Which is the better exercise, weight lifting or running? (Read 195 times)

    I was listening today to a local radio show, the "Kimberly and Beck Show". Kimberly has been a runner for years and she said that she met with a trainer and will start an exercise program that includes lifting exercises. Beck told her that he thinks she will find the lifting to be a much better exercise for burning fat and gaining fitness.  Now I know more muscle mass means you burn more calories even when resting. When I look at the heavy lifters they can have huge muscles and little fat. On the other hand, when I was going to the fitness center I did not see them sweating much, but I would be soaked when I got off the treadmill. Neither are they breathing heavy like a runner will, which I guess would indicate that you are using oxygen and burning calories. As far as cardio fitness goes, I think running is the premier exercise for that. I know some of us do both. Any opinions?

    "My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.” 


    Road to Nowhere 2020

      I don't think there is a "better" exercise. Both exercises have their purposes.

      Maybe the better exercise is the one you do consistently. If you hate it, you won't do it.

      "Don't feel like running today...suck it up and run ...you're an athlete." (John Stanton, founder & owner of The Running Room)


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        Define 'fitness'.  It's really about what you're trying to achieve.


        Weight lifting won't do anything at all for your aerobic fitness or endurance since it's all short, explosive movements.


        Conversely, running won't build muscle mass.


        Most runners will benefit from including some resistance training in order to strengthen muscles, potentially build power, and prevent injury.

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        an amazing likeness

          Maybe the better exercise is the one you do consistently. If you hate it, you won't do it.


          Ding, ding, ding.  Winner.


          Freakonomics "What's the best Exercise" episode...


          ATTIA: It kind of means using yourself as a guinea pig. You know, there’s a lot of questions that I think we wish science would answer. But sometimes they’re either not deemed high enough priority in a scientific community, or the scientific experiments that are carried out are done on such a heterogeneous population that you can’t necessarily extrapolate for yourself. And so one of the other things that I do when I work with people is we really sort of embrace this concept of self-experimentation because at the end of the day, if I was working with you, it’s really not that important what works for the population. It’s really more important what works for you personally.


          DUBNER: Agreed. And that leads us to the last “I” on the exercise checklist. If the first two are “intensity” and “individualization,” the third one is “I… like to do it.”

          I've done my best to live the right way. I get up every morning and go to work each day.

            I looked at the freakonomics transcript link that Milktruck provided where they talked about METs ( metabolic equivalent score ) to measure the efficiency of an exercise -  where resting is 1 and running is near the top with a score of 10. Someone then wrote that stair climbing using hand weights could get METS up to like 20. There was also mention of the Range of Motion exercise machine in which you complete a full workout in four minutes! As a member of this site you know I love running. I don't mind weight lifting, I just have not been motivated to find the time to do it. 

            "My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.” 

            Seattle prattle

              Weight lifting.

                Not an answer to your specific question, mixing in a second exercise two or three times a week works for me.  This might mean lifting (or body weight), tennis, bike or just plain walking/hiking.  Keeps the running workouts from getting too boring, and the cross training helps with any muscle imbalances that might develop with a single kind of exercise.


                I'm out of ideas

                  Weight lifting does not have the positive health effects in ameliorating or preventing many diseases including cardio-vascular diseases, high blood pressure, and stroke, so running is better.


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                    I can't run so I walk...min of 3 miles a day and I've done several ultra's but found I lost my upper body strength so I'm starting to incorporate strength training too.  I also row and when weather permits I like to kayak.  I think a well rounded program works best for me.


                    not bad for mile 25

                      Runners are better people. Feel free to discuss.

                      Egotist (n.) A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.

                      -Ambrose Bierce

                        I know weight lifters that cant walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded....but can bench double their body weight...  I know runners that cant bench press much more than a feather.....but can run for 12 hours and still be ready to run.


                        I think the answer lies somewhere between..

                        Champions are made when no one is watching

                          You can lift for aerobic fitness but, to me, doing it that way really sucks. I'm pretty good at lifting and I enjoyed doing it (partly because I'm good at it). At the extreme lifting can be bad for your health (e.g., I've got a dilated aorta likely from lifting combined with the breath holding that lifting heavy requires). In moderation it has definite, proven health benefits. I lift moderately now on the advice of my cardiologist. I don't enjoy doing sets of 12-15 reps but I want the health benefits so...


                          Running also has definite, proven health benefits, I've been running for my health (physical and mental - I like the meditative quality of running) for several years now. I suck at running but I want the health benefits so...


                          I agree to do what you like. You can get the same benefits of lifting or running with other activities so find stuff you like doing.

                          Seattle prattle

                            Ballroom Dancing.





                              I lifted in high school.  Am in much better shape as a runner now 30 years later .


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