If You Hate Running but Still Want to Lose Weight, We Have Some Good News


If you've read anything about losing weight over the past few decades (and odds are, if you're reading this article, you have), then you've probably come across the conventional wisdom that cardio is necessary for burning calories and revving up your weight loss. One of the most popular forms of cardio is running; the treadmills at the gym are always packed, boutique fitness classes such as Orangetheory Fitness and Barry's Bootcamp have popularized running intervals, and half-marathons are more popular than ever.

But as much as running has been hyped for weight loss, it's certainly not the only activity you need to do to shed fat and get in shape. "Effective weight loss involves both cardio and resistance training," registered dietitian and ACSM-certified personal trainer Jim White, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, told POPSUGAR.

How to Exercise For Weight Loss

So while running is a great form of cardio, it's not the only type of cardio activity that will help you meet your goals. "Cardio would be the activities that get your heart rate up, such as walking, swimming, biking, elliptical, and jumping rope," Jim said. So as long as an activity gets your heart rate up, ideally 50 to 85 percent of your max heart rate, which is 220 bpm, it counts as a good cardio workout.

But it's not just cardio that will help you lose weight; strength training is important, too. Jim explained that resistance training is bodyweight training, lifting weights, using weight machines, or moves you would do in a fitness class, like squats. "Resistance training builds endurance and muscle," he explained. "Since muscle is the engine that burns calories when you are resting, your body can still continue to burn calories for hours after strength training."

Cardio helps you burn calories and create a calorie deficit, but it's more of a short-term activity. Strength training is more like an investment: as you burn calories during exercise, you also continue to burn more calories at rest. Armen T. Ghazarians, ACSM-certified personal trainer and CEO of Finish Fit, recommends strength training three to five times a week for weight loss, ideally at a high intensity. He added that building muscle will help you burn body fat.

How to Eat For Weight Loss

So great, you don't need to run to lose weight. But exercise is just part of the equation; weight loss requires that you eat in a calorie deficit. To find out how many calories you should eat a day to lose weight, use this formula. Jim said that while cardio may put you in a calorie deficit, it's more of a short-term solution, since strength training will help you build muscle and burn more calories at rest.

In general, your diet should also be dialed in. Scarlet Full, RDN, Director of Nutrition and Research at Axiom Foods, said that you should eat mostly whole foods and limit processed packaged foods. And while you should limit junk food, you don't need to cut it out entirely (everything in moderation!) - just make sure your diet is mostly a lot of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. She also added that protein is important for weight loss because it will keeping you feeling full and satisfied. Plus, with strength training and working out, eating protein will help you build the lean muscle to burn more calories at rest. To find out exactly how much protein you should be eating to meet your goals, use this equation.

Get More Defined, Stronger Abs With This Sculpting Bodyweight Exercise

Getting your abs to show isn't as simple as finding a magical lantern and telling a genie you want abs. Ultimately, you're going to need to eat really clean (I don't make the rules), lower your body fat percentage (this number will be different for everyone), and do core-sculpting exercises.

A great core-sculpting exercise that will leave you sore after about five reps is the glider knee tuck with a pike. It requires a lot of stability, and will leave you shaking after your first set.

How to Do a Glider Knee Tuck and Pike

  • Start in plank position with a glider underneath each foot. If you don't have gliders, you can use a towel on a hard surface to perform this exercise.
  • Engage your core and bring both knees in toward your elbows. With control, return to the starting position. Then, raise your hips as high as they can go. Your core should be engaged and your back should be in a neutral position throughout the entire movement.
  • This counts as one rep. Complete three sets of 10 reps.

Get a Head Start on Your 2019 Fitness Goals With This 20-Minute Strengthening Workout

There's nothing wrong with taking time to yourself and skipping a workout or two. If you would describe your holiday season as "doing the most" and are ready to get back into a fitness routine, ease your way into it with this simple strengthening workout.

This total-body workout takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, and it can be done anywhere - great for avoiding the gym mayhem. Do it solo or grab a friend to join you.

The Workout

Don't forget to warm up before starting the workout. You'll perform this workout as a circuit, meaning you'll take little to no rest in between each exercise. Once you've completed all five exercises, take 90 seconds of rest and then repeat it for a total of five rounds.

  • Side elbow plank with a twist: 10 reps on each side
  • Side lunge to curtsy squat: 12 reps on each side
  • Basic push-up: 12 reps
  • Reverse lunge with a knee drive: 12 reps on each side
  • Mountain climber: 15 reps

This Expert Explains How to Exercise For Long-Term Weight Loss, and It Makes So Much Sense


You know losing weight is a concentrated effort and a lifestyle change: you have to eat healthier and in a calorie deficit, exercise, get plenty of sleep, and reduce stress. But even if you do all of the above, you still may be confused as to what type of exercise you should be doing. Isn't cardio supposed to rev up calorie burn and torch fat? But wait - doesn't strength training also build lean muscle and burn calories at rest? Which one is best?

According to personal trainer and registered dietitian Jim White, ACSM, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, it's important to incorporate both cardio and strength training if you want to lose weight and keep it off for good. And while you probably knew this already, the way he explains it totally changed the way we thought about working out for long-term weight loss.

"The reason for needing both cardio and resistance training in your exercise routine is the way your body burns calories long-term," he told POPSUGAR. "Running is like a debit account (you would create a calorie deficit, but that deficit is a one-time transaction), whereas resistance training is like getting a payout from an investment account (the calories you burn during your exercise continue even after your workout ends)."

So while cardio burns calories as you do it, resistance training (such as lifting weights, bodyweight moves, or using resistance bands) helps build lean muscle in your body, which will burn more calories at rest.

