Running Exercise vs. Weightlifting: How are these two different from each other?

What is the best and quickest way to lose fat and build muscle? Is it better to go out for a jog or to hit the gym several days a week? And which type of exercise burns the highest amount of calories? Let’s find out! 

Running Exercise Is Cardio Exercise

For starters, running is one of the most effective types of cardiovascular exercise. Also, it’s the most affordable form of exercise and the most flexible now that we all have busy schedules. 


Generally, running is considered an aerobic sport. It trains your aerobic metabolism by giving you more oxygen. Numerous sports medicine studies have proved that this aerobic activity is one of the most efficient ways to improve heart health. It burns a ton of calories while boosting metabolic hormones. Plus, it quickly reduces body fat and lowers your blood pressure, heart rate, and your cholesterol levels. 


What’s more, when you go out for a jog, you should aim to keep your heart rate running at 50-80 percent of its maximum. While this gives you a good idea of how hard you’re working, boosting your heart rate also helps the blood circulate to all of the major muscle groups. It gives them all the necessary nutrients plus increased oxygen. Aside from lowering your blood pressure, running exercise can also result in better sleep, rapid weight loss, boosted immune system, and many other benefits. 

Weightlifting Is Overall Body Exercise

When it comes to weightlifting, it will not help you to burn as many calories as running would. However, resistance training has many other benefits that you won’t get from running. 


There are many types of weightlifting exercises out there, but this activity mainly focuses on working out specific parts of the body. That includes your arms, shoulders, abs, legs, thighs, etc. Compared to cardio workouts, weight training is actually a better choice if you want to boost your muscle mass. 


When you lift weights, your muscles will also burn more calories and fat, but in a different way compared to running. This will usually happen in the hours following the exercise or the day after. 


Studies have shown that weight-lifting boosts your metabolism more effectively compared to running. Also, it could even help you burn more calories in the long term, especially since it regulates your metabolism and helps you lose fat while giving you more energy as you rest. Strength training can also improve your balance and posture, strengthen your bones, lower inflammation, tighten the skin, etc.

You Will Lose Weight With Running Exercise

So what are the biggest running exercise and weightlifting differences? Well, running and weight-lifting are two of the most effective types of exercise for weight loss. When you sprint or jog, your body will release more heat. In turn, your high-intensity cardio session will produce more sweat. It will help you burn more calories than you took in. 

Increased sweat and body heat indicate that your body utilizes natural elements to keep you moving. Plus, even if you don’t make any changes in your diet, running will boost your physical activity to help you support or lose weight. 


On average, you can burn between 80 and 140 calories per mile. However, that number can increase substantially if you move faster. In fact, studies have shown that aerobic exercise burns 10 times more fat compared to lifting weights.


But, the downside here is that you can also lose muscle mass while running. That is, while running can strengthen your legs, thighs, and glutes, it can also decrease your overall body mass. However, there is a way to eliminate this muscle loss. You should keep a steady diet and make sure that your body has enough fuel to sustain your muscles before and after your running session. 

You Gain Weight Through Weightlifting

It’s true: you will eventually end up gaining weight as you lift. But don’t worry. All of that weight will come as a result of you losing unhealthy fat and boosting your muscle mass. Hitting the bench press or using dumbbells will increase your muscle strength and size by activating new muscle fibers. And as we all know, muscle tissue is much heavier than fat. In fact, you will see some improvements in muscle mass after only 2 to 3 gym sessions.


However, it will take a full month until you see a major increase in lean muscle mass. During this period, it may be better to do more reps with lower weights. That way, you’ll build endurance and give your nervous system and muscle tissue a chance to recover.


Additionally, your diet as well as your pre and post-workout meals will play a significant role here. You will need a balanced diet of carbs, healthy fats, and protein to maintain your metabolism and help your body build more lean tissue while decreasing fat. 

More Calories Are Burned While Running Exercise

Calories are a measurement of how much energy your body releases when it absorbs and digests food. Running helps you burn approximately 80 to 150 calories per mile. Meaning, if you run for 30 minutes, you will burn anywhere from 280 to 520 calories. 


Of course, that will mainly depend on the amount of time you spend running, your weight, and your speed. If you move faster, and if you extend your jogging sessions, you will burn more calories per minute. 


Your terrain will also influence the way you burn calories. For example, running uphill can help you lose more weight. Of course, if you want to drop some weight, you’ll need to burn more calories than you consume no matter what you do. 

Weightlifting Burns Few Calories

As mentioned, your results will vary substantially depending on your diet, your body weight, and your choice of fitness goals. It’s not as easy to measure the calorie loss for weight-lifting compared to running because of so many differences between the various lifting exercises. Also, whether or not you take long breaks between your reps will play a huge impact on your calorie loss. 


On average, lifting makes you burn around 90 to 120 calories in a 30-minute session. But, with vigorous weightlifting, you could end up losing 500 calories per hour. This is approximately 200 calories less than you would waste while running for an hour. By session, running does burn more calories. However, running will boost your metabolism for up to an hour after your workout. In comparison, weight-lifting will give you a higher post-exercise burn that lasts up to 48 hours.