Running and bodybuilding. Harm ... or good?

Beginners of training in bodybuilding are often interested in: how does running reflect on improving muscle building performance, is it effective for gaining weight. Let's try to figure it out. In the sports world there are two, completely opposite points of view on this subject.

So, it’s harmful or useful to run muscle building for a bodybuilder ">

It’s definitely harmful - as supporters of the version of the damage caused by running to an athlete in bodybuilding claim, and their position is argued by the fact that running negatively affects the athlete’s condition, as it is an extraneous load that causes the athlete only to sweat and expel fat, resulting in loss of precious muscle mass. In addition, running takes up a lot of energy, as a result of which the bodybuilder is no longer able to work in the gym, giving all the best to dedication and as a result, the effect of training is significantly reduced.

But there is an opposite opinion, which claims the opposite. According to this version, which supporters of jogging adhere to, running to build muscle is extremely useful. Muscle mass requires sufficient blood supply for moderate exercise, which is just what is achieved in the process of running. Therefore, bodybuilders should add jogging to their mass loads in the gym - it is recommended to run a distance of five to ten kilometers a day. The maximum effect can be achieved if you separate the training and jogging, performing them on different days. Although jogging directly does not increase muscle mass, it will be a rather powerful stimulating factor for this.

Discussions about the compatibility of running with bodybuilding do not subside, remaining a relevant topic to date. At the same time, one can understand the logic of both sides opposing this issue and therefore determine which side the truth so far has failed. Below are various aspects of the impact of jogging on the body of the trainee, on the muscle growth of the bodybuilder, as well as the answer to the question of the appropriateness of jogging in addition to training in the gym.


  • 1 Effect of running on muscle growth
  • 2 What are the benefits of running. The development of endurance.
  • 3 What benefits does the bodybuilder get from this?
  • 4 Running and somatotypes
  • 5 Ectomorphs
  • 6 Endomorphs
  • 7 Mesomorphs
  • 8 knee joints
  • 9 Conclusion

The Impact of Running on Muscle Growth

In the process of getting rid of excess weight, or rather, its fat component, some part of muscle tissue valuable to the athlete is inevitably lost, the building of which again is impossible without gaining fat mass. Thus, it seems that running, inexorably burning kilocalories, a priori can not be useful for a bodybuilder. But, looking at it from a different angle, we can come to the conclusion: jogging can not only remove extra pounds, but also accelerate muscle mass gain.

The fact that aerobic exercise provokes the destruction of muscle fiber is a well-known fact. And for this reason, some athletes refuse them, without even suggesting that aerobic exercise, including jogging, helps to accelerate metabolic processes and, in fact, are the most real natural anabolics. Adhering to this view of running, we can consider it really real help to an athlete who does no harm. However, in reality, not everything is as simple as it seems at first glance.

Exercising really helps to destroy muscle fibers, and if you overdo it without taking certain measures, then for a bodybuilder this can affect muscle loss. In order for the athlete to really benefit from the run and to effectively combine running with bodybuilding, you need to know and adhere to some specific rules. Aerobic exercise requires a large amount of energy, the main supplier of which in the body are carbohydrates. Therefore, if in order to lose weight an athlete performs morning and evening runs, it is necessary to reduce his carbohydrate intake to the maximum so that the body begins to use its natural reserves - fat deposits as fuel. In this case, it is advisable to increase the proportion of protein in the diet in order to avoid loss of muscle fiber.

If an athlete intends to use jogging as a natural anabolic, then he should, on the contrary, increase the amount of carbohydrates in the diet, thereby increasing the body’s energy resources accordingly. The amount of protein can be left unchanged. This is the case when the bodybuilder's fat layer does not decrease, but the effectiveness of his strength training will significantly increase. In addition, jogging contributes to an increase in endurance, which allows the athlete to recover faster after heavy loads.

What are the benefits of jogging? The development of endurance.

Running classes allow the body, along with sweat, to actively remove toxins and toxic substances, and normalize metabolism. Due to the additional supply of oxygen, all cells of the body, including the brain and muscle tissue, are cleaned. This positively affects both the muscles and the central nervous system (central nervous system), especially the brain. A good functioning of the central nervous system implies a smooth functioning of the muscles, high resistance to post-workout stress, more efficient muscle growth, and a decrease in the risk of injuries and overtraining syndrome. Aerobic exercise is extremely effective in accelerating muscle fiber growth, increasing muscle reserves and giving an additional incentive to their development.

Like all other cyclic exercises, running contributes to the maximum development of the general endurance of the body. At the same time, cardiovascular and respiratory systems trained in the load are perfectly strengthened, blood circulation improves, metabolic processes are activated.

