Running can be an effective weight-loss tool if you take the right approach to it. Our 8-Week Running for Weight-Loss Program combines three key elements that are proven to yield the best results: high-intensity aerobic exercise, strength training, and a healthy, portion-controlled diet.
High-Intensity Running Workouts for Weight Loss
Studies show that a running program based on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sheds the most fat. For example, in 2014, researchers at the University of Salzburg reported that subjects who did 57 percent of their training at high intensity for nine weeks lost more than six pounds, on average.
Others who did 68 percent of their training at low intensity lost no weight despite increasing their aerobic fitness two and a half times more than the HIIT group.
Our program (schedule below) features an eight-day workout cycle that includes three different types of high-intensity runs and one low-intensity run/walk.
(Pro tip: Need more ideas on how to lose weight and get fit? Download our free “100 Ways to Lose Weight” guide here!)
Strength Training for Runners
It’s important to keep in mind that your goal shouldn’t be just to lose weight. It should be to lose fat. Running burns body fat, particularly in the abdominal region, as evidenced by changes in fat mass taken by suprailiac skinfold in runners competing in a 100K (62-mile) race.
But you’ll burn more total fat if you combine running with strength training, which increases resting metabolism and prevents the loss of muscle mass that can occur with running alone. In a 2012 study, overweight subjects who combined aerobic exercise with strength training reduced their body-fat percentages by more than twice the amount compared to others who did aerobic exercise only.
There are two strength-training sessions scheduled during each eight-day cycle in our 8-Week Running for Weight-Loss Program. For these workouts, we recommend that you perform the Total Body Hammer workout from The Master’s Hammer and Chisel program, which you can stream anywhere there’s an Internet connection through Beachbody On Demand.