Fitness Diet Plan
Fitness Diet Plan » Exercise » How to Build Muscle with Running

How to Build Muscle with Running

Published: 07.08.2021
Reading time: 37 minutes

Running for gaining muscle mass is an activity that is the subject of much debate. Many renowned athletes believe that running does not help but also harms muscle gain during the mass-gaining phase.

The only argument against running to gain muscle is that excessive physical activity slows down the process during weight gain. Running burns calories, causing an athlete who runs to gain strength slower than an athlete who ignores running.

We will break down that statement and tell you how you should run to gain muscle mass.

Running and testosterone

Muscle mass recruitment is all about high testosterone levels. The primary male sex hormone plays a paramount role in weight gain. Testosterone is high - muscles grow without significant strain. Low test - muscles do not increase even from the best programs.

Recent studies have proven that running can increase testosterone levels by about 30%. Not directly, but through increased testosterone levels, running can grow muscle mass.

High testosterone levels are also:

  • Increased masculinity. Increases the pain threshold so the athlete can perform more reps in strength training.
  • Increased energy. Ability to do more work in the power part of the training.
  • Reduced fatigue. Due to the high testosterone level, a man reaches the limits he could never have dreamed of before.
  • Improved appearance. The face and figure take on a masculine appearance.
  • A man becomes more successful in life, from work and hobbies to socializing with friends and bosses.
  • Increased libido. A 30-year-old man can do a lot more with training than an 18-year-old. Isn't that motivation to start working out?

Running workouts that increase testosterone levels should include large chunks of "meat."

Muscle sprinting is sprinting, running fast to work your legs, glutes, and lower back muscles at 100%. The abs and all the powers of the upper body are involved.

In boosting testosterone, sprinting will be a revelation for most fans of "pulling iron."

Running for the heart

All the organs of the human body are connected. If the heart is not "pulling" muscle mass gain, the body slows down the process of muscle gain with all its might. Conventionally: right now, the volume of your heart is 600 ml. This is enough to pump blood through a 70-kilogram carcass without compromising your health. But here you are now, weighing 80 kilograms. And your heart stays the same. The new peak is 90 kilograms.

The capacity of the cardiovascular system should have grown in proportion to muscle mass. Now 600 ml is not enough, and you need 1000 ml. The heart muscle gradually wears out. This is the cause of most bodybuilder deaths. Not steroids, which hasten death, but high body weight and excessive strain on the background of an underdeveloped cardiovascular system.

The best bodybuilders of today do not give up running or alternative aerobic exercise (like jumping rope). They understand that without running with high muscle mass, their life would be cut short at the age of 35-50.

For safe muscle growth, we must take care of our cardiovascular system.

Cardiovascular training is based on prolonged aerobic activity. Your workouts may look like this:

  1. We are running in the pulse range of 110-130 for 45-90 minutes. We run three times a week. Optimal for improving the condition of the heart muscle.
  2. Jump rope at a slow pace for 45-60 minutes. The load may be interrupted, but not for long periods.
  3. Riding a bicycle at an average speed. 45-90 minutes. It develops the heart worse than running and jumping rope, but you will notice the effect.

Running is a must to develop the cardiovascular system. Without training which it is impossible to build a lot of muscle!

In this case, running to gain muscle mass plays a complex role to see at a glance. The part of running training is noticeable in the medium and long term.

The longer an athlete plans to exercise, the more necessary it is for him to run.

It is necessary to use running training to develop the heart and prevent diseases that develop in bodybuilders due to excessive muscle mass growth.

Running to gain muscle mass

Running to gain muscle mass is a combination of sprinting workouts and prolonged aerobic exercise.

Sprinting boosts testosterone. Running at a slow pace over long distances increases the power of the heart muscle.

You can also use it to gain muscle mass:

  • Running with weights. It tones muscles, increases muscle mass with proper training. The best option for people of age who cannot endure heavy strength training. Running with weights helps busy men and women who do not have time or money to go to a fitness club—more about running with weights later.
  • Interval training. Combining sprinting with jogging in a heart rate range of 110-130 beats per minute. A style through which you can get two effects at the same time. At the same time, the intervals should be long enough. "Heart" running should prevail over jerking. Otherwise, instead of developing the heart, you will get the opposite effect.
  • Running uphill. Especially running uphill with a partner or for a while. Great competition with your weaknesses, after overcoming which testosterone goes off the scale, there is a feeling of happiness, insignificance of life's problems. Running uphill develops the muscles of the lower body. It is important to start gradually, not with high slopes. Otherwise, the pain in your legs will be evident for 7-10 days.
  • Bowling Run. Running for short stretches develops the lower body muscles, increases the secretion of testosterone.
  • Running in a mask. The training mask develops the cardiovascular system and forces the body to overcome discomfort from a new sensation. The training mask grows muscle indirectly. It has more of an effect on running speed than it does on muscle growth.

Running for gaining muscle mass as a different type is valid only in the presence of strength training. Running helps to grow muscles, it creates conditions for muscle growth, but it does not produce them directly. The exception is the leg and gluteal muscles.

