Why People Who Make This Running Mistake Never Lose Weight, According To Trainers

November 8, 2021 by Olivia Avitt
shefinds | Fitness

If you’ve ever tried to start running, odds are you’ve made some mistakes or had injuries here and there. From the outside looking in, running seems as simple as putting on some sneakers and going for it, but it’s actually a lot more complex than that, especially if you want to do it the right way and prevent serious injury. There’s a common misconception that running is the magic ticket for losing weight, that the more intense, grueling workout you do, the quicker you will see results. However, this isn’t necessarily true. We asked Ronnie Lubischer, CSCS, owner of Lubischer’s Burn and Blast Training in West Long Branch, NJ, what some of the most common running mistakes are that he sees as a trainer and fitness expert. 


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While it can be beneficial for some populations, Lubischer says that running is often not the best form of cardio for the average person. “Running is great if you’re a competitive runner or a current performing athlete, but other than that, for most of us, it is the most singular non-beneficial form of cardio to the human body in terms of structural breakdown (joint, ligaments, tendons, etc.), muscle breakdown, overuse injuries, and general deconditioning.” If you are a newcomer to the fitness world and simply trying to build endurance, get active, and promote overall health, running may not be the most productive thing. 

However, if you enjoy running and want to keep doing it, it’s important to know the common mistakes to avoid. According to Lubischer, one of the biggest running mistakes you can make is doing too much of it. “Over my career I’ve seen tons of overuse injuries due to overdoing cardio. These injuries often are but are not limited to; shin splints, turf toe, tendinitis, hairline fractures, and strains just to name a few.” Beyond injury, intense amounts of cardio, like running, can cause muscle waste, or the loss of muscle, which deconditions the body and is counterproductive to your goals—this could even cause you to gain fat. “Even if your scale weight is going down, your body fat is most likely going up as you are causing a greater imbalance in your muscle to fat ratio by burning the muscle, and not the fat!” 

Lubischer says that if you really want to see results, you should follow the “hit it hard and quit it” mindset, or do shorter amounts of intense cardio. He says that finding a good balance of cardio and strength training is crucial. “I aim for my clients to get anywhere from 3-5 strength training sessions in addition to 3-5 cardio sessions a week; a 1:1 ratio. Furthermore, I prefer my clients to do this in one shot: performing their lifts first, followed by cardio which will help them deplete their glycogen stores. This will in turn give them the propensity to burn more fat during their cardio work while using that glycogen as muscle building fuel during their lift—two birds, one stone.” When it comes to cardio types, Lubischer cites spin, rowing, or even short sprints as good options. HIIT training allows you to yield cardio-respiratory benefits without causing muscle loss or breakdown. 

What type of workout you should do comes down to your personal goals—are you trying to lose weight? Build muscle? Just get moving for your long term heart and respiratory health? Ultimately, going in with the mindset that running is the best and only form of cardio you should be doing, consider trying other options. To avoid injury, find a balance of cardio and strength training, and in some cases, less is more.

Author: Olivia Avitt

Olivia is a writer+content creator that has written about a wide range of subjects including health, beauty, relationships, culture, and music. When she's not working, you can find her perusing coffee shops, reading predictable romance novels, or catching up on reality TV. You can reach her via email at

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