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By supplementing my running with working additional muscle groups, can I increase my metabolism? I'm thinking of doing about 30 situps 30 pushups before running and gradually building up. I might add some additional weight/core training in the mix.

Lets say for arguments sake I burn 25 calories doing these exercises. Will the 25 calories applied to different muscle groups increase my metabolism any moreso then if I had just burned 25 calories by doing more running? Is working different muscles any better then just using the same muscles over-and-over?

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How often and how long do you run? And why do you want an increased metabolism? –  Ivo Flipse Mar 21 '11 at 23:06
    
@Ivo, 5 km most mornings. Just to maintain general fitness and prevent weight gain. –  Doug T. Mar 22 '11 at 0:52
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I agree with everything md5sum says but there are a few thing's I'd add.

What the link points out is that, while aerobic exercise burns more calories during the exercise (and soon afterward), the anaerobic exercise continues to burn calories well after the exercise (up to 38 hours) because your body uses a lot of energy during recovery (reversing the residual affects of the anaerobic exercise).

It's important to know how to distinguish between aerobic/anaerobic exercise. Check out this heart rate chart.

Heart Rate Chart

Note: Image from the Wikimedia Commons and falls under CC-SA license

So, take this chart as a generic guideline, not fact. Your VO2 Max will increase as you get into better shape and you're probably better off than this chart states if you're in good shape.

What you're targeting is the Anaerobic zone. Anaerobic workouts are basically intense workouts that push your body beyond the ability to provide energy just through normal aerobic metabolism. I'm talking about lifting weights, sprinting, hard cardio, etc...

So, if you're just going for maximum calorie burning, it shouldn't really matter whether you do running alone or mix it up with other high intensity exercises (like push-ups) as long as you're pushing yourself up into that anaerobic zone.

I say this because running works out a lot more muscles (especially your core) than just your legs; and so do exercises like push-ups (triceps, shoulders, core, etc...).

If you're doing running, focus on short interval hard sprints. For push-ups and lifting weights, minimize the resting time between exercises (30-45 seconds instead of 3-5 minutes). Also, doing fewer repetitions at a higher intensity is better (like 3 sets of 5 at higher weight instead of 2 sets of 10 at lower weight).

It's not so much what you workout but how you do your workout.

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Not much to add, just that running with small weights like these XCO ones will workout your upper body (a little bit) as well and increase your heart rate while running at the same speed. Win-Win if you ask me! –  Ivo Flipse Mar 22 '11 at 12:12
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Using more and different muscles will cause you to burn more calories and will increase your Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Burn (EPOC). I would definitely advise you to work your entire body, and not just running. I work my upper body every other day and work my legs and run on the days between.

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+1 awesome link. –  Evan Plaice Mar 21 '11 at 20:53
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