The Best Weight Loss Exercise: Running or Strength Training?

  Exercise to lose weight can be said to be the main purpose of 80-90% people’s exercise. What is the best exercise to lose weight? Some people tell you that running burns the most fat. Of course, others tell you, especially some gym coaches will tell you that strength training can reduce the most fat, because increasing muscle content through strength training can effectively improve basal metabolism, thus greatly increasing energy consumption. So, what is the truth? This article will reveal how to scientifically answer the most controversial topic in the field of sports and fitness.


  Running has a clear and definite fat burning effect.

  The energy consumption per minute during running is 8-10 times that during quiet time, and it is 10-12 times or even more when running faster, so running can fully consume calories and burn fat. Therefore, people who need to lose weight can rest assured that running is one of the most efficient exercises to reduce fat.

  When you run to lose weight, don’t run too fast. It’s good to jog at a medium or low speed. On the one hand, it can promote fat burning, on the other hand, it won’t be too tired and get a better running experience.

  The basic principle of energy supply during exercise tells us that when the exercise intensity is low, the proportion of fat energy supply is higher, and with the increase of exercise intensity, the proportion of fat energy supply decreases and the proportion of sugar energy supply increases.

  As can be seen from the following table, the heart rate is between 111 and 153, and the fat energy supply ratio is the highest. That is to say, when the heart rate is between 50% and 70% of the maximum heart rate, the fat burns most fully. At this time, it has a certain intensity, but it does not cause chest tightness and asthma. The experience is good and you can keep running for a long time. Generally speaking, it is recommended to keep the pace (the time required per kilometer) between 7 minutes and 8 minutes or even slower. People with better endurance can keep it between 6 minutes and 7 minutes, and pace exceeding 6 minutes is not recommended for dieters.

  Of course, as can be seen from the table, when running to lose weight, although the heart rate is between 111 and 137, the fat energy supply ratio is the highest, reaching 68%, but because of the low intensity at this time, the total energy consumption is definitely not as much as that of high-intensity running at the same time, so the fat consumption per unit time is actually not the highest; This means that you must achieve a certain intensity of exercise in order to burn fat effectively, which is why walking fast and jogging are more efficient than ordinary walking. When the intensity increases, although the proportion of fat energy supply decreases, the total energy consumption per unit time increases, so the actual fat consumption multiplied by the proportion of fat energy supply is not less than that of jogging with lower intensity.

  But why do we advocate moderate-intensity jogging instead of high-intensity running for weight-loss running? The reason is also very simple. Moderate intensity jogging is not so tiring, you can persist for a longer time, while high intensity jogging is difficult for fat paper people to persist for a long time. Compared with the two, we still recommend easy jogging to lose weight.


  You don’t start burning fat after running for half an hour.

  But to burn more fat, you have to run for more than half an hour.

  It is one of the most popular rumors in the field of sports and fitness to start consuming fat after running for half an hour. The reason is that sugar is consumed at the beginning of running, and fat will be consumed after half an hour of sugar consumption. Therefore, in order to lose weight, running should be carried out for at least half an hour.

  If it is to consume more fat, it is right for weight-loss runners to lengthen their running time, but it is a complete fallacy to say that it is useless to lose weight within half an hour of running!

  First of all, if you really want to consume all the sugar in your body, it will take more than 5-6 hours, so it is impossible to expect to consume all the sugar in your body in half an hour. In fact, sugar and fat, the main energy-supplying substances of human body (protein’s participation in energy supply is very small and neglected), all work in a mixed way, that is to say, there is almost no activity that is only powered by sugar, or some activity that is only powered by fat. Only the energy supply ratio is slightly different. In low-intensity activities, the proportion of fat energy supply is relatively high, and the proportion of sugar energy supply is relatively low; In high-intensity activities, the proportion of fat energy supply is relatively low, and the proportion of sugar energy supply is relatively high. Therefore, we often recommend people to participate in long-term moderate and low-intensity jogging. On the one hand, it is more acceptable to people. On the other hand, low-intensity jogging can also effectively promote fat decomposition, but this has nothing to do with half an hour. As long as you start exercising, you will consume fat.


  The fat burning mechanism of strength training comes more from endocrine.

  Just as many people succeed in losing weight through running, many people achieve weight loss through strength training, which is also the main selling point for fitness instructors to sell private lessons. Otherwise, why buy private lessons at an expensive price instead of running at no cost?

  How does strength training achieve fat burning?

  Let’s analyze it carefully. Strength training is different from continuous exercise like running. It is achieved through a group of movements, and there is a rest between each group of movements, so an hour-long strength training class seems to last for an hour. But in fact, the really effective training time may only be 20-30 minutes, and the rest time is rest. Why do you need rest? Because anaerobic exercise will lead to lactic acid accumulation during the completion of each group of movements, so after each group of training, you will feel muscle soreness, so you need rest to metabolize lactic acid.

