Does Running Build Muscle? | STACK Fitness
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Does Running Build Muscle?

February 27, 2013 | Brian Lebo

Must See Running Videos

Does running build muscle?

Going for a run can either complement or detract from a strength training program. It all depends on the type of running. If you compare the bodies of sprinters and distance runners, you'll notice that a sprinter's body is pretty muscular and distance runners look like they need directions to find the weight room.

Running's impact on musculature is correlated to the energy system powering the body. And the energy system the body uses depends on the intensity and duration of an activity in progress. (See YOU Docs: Boost and Maintain Energy.)

Energy System Breakdown

No energy system works exclusively at any given time. There is always an overlap between them for virtually any activity.

  • Oxidative System: Powers aerobic activity, generally for longer durations (i.e., over three minutes) and lower intensity (e.g., for long runs)
  • Glycolytic (a.k.a. Anaerobic) System: Bridges the gap between low and high intensity activity of moderate duration (about 30 seconds to three minutes in length)
  • Phosphagen System: Supplies energy for short high-intensity activity for short durations (less than 30 seconds)

How to Make Running Enhance Strength Training

Although research shows that aerobic training can reduce muscle size and strength, cardio is just as important as strength training. To make your running complement your strength training, try high-intensty interval training (HIIT). It's more efficient than long, slow runs and will better support your strength and power training and performance.

Topics: BUILD MUSCLE
Brian Lebo
- Brian Lebo is the owner and director of Athletic Performance Training Center, a strength and conditioning facility in North Royalton, Ohio. He specializes in helping...
Brian Lebo
- Brian Lebo is the owner and director of Athletic Performance Training Center, a strength and conditioning facility in North Royalton, Ohio. He specializes in helping...
Must See
Why NFL Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson Counts His Blessings
Views: 4,256,512
Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 3,153,893
Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout
Views: 1,223,389

Featured Videos

Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Views: 40,045
Greg Nixon's Full-Body Dumbbell Circuit Views: 316,352
Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 578,060
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 5,266,393
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 4,225,908
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,360,797
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 19,571,570
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 880,435

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Why Jogging Is Counterproductive

I'll go ahead and spoil this one - the only people I've ever recommended jogging to are those who simply enjoy it or implement it as a part of their...

The Exercise Every Runner Must Do

Pick The Right Running Partner (The First Time)

Ultramarathon Runner Stephanie Howe's 7 Training Secrets

Weight Training for Runners: 3 Full-Body Moves

7-Year Old Triathlete Sets 5K Record

How to Start Your Barefoot Leg Workout

Running Tips for True Beginners

How to Design a Running Schedule That Fits Your Life

4 Steps to Win Your Next Race

8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Ran My First Marathon

5 Ways to Freshen Up Your Run

Tired of Tiring During Runs? Try These Jogging Pace Drills

6 5K Tips for a Great Running Experience

Get Geared Up for the Wall Jump Obstacle

6 Best On-the-Go Snacks for Runners

The Only 2 Running Diet Rules You Need to Know

You're Doing It Wrong: Running

7 Tips to Help First-Time Marathoners Avoid Common Mistakes

Don't Choke on Race Day: Tips to Run a Better Race

10 Fresh Tunes for Your Running Playlist

How to Control Your Breathing During an Obstacle Race

Learn the Secrets of Tapering

8-Week Spartan Beast Training Program

The Most Effective Form of Endurance Training

Are You Ready for a Tough Mudder?

5 Un-Smooth Habits That Ruin Runners

Guide to Common Running Terminology

Be Ready to Run a 5K in 6-8 Weeks

5 Questions Runners Should Ask Themselves During Every Run

The Obstacle Course Racer's Guide to Fixing Muscle Cramps

Maximize Your Trail Running

Are You Ready for the Arctic Enema?

3 Things You Must Do Before Trying Minimalist Running Shoes

7 Endurance Tips From Ultramarathon Runner Ian Sharman

How to Prepare for the Spartan Race and Other Mud Runs

Off-Season Triathlon Training Tips and Workout Program

9 Things Every Trail Runner Should Have

10 Fresh Running Destinations in the U.S.

STACK Challenge: Army Two-Mile Run

Hunter McIntyre Rises Above the Competition

5 Keys and A Workout Plan for An Awesome 5K

An Introduction to Strength Training for Runners