Why are you running? Running has never been precisely known for bulking up but strength is not all just about lifting more weight. If gaining more muscles is your goal and you are probably wondering that does running build muscle or break it down.
The answer to why are you running can be tricky as people run for different reasons. It can be to reduce stress, to get in shape or to compete in races.
This article explains in detail that does running build muscles or break it down, HIIT running workouts for building muscles and also appropriate nutrition for building muscles.
How Does Running Build Muscle?
Running is very effective when it comes to building your lower body muscles. However, it is dependent on the duration and intensity of your runs.
According to the International Journal of Exercise Science, a study in untrained college students showed that after ten weeks of HIIT workouts three times a week involving four sets of running at maximum capacity for 4 minutes followed by 3 minutes of active rest.
The participants of the study showed an approximately 11% increase in the muscle fiber area of their quadriceps as opposed to the control group.
Aerobics such as running is likely to build muscles by reducing muscle protein breakdown and by restraining proteins that delay muscle growth.
On the flip side, running long distances can effectively increase MPB and thus inhibit muscle growth.
According to the Journal of Physical Therapy Science, a study in 30 male amateur long-distance runners, all the groups showed a significant increase in muscle damage markers after running for 6.2, 13, or 26.1 miles.
Moreover, marker levels of muscle damage raised alongside the distance and remained upraised even after three days.
All of these results propound short intervals of HIIT running build leg muscles; however, long-distance can cause muscle damage and restraining muscle growth.
Running Workouts for Building Muscles
Although running does build muscle, it is recommended that to include strength training in an exercise regime.
Moreover, it is very beneficial to add strength training in an exercise regime.
As, it improves how proficiently body uses energy, boosts endurance running performance, and even maximal sprint speed.
Following are some running workouts for building muscle that you can include into exercise regime:
For optimal results, try doing these workouts 3 to 4 times a week.
You can also adapt them per your training experience and comfort level.
For instance, to catch a breath between sets of workouts, try increasing rest time or decreasing the total number of sets.
Contrariwise, amplify your regime by reducing rest time or by increasing the number of sets or maybe both.
Either way, it is recommended to warm up in advance and cool off later to enhance recovery and prevent any injuries.
Appropriate Nutrition for Building Muscle
Without proper nutrition, especially protein, the body cannot upkeep the muscle-building process.
Therefore, appropriate nutrition for building muscle is as necessary as running for building muscles itself.
Water is vital for the regulation of body temperature and to support several other body functions.
Moreover, individual water requirements are dependent upon numerous factors such as age, height, diet, and especially activity level.
According to the National Academy of Medicine, it is recommended that male requires 125 ounces, and female requires 91 ounces of water a day.
It is for the adult’s age 19, and above also, it takes water from beverages and foods.
Ever wondered why most of the people drink a protein shake before or afterward their workouts?
Furthermore, it is recommended that to consume 0.64 to 0.91 grams of protein equivalent to a pound of body weight a day.
For protein-enriched foods, opt for:
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Lean beef
Fats and Carbs
The body’s preferred source of energy is carbs. Most of the carbs are broken down into glucose, which is further used as energy.
Carbs can also be converted into fats for later use.
Also, metabolic regulation of fat use during exercise and recovery (4) shows that fat tends to serve as energy during lower intensity exercises like long-distance running.
Hence, it is recommended to get 45 to 65 percent of calories from carbs and 20 to 35 percent from fat to ensure appropriate vitamins and minerals.
For healthy sources of carbs, opt for:
- Fatty Fish
- Whole fruit and Fruit juice