Running and lifting weights is the best ‘lifestyle’ exercise that I know, even after 10+ years of playing competitive sports, working out intensely and playing water polo.
The only problem with running and strength training is that millions of people still don’t realize that it works.
Meanwhile, professional soccer players, football players, women’s tennis players and plenty of other elite athletes all swear by combining cardio with strength training.
I’d even say that running and lifting is the best style of exercise regardless of your age, gender or fitness goals.
And, this article is going to show you why…
What Are The Benefits Of Running And Lifting?
To put it simply, the benefits of doing cardio and strength training are both effective and addictive.
Once you start to run and lift regularly, you’ll almost immediately shred fat, look more attractive, and feel a lot better about yourself too.
Here’s exactly what will happen once you begin running and lifting on a regular basis:
Benefit #1. You’ll lose weight
Running helps you burn calories, which makes it easier for you to maintain a caloric deficit, and ultimately lose weight.
Lifting weights or doing bodyweight exercises will help you replace fat with lean muscle. So, strength training essentially makes you appear more muscular and toned.
Benefit #2. You’ll look really good
Running helps you keep a low body fat percentage, which most people find really attractive.
Strength training will give you attractive muscle tone, make you feel incredibly more confident, and help you look better in clothes.
I rely mostly on strength training to shape my body. But, when you combine strength training with running, you’ll get the cumulative benefits of both weight loss and muscle gain. That’s when you’ll truly start to look amazing.
Benefit #3. Your mental state will improve
Cardio exercise is one of Mother Nature’s greatest natural drugs. Doing cardio is absolutely amazing for your brain and cardiovascular system.
Running releases endorphins in the brain, reduces stress, fights against depression, and generally makes you feel awesome.
Doing strength training exercises will also help you stay mentally fit, feel more energized, and think more clearly.
If you aren’t running and strength training regularly, then you’re missing out on a powerful and natural way to make your life a lot better.
How To Achieve Your Fitness and Lifestyle Goals With Running and Lifting
For the best results possible, your workout routine needs to be customized according to your body, lifestyle and personal goals.
Everyone has a unique end goal that they want to achieve through exercise. So, your workouts have to be tweaked according to the goals that you want to achieve.
With that being said, most people do share similar goals when it comes to running and strength training.
These are the most common goals that people want to achieve with running and lifting, along with some important tips to help you reach your goals:
Common Fitness Goal #1. You Want to Look great
The vast majority of people who run and strength train want to look great.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this…
To use strength training and cardio to look great, you’ll basically want to maintain a low body fat percentage. Yes, it really is that simple.
It’s been proven that having a low body fat percentage is one of the most attractive features that someone can have.
However, keep in mind that men and women look best at different percentages of body fat.
To look your absolute best, you’ll want to have a body fat percentage that’s somewhere in between the ‘Athletes’ and ‘Fitness’ ranges (from the table above).
I personally don’t want to rock 6% body fat. So, I’m perfectly content with being at the high end of the ‘Athletes’ category.
Let’s assume that achieving 13% body fat is an ideal goal for millions of other men out there – just like me. I think this is an attainable goal for just about any guy. And best of all, you don’t have to suffer through any obscene diets or workouts to get to 13% body fat either.
If you’re a woman, you’ll probably want to aim for about 20% body fat to achieve an awesome physique.
How to Achieve This Goal (Look Great):
To achieve low body fat and look great, you’ll ultimately want to eat a clean diet (very little carbs and sugar), run at least 4x per week, and strength train at least 4x a week as well.
It does take persistence to get a great body. But, it isn’t hard work by any means. You’ll actually start to enjoy the process of doing cardio and strength training after just a few weeks. Plus, once you start to see real results, you’ll never want to go back to living an unhealthy, inactive lifestyle ever again.
Common Fitness Goal #2. You Want to Get Get Strong
Remember how I mentioned that plenty of professional athletes use cardio and strength training exercises to compete at elite levels? I wasn’t kidding…
When you run and lift, you can get really strong if you like.
Of course, to get strong, you’ll want to focus a bit more on strength training than cardio. But, both are still very important.
How to Achieve This Goal (Get Strong):
To get strong with running and lifting, you’ll want to focus mostly on strength training, while doing some light cardio a few times per week to maintain flexibility. If you don’t want to run, you can do box jumps, bodyweight squats, or some other form of cardio exercise that gets your body moving.
I recommend dedicating 70% of your exercise time towards strength training, and 30% towards cardio.
You could do 5 sessions of intense strength training each week, along with 2-3 weekly sessions of light cardio.
Common Fitness Goal #3. Get healthy and happy
There’s a reason why doctors, therapists, acupuncturists and various other medical professionals all recommend intense exercise as a natural anti-depressant.
It’s because exercise simply works.
This is actually the main reason why I run and lift so much (besides wanting to look great).
I want to feel happy, energized, and at my best 24/7!
The good news is that you can easily join the fun, and feel happy and healthy all the time just like me.
How to Achieve This Goal (Get Healthy and Happy):
To feel all-around healthier and happier, you’ll want to dedicate most of your time to running or doing another form of cardio. But, it’s still important to do strength training exercises as well.
By this point, it shouldn’t be too surprising that running makes people feel amazing. Running has been shown to fight depression, kill stress, and boost your mood. It’s an amazing form of athletic therapy.
So, make a commitment to run at least 4 or 5 times each week. But, make sure to lift weights or do body weight exercises at least twice per week as well, since keeping your body physically strong also provides great mental benefits.
Common Fitness Goal #4. Have it all
What I love about running and strength training is that it can deliver all of the results that you want.
If you want to stay lean, look great, feel good, and enjoy a higher quality of life, then running and lifting can do all of these things for you.
How to Achieve This Goal (Have it All):
The beauty of choosing to run and lift is that you can adjust this style of exercise to fit your lifestyle.
So, you can create the ideal ‘blend’ of cardio and strength training that works best for you.
Whether you want to run and lift three times a week, or seven times a week, is entirely up to you.
The most important thing is that you start doing it today, and don’t give up.
How Running and Lifting Will Change Your Life (If You Let It)
By now, you should hopefully have a good idea of how running and strength training can change your life in some pretty big ways.
I’m confident that if you choose to eat a good diet, run, lift, and supplement properly, you’ll be able to:
- Lose weight
- Look amazing
- Get strong
- Feel great
- Think more clearly
- Accomplish any other goals that you may have
This exercise is something that’s totally changed my outlook on life.
If you can make running and lifting a habit in your own life, I know that it will change your life too.