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Running & Calisthenics Vs. Weight Training

author image Jeremie Guy
Jeremie Guy has been a certified personal trainer since 2011, but has been active in gyms and athletics since he could walk. His articles have appeared on a number of websites, and he ghostwrites part time. During the summer of 2013 he rode a bicycle from Providence, R.I., to Seattle, Wa.
Running & Calisthenics Vs. Weight Training
A man and woman are training in a gym together. Photo Credit: Dutko/iStock/Getty Images

Regular exercise is the key to unlocking a healthy lifestyle, but your specific goals will determine the type of training you will find most effective. Running, calisthenics and weight training all burn calories, improve strength and increase muscular endurance, but each of them can have higher benefits in the respective categories.

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Running Burns Calories

Running burns more calories than calisthenics and weight training. If you weigh 160 pounds, you will burn approximately 15 calories every minute you run, compared to around 9 calories for a minute of weight lifting. Similar ratios are true if you weigh more or less than 160 pounds. Many calisthenics cross over into the cardiovascular category, so they can also burn more calories than weight training.

Weight Training Adds Strength

Lifting weights challenges the muscles beyond their normal activity. Upon recovery, the challenged muscles grow stronger, and sometimes larger than they were before. Using machines or dumbbells can help concentrate on one muscle at a time, which is not possible with some calisthenics. Though calisthenics can also challenge muscles in similar ways to weighted exercises, the strength potential is far greater with weights. With calisthenics you are limited to how much you weigh.

Calisthenics Increases Endurance and Flexibility

Exercises that use your body weight for resistance can help improve endurance by challenging the muscles through repetition. Since weights are not attached, many calisthenics improve flexibility by allowing the body to move naturally. Calisthenics like pushups and pullups boast significant strength gains, so lifting weights is not the only way to increase strength. If you prefer calisthenics but the exercises become too easy, try slowing down the time it takes you to complete each rep.

Safety Tips and Consideration

Stay hydrated with plenty of water.
Stay hydrated with plenty of water. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Always warm up before exercising and stretch after your warm up. Drink plenty of fluids, and when you’re finished working out, cool down and stretch again. Weighted exercises and calisthenics should be performed properly at all times, and keeping the correct form throughout your sets is crucial to remaining injury-free. If you cannot continue an exercise with the same form you started with, stop and take a breather.

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