Running is the Worst Way to Get Fit

Remember, running is only good for “cardio” because it makes you breathe hard, but there are endless ways to do that. Just love to run? Don’t want to give it up? That’s cool, just do it faster. “In many ways, sprinting is safer than running,” says Boyce. “The average person has a lot of muscle imbalances, where muscles on one side of the joint are weaker than muscles on the other side of the joint, so it’s really not the best idea to hammer away at them with long, endurance style running where you’re taking, like, ten thousand strides over a thirty-minute run.”

That leads to chronic pain and imbalances, he explains, while sprinting with good form remedies the problems of running in multiple ways. You take fewer strides overall (so it has less impact on the joints), you move more efficiently, you use more muscles in the body, and it recruits more fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are more involved with building strength and power.

“Fast-twitch muscle fibers will help keep your joints bolstered and strong, so it’s just a better choice overall,” Boyce says. “Plus, you’re going to have more of a fat loss effect from sprinting for the same reasons you get it from weights: You’re doing things that require strength, explosiveness, exertion, and intensity, so your muscles are going to have to work a little bit harder, they’re going to burn more calories, and you’re going to be more metabolic after you finish your workout as well.” That means you continue burning extra calories long after you’ve showered off your gym funk