muscle than bodyweight training, but bodyweight training can be just as effective. You can try both and see which one you like more.

Pros of Weight Training

For Weight Loss:

Strength and muscle tone lead to a healthier, more durable body. If and when you choose to begin an exercise program, you will be able to build up the areas that are lacking. Your weight loss journey will also be easier, as you will be able to go longer and harder.

When you have more muscle, you will burn more calories at rest than a weight loss enthusiast with less muscle.

Strength Training is a fun way to get in shape, build endurance and create lean muscle mass that will provide a more streamlined look and added strength.

Typically, losing weight means using the weight training exercise as a way to maintain fitness and to build muscle. It’s about total fitness, not just weight loss, which leads to a healthier heart, circulation, immune system and mental clarity.

Weight training promotes a healthy metabolism and helps you to burn fat more quickly. When the body has more muscle, it can burn fat more efficiently.

Fitness experts agree that weight training is the single best way to improve your body shape and can also improve your heart health.

Weight training is also a good way to reduce stress. That’s because weight training reduces cortisol, the stress hormone.

Cons of Weight Training for Weight Loss:

It takes a great deal of time to build muscle. When pressed for time, most people will choose to do cardio.

Cons of Weight Training

Weight training isn’t the ALWAYS best option for fat loss. There are many that say weight training does not result in any kind of weight loss. This is not always true (but weight training does not always result in results, as you will see below).

Here’s the deal, weight training for weight loss is going to help you lose fat. But the issue is that you have to do it right.

For weight training to work for you, it is best done after some cardio work. This actually helps the body to recover afterwards. Weight training for weight loss is pretty simple.

Pick exercises that work well for you.

Focus on the compound exercises, such as squats, bench and shoulder presses, lat pull down, and cable rows.

Add in dumbbells for a different twist in your workouts.

Make sure to use heavy weights.

Aim to lift heavy weights. Studies have shown that weight training for weight loss helps you lose weight in two different ways:

You burn more calories during the workout.

You burn more calories to rebuild your muscle fibers.

This study looked at two groups. The first group did weight training only and the second group did both. The conclusion was that the weight training could help you, but it worked out better when you combined the weight training with aerobic activity.

Running vs. Weight Training for Weight Loss?

Most people who start to exercise are told that running is a cardio workout and weight lifting is a muscle-building workout. From this, many new exercisers understand that they should do cardio if they want to lose weight and should do weight lifting if they want to build muscle.

This is only one of the common weight loss myths that you’ll come across so we’ll break it here and now.

Running and weight lifting work your entire body, and both will help you lose weight. It’s true that running will help you burn calories more quickly than weight training but it’s also true that cardio is the least effective type of exercise when it comes to burning calories. Weight training actually has the strongest calorie burn in the first hour after a workout, and can even have a stronger calorie burn in the next 24 hours, depending on the type of workout.

The reasons why cardio is looked upon as the most important type of exercise when it comes to weight loss are almost all myths. There are actually a lot of reasons why weight lifting is better for weight loss. To name a few:

Weight training can activate your body’s internal calorie-burning systems, the same systems that running and similar exercises can’t affect.

The Ideal Way to Lose Weight

Running or Weight Training?

As far as losing weight, there are two ways of breaking down the process. First is to shed extra pounds through a rigorous diet/weight loss plan. Second is to build muscle through lifting weights and lower your overall body fat percentage through cardio and body toning exercises. Both have positives and negatives to them. Let’s take a closer look.

Typical Weight Loss Diet Programs

Most dieting programs are built with heavy calorie restriction in mind. That means you will need to drastically cut down on your daily calorie intake to lose weight. Many people do great with this method, and it can also be great for your health. Since this type of plan limits overall calorie consumption, you have to find other ways to get nutrients.

However, these stringent plans can be hard to follow. With some of these types of diets, you may feel hungry all the time until you get used to your new level of nutrition. You may also lose weight so fast that it’s unhealthy. Many weight loss diets are also difficult to maintain for the long term.

The Positive of a Weight Loss Diet

Most people lose weight rapidly in the first few weeks of a diet, but a few weeks later, they hit a plateau that proves difficult to get through. So, if you are looking for fast weight loss, a heavy calorie restriction diet may work.

The Last Word

In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of running vs. weight training for weight loss. We’ll also look at each of these methods on their own to determine which one is ideal for you.

Running vs. Weight Training for Weight Loss

Running and weight training are both popular methods for burning fat. But they have one major difference – running is cardiovascular, and weight training is anaerobic. Cardiovascular training means that it increases your heart rate and breathing. It increases the oxygen used in your body. Anaerobic training, on the other hand, stimulates the muscles without a lot of oxygen.

What Are The Advantages of Running?

  • It’s easy to do. Because running is low impact, it’s easier on your joints than other aerobic activities.
  • You can do it alone. Many people who run say that it’s one of the few forms of exercise you can do alone and still consider it fun.
  • You can tone your muscles. Running does not build as much muscle as weight training, but it has some of the same benefits. It puts your body through a muscular workout, and you’ll notice that your legs will slim down over time.