What benefits does the bodybuilder get from this "> Running and somatotypes

Knowing now that bodybuilding and running can be combined and, only, it is only necessary to clearly understand the goal of including jogging in the training program, one should also take into account the somatotype (body type) of the trainee. The type of physique determines the general nature of training, both in the gym and outside it in all cases when it comes to various training combinations, including combining bodybuilding with running. Yuri Vlasov spoke about the need to combine bodybuilding exercises with exercises that increase flexibility and endurance.

Regardless of the definition, the somatotype should not even be considered a physique, but a kind of constitutional psychology of the body according to the theory developed by Shelton and Kretschmer. The theory is based on the following - there are three main types of physique, between which there are many different transitional types. According to Shelton and Kretschmer, a certain psychology is inherent in each type of physique, although in terms of bodybuilding this is secondary - the main thing here is that the type of addition of an athlete determines the direction of development of his body and the possibility of its correction. Knowing your own body type allows you to most effectively combine the gym with jogging.


Ectomorphs, also called hard geyners, belong to a thin type of addition. And at first glance it seems that combining strength training with running will not give anything to ectomorphs, given that aerobic exercise is designed to reduce body fat, which slim athletes have virtually no. On the other hand, in the process of running, muscle fibers, which are considered to be “slow”, are mainly involved - these are red fibers densely penetrated by the capillary network. In the same way, but to a lesser extent, intermediate-type fibers between fast and slow (red and white) work when running.

When performing exercises with weights, fast fibers and to a lesser extent intermediate fibers are included in the work. What follows from this "> Endomorphs

Endomorphs are a complete type of body addition. First of all, they were recommended to run with the use of local accelerations, since the result is a noticeable (up to 7%) increase in metabolic rate for 20-24 hours after the end of the running training. It is also important that endomorphs should do a run directly after the gym. During exercises with muscle weights, the entire supply of glycogen is burned and during running the only source of energy is fat deposits, which are effectively consumed during aerobic exercise.

The right timing for running is important. The excess subcutaneous fat burns most well during morning runs, however, if the training in the gym takes place in the evening, then it is not possible to combine it in such a sequence with morning run. The ideal option is to transfer both workouts in the morning. If this is not possible, then there are two more options. The first is to run both in the mornings and in the evenings after strength training, which is an undoubted plus for the endomorph, but it happens that it is not always possible to realize this. The second option is to do morning jogging on days free from strength training, and on days of strength training running only after it. The post-training run does not have to be accompanied by local accelerations, only you have to run every day.


Combining running with bodybuilding for the mesoform (athletic type of body composition) means getting an excellent opportunity to comprehensively develop the body - strength at the same time as endurance. The athletic type is recommended to run without acceleration, in a single rhythm, as a result of which the load falls only on slow fibers, and at the same time there is practically no consumption of glycogen. During strength training, growth occurs mainly of fast fibers, and in running training - slower. For the athletic type, it is advisable to alternate the days of classes on running simulators.

Knee joints

Regardless of belonging to one or another type of body composition, when combining jogging and bodybuilding, you should remember about the health of the knee joints. Squats with a barbell simultaneously performed with running significantly increase the risk of injury, which is most important for “pure” endomorphs and ectomorphs, as well as for an athlete whose constitution occupies an intermediate position between them - all of them are distinguished by the relatively weak development of tendons and muscle tissue.

Therefore, ectoforms are recommended to run for up to 20-25 minutes at a time and perform squats with a maximum weight of two sets, with the number of repetitions of up to five. Endoforms need to do a jogging lasting 40-50 minutes and, combining training in the gym with jogging, in squats it is recommended to reduce the weight of the barbell and perform them in no more than two approaches.

Bodybuilding and running training can only be painlessly combined with mesoforms only, including intermediate types that are close to them, located between them and the other two main somatotypes.


So, we examined all the main aspects of combining strength training in the gym and running training. We know that running training alone will not allow you to build muscle mass, but it will be useful in the training of every bodybuilder, as it is a natural anabolic that promotes and accelerates muscle gain. As a result, it is recommended that all athletes, in addition to strength training, jogging. It goes without saying that the main emphasis should be on strength training. Jogging plays an additional role here, and you should not get too involved in them to avoid harming your health. It is necessary to take into account the type of physique when drawing up the training program, not forgetting about the features of the body processes responsible for the restoration and growth of muscle fibers. The athlete's choice of the correct regime is a guarantee that the athlete will make significant progress for himself by building up high-quality relief muscles.