Does running get in the way of gaining muscle?

There are many situations in which running is not the best option for gaining muscle mass. Running is an aid to gaining muscle only if the athlete gets enough calories from food regularly. For muscle growth, we need to call 200-500 more calories than we spend in a day.

Let's look at the relationship between muscle gain, running, and caloric intake with examples.

Example #1

John averages 2,800 calories per day. Excluding running training, his expenditure was 2,600 calories. He weighs 76 pounds and is hungry to gain muscle mass. John opens this article, learns that sprint training grows muscle, improves his core muscle, and...suddenly loses weight. Strength drops, cortisol goes up, testosterone goes down.

John thinks he's been duped, gives up running, and tells newcomers that running to gain muscle is bullshit.

John encountered the following problem: energy expenditure has increased. He spends 3,100 energy units instead of 2,600 energy units due to running training. He is not on the plus side by 200 units, but on the minus side by 300. Instead of anabolism, catabolism started. He began to lose weight, and since a catabolic state replaced the anabolic state, his cortisol level increased, which subjectively led to a decrease in testosterone and negated the positive effect of running.

Example #2

James read the same article and decided to take up running. He, too, chose to combine sprinting with long, low-intensity workouts. James also weighs 76 kilograms and consumes 2,800 calories, and spends 2,600. Regular training has also increased his expenditure to 3,100.

But he did not feel the same effect as John did. He did not begin to lose weight, and his strength did not drop. His testosterone increased subjectively and objectively (according to tests). James' life became more colorful. His body cleared up, his skin condition improved, his cardiovascular capacity increased.

All other things being equal, both got completely different results from running. All because James added 500 energy units in the form of a carton of milk to his 2,800 calories. He came out to the same surplus of 200 units and got all the benefits of running for himself.

John went from anabolism to catabolism. It wasn't the running that hurt him, and it was the lack of calories in his diet.


Running to gain muscle mass is relevant only if you are in an anabolic state. To make up for the calorie expenditure while running, add a liter of milk to your diet.

Running for Women

Girls can use running to gain muscle mass without additional strength training. An attractive female figure is a well-developed lower body, a minimum of fat, and toned upper body muscles. The best way to achieve such a figure is a combination of running and training in the gym.

In the absence of free time (money, other resources for complete training), you can bet on the run and bring your figure in an optimal form through the following workouts:

  • Uphill acceleration. The best kind of running to train gluteal muscles and legs. One of the few types of running that increases the muscle mass of the lower body is no worse than strength training. The duration of the jerk is from 10 to 25 seconds - in this time interval, muscle growth is maximum. You do not need to look for a high slope for training - a small "bump" on which you will run for longer than 10 seconds is enough.
  • Uphill running. Continuous (from 2 minutes) exercise, which grows muscles and develops endurance, improves health, develops the cardiovascular system. Regular exercise can tone your muscles, improve your shape and lose weight, significantly improve skin condition, smooth out wrinkles, and get rid of acne. Running uphill is a powerful release of anabolic hormones, cleansing all systems of the body.
  • Sprinting. Less effective for women because it does not increase testosterone levels as much as it does for men. The effectiveness of plain flying for women is high but lower than that of uphill running.
  • Jogging. It tones muscles slightly increases the muscle mass of the legs. Jogging is optimal for health and improving appearance, but not for gaining muscle mass.
  • Pitch running—an alternative to sprinting. The main advantage of shuttle running for girls is that you don't need to find a suitable area for it, and if you have spacious rooms, you don't even have to leave the house—an excellent option for girls who don't know where to start.
  • Interval running. It builds muscle mass, improves the appearance and the overall condition of the body. Beginners can alternate between acceleration and brisk walking.

Summaries of running programs

  1. After splitting the workouts, continue to progress in the same way. Increase the number of approaches, the duration of the run. It is possible to shorten the rest after the techniques and exercises.
  2. In 21 workouts, a person goes from being a "vegetable" to an athlete. This is the fastest progress the human body is capable of. Don't look for more effective programs, don't overdo it. You can't progress any faster than these schemes.
  3. Be sure to complete the previous program before proceeding to the following pattern. If you are unable to complete the current scheme, do not proceed to the following method. Repeat today's program on another day.
  4. Many factors determine the speed of progress. Your companion can progress at every training session and turn into a different person in just two months. It would take you six months to achieve the same effect. There are many reasons for this. From having stresses in your life to the amount of sleep, calories consumed, and the correctness of your running technique. You don't have to progress on every workout. You can stay on the same circuit from 1 to 5 activities.
  5. Do not train too often. Do two to four workouts per week. The heavier the load, the longer it takes the body to recover, and the less often you should train. For example: in the beginning, when we tone the muscles, you can train 3-4 times a week. When performing complex workouts, 2-3 sessions in 7 days is enough.

5/5 - (1 vote)
Jerry M. Vaughan
Related Post
No comments yet, but you could be the first!
Please enter your last name and first name
No spam, we promise
Message text
By submitting this form, you agree to the political confidentiality and rules of our site.