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Running and Bodybuilding: Is it a Good Idea to Mix Them?



Running and Bodybuilding: Is it a Good Idea to Mix Them?

       There are many beginner bodybuilders who think about running as an effective way to gain muscle mass faster. Meanwhile, there is another category of bodybuilders who find jogging harmful and do not suggest to include it in your workout program. We will try to find out which one is right, and to see if jogging gives to bodybuilders benefits or only harm. Or can we do Running and bodybuilding at the same time?

      When burning fat, automatically we lose muscle mass too while building muscle mass is impossible without adding fat. This is a fact, and you have to agree with this. So, it seems that running, mercilessly burn calories, is not useful for bodybuilders.

      But if look closely, we find out that it helps not just burn extra pounds, but also gain muscle mass quickly. How? Simply, running greatly accelerates metabolism, being a natural anabolic. From this point of view, we can say that running and bodybuilding together is good and running is a good assistant for bodybuilders and cannot do any harm.

      But it is not as simple, as it may seem at first glance. It is very true that running slowly destroys muscle fibers. And if you run too much then you damage your muscle mass significantly.  That’s why if you tend to combine bodybuilding and running, you need to know and follow certain rules. Performing aerobic exercise requires a lot of energy, the main source of it being carbohydrates.

      So, if you want to lose weight by running you should reduce the intake of carbohydrates. At this moment body takes energy from its natural resources, namely, it begins to burn fat. Meanwhile, you should also increase the amount of protein in the diet to reduce the loss of muscle fibers.

Must ReadIncorporating The Correct Diet Plan That Complements Your Bodybuilding Cycle!

        If you intend to use running as a natural anabolic you have, on the contrary, increase the intake of carbohydrates and, therefore, reserves of energy in the body. There is no need to increase the amount of protein. Following this method doesn’t make your fat layer thinner, but the effectiveness of strength training will significantly increase. Also, running develop endurance, that is body recover faster.

        When running are eliminating active toxins and leveled metabolism. Also, more oxygen enters cells of the body (including the muscles and the brain). This has a positive effect on the muscles and central nervous system, particularly in parts of the brain.

      An improved work of central nervous system means resistance to stress, faster recovery, low risk of injury and overtraining, and a better muscle growth. In order to accelerate the muscle grow is required an increase in muscle activity and the number of mitochondria. And aerobic movements perfectly fit this goal. Growth in the size and number of mitochondria leads to increased muscle reserves and provides an additional impetus to their development.

      Like other cyclical exercise running greatly develops body endurance. Also, running strengthens the cardiovascular and respiratory system, making them work at full capacity, which also has a positive effect on metabolism and blood circulation.

Building endurance through running gives significant advantages.

Here they are:

  • Help you to train with a greater impact, and feel confident in your abilities. Also, the recovery period after training is shorter than usual. Thus, running allows to increase the intensity of your workouts, work with bigger weights and speed up the muscle growth.
  • While running regular loads cause the body to burn calories, processing fat reserves into energy needed for recuperation. This leads to an improvement of body relief.
  • Leg muscles can be greatly worked through running. When doing heavy basic exercises for legs are involved mainly large muscles and smaller drop out of the work, which leads to their underdevelopment. Running includes in work these muscle fibers, which in result would be involved in the heavy exercise. Working with bigger weights force the large muscles to grow.
  • Running is good for cutting. There are many workout programs for this purpose, but most of them are very strenuous. If you want to follow an easier one than choose running.

      Running gives the advantage that can not be achieved through strength training, namely creates a kind of balance. Treadmill running has a positive effect on the heart, but can not get it to work at full capacity. As you see bodybuilding and running can be combined, but you have to clearly know what purpose you have added the last one to your training program.

       Along with this, you have to take into consideration the body type you belong to. The somatotype defines the general training, not only in the gym but also outside it. This is the case when bodybuilder resort to various training combinations, like bodybuilding and running.

       Along with this, there is another important aspect that has to be taken into consideration too. It is about body type. Knowing your body type helps you to combine training with running with the greatest efficiency.

running and bodybuilding

       As you know there are three main types of body: endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph. Ectomorphs have almost no benefits if choose to combine these two types of activities. Running is great for reducing the thickness of the fat layer, but ectomorph has not it.

