Should you run to lose weight?
Written by Mark Coles - Follow on Google+ | Facebook | Twitter
I get asked this question a lot, so I thought I would share a brief post on the topic. The question is "do I advise running for my fat loss clients?" My answer is no, I don't.
Most of you will know that long duration cardio alone, has been shown to be less effective for fat loss (before you ask me how I know, I've tried every method with my clients). Have you seen the physiques of the people who spend hours on the treadmill, versus those who combine strength training with conditioning? However, there's a bigger reason why I'm not a fan of running.
In the main, it's people who have a lot of weight to lose who ask me the question. These are people who have very low muscle mass and very high levels of body fat. So you have a high amount of load going through every joint for every stride taken.
Untrained bone and muscle structure covered in excess body fat is actually very unstable and more prone to injury. Not only that, but gait (stride) is severely compromised when excess body fat gets in the way. You all must have seen a very popular weight loss show in the UK and the USA, do all those overweight participants actually look like their doing their bodies a lot of good when they're taken out running? I don't think I've watched a show where one of the contestants doesn't complain of being in pain when they're out running.
Would I advise running intervals for a large fat loss client? The answer again is no. Intervals are supposed to be flat out, you should have nothing left in the tank after every fast rep. How many large people have you seen who can truly say that they were running flat out? Sure they are running as quick as they can, but it's their lack of range of movement which is making it difficult and making them out of breath.
If your sport is running, or you're strong/stable and lean enough, then yes I think running can very helpful. But for 90% of the people looking to lose a lot of weight and body fat, stick to strength training and lower impact exercises.
If you want to add intervals into your training, pick exercises such as the versa climber, watt bike, rower, the prowler and sled work.
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