Running for weight loss is something I very rarely advocate. In a previous article on walking for weight loss I mentioned that the best way to lose weight is to maintain a 60% - 70% heart rate for 45-60 minutes. The short version of why this is that it burns more fat calories than any other method.
Now I’m not saying running isn’t great and good for you, it’s wonderful for building up a healthy heart and lungs. That said it’s not the best choice for weight loss. Unless of course you’re already quite fit and are just looking to lose those last few stubborn pounds.
If that’s the case, running for weight loss may be just what you need.
The best way to run for weight loss is through interval training. Interval training involves moving through a range of heart rate training zones. If you are unfamiliar with Heart Rate Training you can read up on it here.
One of the best interval training programs I know is one utilised greatly by Bill Philips of “Body-for-Life” Fame. This simple routine has been used by countless professional athletes, movie stars, models and more and will help blast the last few pounds.
The 20 minute routine begins with one to two minutes at a nice gentle pace – this is your warm up. This would be at about 50% of your Max Heart Rate (For more information on your max heart rate see this article). After this increase the intensity level by 10% each minute until you hit level 90%.
This means that by the 5th minute you should be approaching this. Hold it till minute 6 then slow back down to 50% MHR. Repeat this process until the 17th minute where you should be hitting your third 90%. Dig deep push hard hit nearly 100% if you can and hold for 1 minute. Then slow right down and cool down for two minutes at 50%.
I CAUTION YOU – USE THIS ONLY IF YOU ARE REASONABLY FIT AND HAVE MEDICAL APPROVAL.
The first time I tried this I was quite nauseous. I only recommend this to elite athletes now days. That said it does provide wonderful benefits, particularly for cardio vascular strength and endurance.
If you want to lose weight I personally recommend walking. Running for weight loss, I keep to advance cases and athletes and only done so under my supervision. Have fun whatever you do and above all be safe!