  According to the basic principle of energy metabolism, anaerobic exercise mainly depends on sugar to provide energy. In the process of anaerobic decomposition of sugar, acidic substances such as lactic acid will be produced. So it seems that strength training doesn’t consume fat? So, how does strength training burn fat?

  First of all, strength training can effectively promote the secretion of certain hormones, the most important of which is testosterone; It is found that the content of testosterone will increase after strength training, and testosterone has a clear function of consuming fat, increasing muscle content and promoting erythropoiesis, which may be the main mechanism of burning fat in strength training. Strength training can promote testosterone secretion in a short time, which is enough to have a subsequent impact on fat decomposition.

  Secondly, although sugar is the main consumption during strength training, your breathing is still accelerated during the break, and you can still consume some fat at this time. You can understand that sugar is consumed during strength training and fat is consumed during the break.

  Of course, on the whole, it is likely that strength training will mainly rely on endocrine effects.


  Muscle content can be increased through strength training,

  But it can not effectively improve basal metabolism.

  For a long time, we have accepted that strength training can improve muscle content, and the increase of muscle content can help us improve basic metabolism.

  In fact, the basal metabolism will not change easily. If the basal metabolism really changes greatly, it is not because of the increase in muscle content, but because you are sick, such as hyperthyroidism.

  First of all, you need to be clear: muscles are obviously enhanced during working hours, but when they are not working, their proportion in basal metabolism is very low, and they will not significantly increase the basal metabolic rate of human body. In a quiet state, the brain and internal organs consume a lot of calories, far exceeding the muscles. Although the basal metabolic rate of muscle is higher than that of fat, it is not enough to significantly increase the basal metabolism. (pictured)

  Some surveys abroad show that many men hope to gain an extra 13-14 kilograms of muscle through strength exercises or nutritional improvement. Because the basal metabolic rate of muscle is approximately 0.5 kcal/kg/hour, we can calculate as follows: the basal metabolic amount produced by the additional 13 kg of muscle = 13× 24× 0.5 = 156 kcal. For a 70kg person, it is very difficult to change the muscle content from 28kg to 41kg through training. It can only be achieved through hard training for more than half a year, consuming fat and increasing muscle. Even so, the increased basal metabolic capacity is 156 calories, which can be basically consumed by walking for 30 minutes and running for 15 minutes.

  People with different weights have differences in total basal metabolism. Those bodybuilders seem to have higher basal metabolism, mainly because they weigh more than ordinary people after gaining more muscles, that is, their body density increases at the same height.


  "After the muscle content increases, lying down also consumes calories" is just a beautiful fantasy.

  Therefore, we can draw the following conclusions: increasing muscle content through training can slightly improve basal metabolism level, but the degree of improvement is very limited and almost negligible.

  When we lose weight, if we lose fat, when we lose weight and people become thinner, in fact, the basal metabolism will decrease. However, if we gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, if the amount of fat we lose is exactly equal to the amount of muscle gain, our body shape will also change, that is, we will be thinner and look stronger at the same time. At this time, your basal metabolism will remain basically the same as before losing fat and gaining muscle, and if it increases, it will be very small. This also explains why we work hard to lose weight, and it is easy to rebound after success.

  When you lose weight, your basal metabolism actually decreases. If you think you’re done, once you don’t pay attention to controlling your diet and eat more, your calorie intake will quickly exceed your decreased basal metabolism. If you stop exercising, you will certainly gain weight quickly.

  Therefore, we often hear a view that if you effectively increase the muscle content, you can produce more calories than others because of the improvement of basal metabolism. After reading this article, you will understand that there is no scientific basis for this statement. When muscles are not exercising, their metabolic level is lower than that of other tissues, so it is impossible to produce enough energy consumption, let alone a lot of fat consumption. The reason why muscle training can consume fat is not because you have practiced strength and improved your basal metabolism, but because you have achieved weight loss by the way in the process of trying to increase muscle content, because it is more difficult and takes longer to grow muscle than to lose fat.


  Running combined with strength training, two-pronged approach to lose weight is better.

  Seeing this, you should understand that the mechanism of losing weight by running and strength training is different, and it is actually problematic to compare the advantages and disadvantages of two types of sports that are not directly comparable. In this sense, if running is combined with strength training to lose weight, and different weight-loss mechanisms are exerted, the best weight-loss effect can often be achieved. If you only take a single exercise, you can only play a single weight loss mechanism, and you will easily encounter a bottleneck period. If you use a variety of weight loss mechanisms, you can get better weight loss results.