For weight loss, Jim recommends 300 minutes (five hours) of cardio a week. That doesn't have to be intense cycling classes or running laps; it can be as simple as walking more or shoveling snow - anything that gets your heart rate up. You should aim to strength train at least two days a week. Looking for a good place to start? Here are our best cardio workouts and some strength-training exercises to get you on track.

I’m a Trainer, and This Is the Move You Should Do to Strengthen Your Abs and Arms at Once

I'm all about efficient workouts and exercises, which is why the glider knee tuck and push-up has become one of my go-to moves. The push-up will help you improve your upper-body strength, and the knee tuck targets your abdominal muscles. You don't need to do many reps to feel your muscles working, which is another reason why I love it.

Add this exercise into your next bodyweight workout or use it to activate your core and arms before starting your workout.

How to Do a Knee Tuck With Push-Up

  • Start in a plank position with a glider underneath each foot. If you don't have gliders, you can use a towel on a hard surface to perform this exercise.
  • Engage your core and bring both knees in, toward your elbows. With control, return to the starting position. Then, do a push-up. Your core should be engaged and your back should be in a neutral position throughout the entire movement.
  • This counts as one rep.
  • Complete three sets of 10 reps.

Get the Most Out of Your Workouts by Following This Celeb Trainer’s Advice

There are a lot of nuances that go into making a great workout. You've got to consider things like reps, sets, weight, rest time, the phase you're training in, and what the end result is. Like we said, there are a lot of nuances.

To help improve your workouts, we spoke to Gunnar Peterson, NSCA, CSCS, and MitoQ partner. Gunnar told POPSUGAR that you should train in all planes of motion to really get the most out of your sessions. He explained the three planes like this: "Sagittal, which is moving forward or backward; frontal, which is side to side; and transverse, which is rotating."

Most people tend to train in the sagittal plane - think reverse lunges and bicep curls. This isn't terrible, but Gunnar did advise doing more movements in the frontal plane with exercises like lateral lunges and lateral arm raises. He also recommends doing more exercises in the transverse plane, such as a rotational ball slam and the low to high woodchop. Why are these planes so important? Because, "Your life is in all those planes," Gunnar said.

When you rotate to put your seat belt on or grab something from the backseat, you're moving in the transverse plane. When you sit down on your couch to catch up on your favorite reality TV show, you're moving in the sagittal plan. When slide to the middle of the train (as you should!) to make more room, that's moving in the frontal plane.

The next time you hit the gym, be sure to include these three planes of motion in your workout.

The Push-Up Variation You Need to Start Doing For Stronger, More Defined Arms

Push-ups are one of the most well-known strength exercises, and they're also one of the hardest to do. With that being said, I'm challenging you to up the ante of your push-up skills with this strengthening and stabilizing variation. If you're still working on perfecting your push-up, no worries. There's a modification for beginners.

The single-arm glider push-up is harder than a traditional push-up because it requires you to really stabilize your core and upper body as you put a majority of your weight onto one arm. If this sounds enticing and you're up for a challenge, continue reading.

Start Doing This Exercise If You Want Stronger, More Defined Lower Abs

Strengthening my abs is one of the most important parts of my training. Not because I want to show off my hard work on a beach in Bali, but because I want to prevent injuries. I learned the hard way how important core strength and stability are when I injured my back and spent a lot of money on physical therapy.

During my physical therapy sessions, I learned that my core - specifically my transverse abdominis - was weak and unstable, which meant my back was paying for it. Since getting injured, I've stepped up my core-strengthening game, and let me tell you, it's made all the difference.

One move that I like to do for strong abs is the hanging bicycle. It targets your rectus abdominis (aka the six-pack muscles), but you'll really feel it in the lower part of your rectus abdominis (aka your "lower abs").

How to Do a Hanging Bicycle

  • Start by hanging on a pull-up bar with palms facing out, or use the ab straps and hang with your arms inside of them. Use a box or bench if you need help reaching the bar.
  • Pull your shoulder blades down your back to keep your shoulders away from your ears.
  • Engage your abs as you bring your left knee up to your chest (or as high as it can go) with control. As you lower your left knee, repeat the same motion on the right side. This counts as one rep.
  • Without swinging, continue to cycle your legs. Complete two sets of 15 reps.

This Trainer’s 4-Move Bodyweight Workout Is a “Killer Booty Burner” – You Can Do It Anywhere

The next time you find yourself thinking, "I don't have time to go to the gym," we want you to reference this workout by NASM-certified trainer Kelsey Wells. It's a low-impact, bodyweight workout that doesn't take long to do, which means you have no excuse for not training.

These exercises will activate your glute muscles, help you prevent injury, and you'll get that extra "burn" in your muscles by doing them. We hope you're ready for your glutes to be on fire!

The Low-Impact Bodyweight Workout

Kelsey said you can add these exercises into your routine as part of your warmup before a lower-body strength session or as a burnout phase. You can also put these moves together for a quick booty workout. In her caption, Kelsey said to complete four sets of 12 reps for each exercise.

Be sure to check out the video above to see how Kelsey performs each exercise.

I’m a Trainer, and This Total-Body Workout Will Help You Build Muscle and Improve Endurance

As much as I like structure and having a plan when I go to the gym, sometimes I just freestyle my workout. That's exactly how this workout was born. I knew I wanted a strength element, but I didn't want to do typical lifts. Instead, I came up with three moves that would work my entire body and fatigue my muscles. The moves alone are simple, but the intensity and addition of minimal rest make this workout mentally and physically challenging.

How to Do the Three-Move Circuit

Before getting started, be sure to warm up. Here's the warmup I like to do: Take little to no rest between each exercise, and two to three minutes of rest between sets. Complete four sets; this can be modified if necessary.

Be sure to watch the video above to see how to perform each move.