3 reasons why jogging doesn’t work

Jogging (any other type of long, slow distance exercise) is not an optimal training method. It can be downright bad for you. That’s where I said it. Here’s why.

1. Looking good doesn’t help you (that’s a big question, isn’t it?)

Time for more honesty… the number one reason people want to start an exercise program is to look good. Nothing wrong with that.

Surely most people don’t want to look like a professional bodybuilder, they just want to look toned. I would guess that an ideal “toned” body for most people would be something like the bodies of those models in a health magazine like Men’s Health or Shape.

Now for the reality check… how many people who jog (check out the treadmills at gyms or the jogger on the street) look like these cover models? That’s right, not many (if any!). In fact, most joggers look tired, bored, and unhappy (oops, that’s just their faces). Their bodies look soft, jiggly and not particularly impressive.

“Oh, but maybe they’re just getting started”. Look at the people who have a jogging routine. Same people, same distance, same location, same gym, etc. Check them out 3 months or even 12 months later. Yes indeed. Same appearance or even thicker! I would guess that we all want RESULTS for our hard work. This is fair! But that’s not what jogging offers.

What do most people need to look better than they do now? 2 simple things. More muscle (yes, even women – in all the right places) and less fat. Scientific studies and real-world evidence tell us that jogging does neither. Without getting too science-nerd-geeky (which I actually enjoy), here are some results from those studies. These results can be seen empirically both by you in your friends who jog and by me in my clients who used to jog before they found out the truth.

Finding A: Jogging does not contribute more to fat loss than a good diet. Eating healthy is great for fat loss. Jogging adds NOTHING. Shocker!! That’s less than 10 minutes a week. It’s 30-50 minutes 3 times a week! More than most joggers.

Result B: Jogging does not contribute to muscle building. Jogging puts your entire body into “starvation mode.” The body thinks “I’m lost in the jungle, that’s why I jog so much to find my way out”. What’s the best way to survive in the jungle? It’s about consuming as few calories as possible so that we can live on less food. How do we achieve this? Your body commands its calories by shedding parts. Only muscle burns calories! Oops, there goes your fat-burning, calorie-scavenging, good-looking muscles.

So far, jogging is zero out of two points in the good rating. And it gets even worse! As you jog, you become more and more efficient while jogging. Fuel efficiency is good. Efficiency in jogging to look good is bad! That means you’ll burn LESS calories as you get “better” at your jog. Oh no! The reality is you have to run farther and longer just to burn the same amount of calories as you used to. Not only does this mean that jogging doesn’t work, it also works the other way around!

2. Jogging doesn’t help you in the “game” of life

OK more real life. I just got back from my service in the Army Reserve. All men in Singapore must render this service to our nation. I’m an army engineer. We build stuff and we blow stuff up. In our training, we NEVER had to jog to be successful on our missions. All of our critical tasks were force-related. At no point would jogging have helped either my husbands or me to successfully complete these tasks.

When was the last time you had to get up and run 10km? Never? Yes, me neither. But just like my army story, real life is about strength! Carrying a growing child is a task of strength. Changing a car tire, moving furniture, carrying groceries, sprinting behind the bus when you’re late, climbing the stairs when the elevator is crowded—this list can get very long.

Another consideration in real life is posture. Most people have bad posture. We hang around way too much because we spend a lot of time on computers at work and school. This can cause headaches, neck pain, and back pain (in addition to not looking as good as we could). Unfortunately, this head-first stance is efficient for picking up oxygen while jogging, and many joggers do it. So jogging makes a bad situation even worse!

This next point is sobering. I’ve spent some time helping out at a place where older people gather for social support and to play simple games. It was very clear that the happy and healthy elderly were the ones who were strong, mobile and able to fend for themselves unaided. I could tell from the handshake who was still in good shape and who was in poor health. I want to be strong to my last breath and I trust you will too.

The game of life is long. And many older people are bedridden or immobile due to debilitating health conditions. Guess what, aerobic capacity isn’t a huge determinant of our quality of life as we age. 2 major factors in the quality of life of older people are leg strength and grip strength. These are indicators of lower and upper body strength and power (strength, and especially strength, is quickly lost if we don’t train specifically for it as we age). These are maintained through resistance training, not slow jogging. Many older people are immobilized as a result of falls and accidents that result from lack of strength, not because they ran out of air climbing stairs.

3. Jogging isn’t great for your health

There’s a saying I like: “You don’t run to get fit, you get fit to run”. It’s true, more than half of all people who start a jogging program sustain an injury within 6 weeks. That’s higher than most contact or high-risk sports like rugby, American football, or auto racing!

First, there is the issue of foot strength. Most people wear shoes all day and have weak feet as a result. Ankle, heel, and sole injuries like plantar faciatis are common because most people’s feet aren’t ready to take the pounding.

Let’s go to the knees. Each foot strike has an impact of 3-6 times body weight. It all depends on the running mechanics, the shoe and the running surface. 3 times is a low estimate. Often we have bad mechanics, poorly chosen shoes and overly hard surfaces. Combine this with poor technique and muscle firing (again, caused by poor posture and an inactive lifestyle) and the knees take more than their fair share of impact. For women, their naturally wider hips and less-than-ideal biomechanics mean knee problems are even more common among joggers.

Poor pelvic alignment means that even your lower back takes too much of the impact of the floor. With proper training, rehab, and changes in your exercise routine, these problems not only go away, but you get great results (ie, look great and are pain free).

So what can we do? Well, I always suggest sprints (fast striding or faster) to my more experienced clients. Or sprints on a stationary bike for the ladies and less experienced customers. These are carried out at intervals, e.g. B. 30 seconds running/sprinting. 90 seconds walk. These are easy on our joints (running fast is hard on our muscles, not our joints, and there’s less shock overall) and deliver great results (so results again! They matter!).

Jogging is certainly better than watching TV or surfing the Internet all day. But it’s really quite a small benefit compared to the potential risks. There are far better alternatives like sprint biking, fast running (if you’re a well-conditioned athlete), and total-body resistance training with short rest intervals. All of these alternatives offer far greater benefits than jogging, take less time (VERY important for long-term success), and are more fun (also important for long-term success).


I hope joggers don’t take this article as a personal attack. I certainly don’t mean it like that. It’s just that in a fast-paced culture (with so little time to exercise) and with the current level of inactivity, obesity, and other lifestyle-related health issues, we can’t afford to do anything less than an optimal workout . Even if we are blessed with plenty of time, why should we do anything less than ideal! Off the treadmill and into a well thought out resistance and interval training program.

Thanks to Jon Wong | #reasons #jogging #doesnt #work

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