Many people including athletes and coaches believe that bodybuilding and running are mutually exclusive. But this isn’t so because each discipline, if you will, has a positive effect on the other such that bodybuilders will actually benefit from regular running!
Don’t listen to the people that tell you otherwise, too – and there will be many of these voices. On one hand, there’s the view that running will result in faster muscle loss. On the other hand, there’s the idea that bodybuilders will be like a fish out of water (i.e., gasping for air after a few miles) while on long-distance running.
Read on and discover the lessons that you can learn by adding running to your lifting program.
Nutrition Is Important
There’s no need to change your diet if you decide to add running to your fitness program. Just stick to your high-protein, high-complex carbohydrates diet with moderate healthy fat intake and you should be just fine.
A low-protein diet, in contrast, will contribute to muscle loss but this is true whether you’re on an exclusive bodybuilding or running program. Protein, especially sourced from chicken, turkey, and red meat, is a must for maximum muscle growth and, thus, minimum muscle loss.
Running Improves Lifting
Strength doesn’t equate to stamina! For this reason, you will likely have more difficulty in achieving your goals because of reduced lung capacity. You can’t perform another set, for example, because you’re already too winded.
With regular running, even on a treadmill at a Gold’s Gym location, your stamina will be significantly improved. This is because your lung’s capacity and your heart’s efficiency have also improved, a fact that manifests itself in the gym’s weight room.
But it isn’t just in the stamina department that running is useful. You will also find that your recovery period between sets is faster! You can perform more repetitions on your legs and back, among other larger body parts, which means better muscle development in these areas.
Due to your heart’s improved efficiency, your body receives better blood flow, too, especially to the injured muscle fibers (i.e., micro-tears). The improved blood flow, in turn, helps in the removal of lactic acid and toxins while also transporting essential nutrients to the muscle fibers.
Plus, many weightlifting exercises mimic the effects of running so there’s a merit to the recommendation for bodybuilders to become amateur runners. For example, performing heavy squats is similar to running a mini-marathon.
More important, running is a cardiovascular exercise with numerous benefits for the overall health of your lings, heart and blood vessels. Your blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar functions will be better for it – and that, my fellow bodybuilders, is reason enough to take up running!