Running accomplishes certain things (like increasing muscular and cardiovascular endurance, and burning lots of calories), sometimes pretty well.
It’s typically the “go-to” exercise for those looking to lose a few pounds quickly.
But the fact of the matter is that running has a few downsides.
First downside: running does not help you burn more calories after working out.
Those who specialize in running usually become weaker and lose muscle mass. And less muscle mass means a reduced metabolism. So, you end up burning less calories at rest.
Strength training, on the other hand, builds strength and maintains/builds muscle mass (and allows you to burn more calories).
Circuit and interval training, such as prowler pushes and rope slams, are unique in that they affect the muscles in a similar fashion as strength training does, as well as raise the metabolism after through a concept called “post exercise excess oxygen consumption”.
Given that strength training and circuit training help you burn more calories, and take less time to do (as an added benefit), they are better alternatives to running for fat loss.
Second downside: running itself is very high impact.
This is due to the fact that most people don’t know how to run “naturally.” Thus, they run in a way that stresses their bones and joints more so than normally.
Contrary to what most people believe, running is a skill that must be practiced and mastered. It’s not something you just “go out and start doing”.
Sure, there are running shoes available with extra cushioning that will “protect” you in the meantime, but they only promote a running technique that’s even less natural and higher impact. Eventually, the shoes no longer help and you’re back at square one.
Lower impact alternatives – such as prowler pushes, rope slams, jumping rope, kettlebell swings, and bodyweight exercises – can still burn tons of calories while avoiding the potential dangers of running.
With all that said, it certainly does not make much sense to buy a bunch of treadmills and throw our clients on them for an hour. That’d be a recipe for disaster.
And in the end, most people take up running to lose fat.
People fail to realize that you cannot out-run a poor diet. A diet is essential for fat loss. If you’re eating many calories, you simply cannot lose weight, no matter what kind of exercise you do.