Running Vs Lifting Weights: Which Is More Effective For Weight Loss

To maximise weight loss, consider incorporating both running and weight lifting in a well-rounded fitness routine.

Ishaan Arora
Written by: Ishaan AroraUpdated at: May 18, 2023 16:00 IST
Running Vs Lifting Weights: Which Is More Effective For Weight Loss

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In the pursuit of weight loss, many individuals find themselves juggling between different exercise routines, hoping to shed those extra pounds. Where running and lifting weights are both popular choices, determining which is more effective for weight loss can be a perplexing question. So, if you're new to working out or looking for ways to lose weight, let's begin by comparing the calories burned by running vs weight lifting. 

Calories Burned: Running Vs Lifting Weights


Running is a high-impact cardiovascular exercise that engages multiple muscle groups and elevates heart rate. It is known to burn a significant number of calories. The exact number varies depending on factors such as body weight, speed, and duration. According to certified personal trainer Jayant Jawa from Karnal, Haryan, "on average, running can burn approximately 300-600 calories per hour, depending on intensity. For example, a 70 kg individual running at a moderate pace of 5 mph can burn around 400-500 calories in an hour.

Lifting Weights

Weightlifting, also known as resistance training, involves the use of resistance, with the help of dumbbells, barbells, or weight machines. While weightlifting may not burn as many calories during the actual workout compared to running, it offers distinct benefits for weight loss. "Weightlifting helps build lean muscle mass, which increases your resting metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn at rest). This means that even after your workout, your body continues to burn calories," Java added.  When performed regularly, weightlifting contributes to better body composition by promoting fat loss and preserving muscle mass.

Also Read: Weight Loss: 7 Bodily Signs That Tell You Are Making Progress

Running For Weight Loss

Running, being a cardiovascular exercise, is an excellent choice for individuals who enjoy steady-state endurance training. It elevates heart rate, improves cardiovascular health, and burns a considerable number of calories during the activity. It's essential to note that solely relying on running for weight loss can lead to diminishing returns. Over time, the body adapts to the routine, resulting in fewer calories burned for the same distance or time.

Weight Lifting For Weight Loss

Weightlifting may not burn as many calories during the workout itself, its effects on metabolism are significant. Lifting weights stimulates muscle growth, and since muscle is metabolically active tissue, it increases the number of calories burned at rest. The best thing about weightlifting is that increases your metabolic rate for up to 48 hours post-workout. This elevated metabolic rate translates into continued calorie burning and potential fat loss.

Also Read: Cardio Or Weight Training: Which One Should Come First?

Running Vs Lifting Weights: Which Is More Effective For Weight Loss

Weight loss is a long-term goal that is determined by your lifestyle, nutrition, and exercise regimen. Workout results can only be obtained if the other two components are in order. Whether you choose running or weight lifting, make sure you are consistent and are taking your routines seriously. The ideal strategy is to switch between the two because each has its own advantages. What you can do is do more cardio on days when you overeat or binge, and weight lifting on other days. 

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