        On the other hand, running is an aerobic exercise, during which work mainly, slow twitch muscle fibers. This type of muscle fiber is worked during weight training but in a lower degree. This means, that ectomorphs by combining jogging and bodybuilding can quickly and efficiently build muscle through a full load every single muscle fibers and thus make the muscle grow.

Three Type of Body 

#1. Ectomorph:

           Ectomorphs have to choose to run in days free of training since only such a schedule will give a great result.

         So, the main thing to retain for ectomorph is done not jogging on the same day with training, otherwise, your muscles will not have time to recover, and this may lead to overtraining. Also, choose to run on the slow tempo, since an accelerate one affect the fast fibers and burn glycogen, which make the recovery period longer. You can choose to add additional load when running like belts or something else.
The frequency of running when training in the gym has to be no more than twice a week.

Related Article: Ectomorph Somatic Type

#2. Endomorph:


      Endomorph is advised to enjoy running right after training in the gym. When working with weights muscle stores glycogen, and while jogging it begins to burn fat for energy. Also, is important to follow a rapid tempo of running, since this leads to a significant acceleration of the metabolism for the next 24 hours.

       It is very important how you schedule running and training in the gym. Choosing to run in the morning, and training in the evening is not a good idea. The best would be to do them both in the first part of the day. If it seems impossible for you, choose something else but following the rule of preceding the running with weight training.

        Combining jogging and bodybuilding greatly works for mesomorphs. This will be a good method to simultaneously improve strength and endurance while working all group of muscles.  For more benefits mesomorphs have to run on a slow tempo, alternating alternate days of training in the gym with running.

          Be very careful to your knees. If you do squats followed by running than your knees get much load, and this means the high risk of injury. This risk is especially available in cases of endomorphs and ectomorphs.

That’s why ectomorphs to run no more than 25 minutes and do 2 sets x 5 reps of squats. Endomorphs can run bit longer, up to 45 minutes. But they also have to limit the number of sets for squats to two, lowering the weight they used to work with.

Must Read Our Article: Characteristics of Endomorph Body Type

#3. Mesomorph:


         Mesomorphs are not actually the subject of any risk, thus they can enjoy running while working in the gym with maximum benefits for their bodies.

       So to answer the question about how effective is running for building muscle mass we can say that running itself doesn’t give you an increase in muscle mass. But it is very useful when it is combined with gym workout as it is a great natural anabolic, helping the muscle to grow.

        However, in your attempt to build massive muscle mass the accent should be on training, and the on running. Enjoy running as something additional. If you choose to do it more seriously than it can damage you. Along with this, pay a big attention to your body type and build your workout program based on your characteristics.

Checkout Our Article: Mesomorph Body Type: Training and Diet



  1. steve

    February 14, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Simply leaving behind an instant remark to state i needed a good time reading
    your blog and want to study much more in the future.

  2. waheed

    March 13, 2014 at 6:36 am

    is running good for body building.

  3. Linein

    April 20, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Yo, i would like to know, what would be the max limit in miles for running for endomorph or ectomorhp while lifting wheigts 3x per week? and running 3x times also

  4. F Kyle

    May 13, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    It all depends on your weight . Consult a doctor or a personal trainer. 😉

  5. jones

    June 18, 2015 at 6:38 am

    i had alot of difficulties when i started with my workout.thanks you milk who help me out with both prescription and nutrition to help me realized my dreams without any problem.any one with similar problem can ask him.

  6. Kaushik Adhikary

    January 10, 2020 at 10:39 am

    Hi admin,this article really helps me is very helpful.

  7. Erika Mohssen-Beyk

    March 2, 2020 at 5:42 am

    I think it is good to mix, because it makes more flexible and deep breathing in fresh air is always good.
    Interesting post.
    Thank you

  8. kamal daimary

    April 7, 2020 at 5:56 am

    Simply leaving behind an instant remark to state i needed a good time reading
    your blog and want to study much more in the future.
    Thank you

  9. [email protected]

    April 7, 2020 at 6:00 am

    Yo, i would like to know, what would be the max limit in miles for running for endomorph or ectomorhp while lifting wheigts 3x per week? and running 3x times also

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