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The Impact of Running on Muscle Gain: Factors to Consider

Updated: Sep 13, 2023


Many fitness enthusiasts often wonder how running impacts their muscle-building goals. In this blog post, we'll explore the relationship between running and muscle gain and the factors you should consider when incorporating running into your fitness routine.

Person A: Does running affect muscle gain?

Helder: If the goal is muscle building, then running could be an issue, depending on a few factors.

Person A: Why, and what factors?

Helder: It really depends on how hard, how long, how often, and when you run. If the goal is muscle building, long-distance running will increase central nervous fatigue, and this will reduce your capacity to recruit high threshold motor units, which are key for muscle growth.

Also, I would very much avoid running prior to the weights session as this will have the same impact.

Person A: What about running on other days, away from the weight training sessions?

Helder: I would say, if you do not put your runs the day before your sessions or just before your sessions, this should be ok.

Conclusion: In conclusion, running can have an impact on your muscle-building goals, primarily due to its potential to increase central nervous fatigue and hinder the recruitment of high threshold motor units. However, if you plan your running schedule carefully, ensuring it doesn't coincide with your weight training sessions, you can strike a balance between cardiovascular fitness and muscle gain.

Remember, the key to achieving your fitness goals is finding a routine that works best for you and aligns with your objectives.

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