Should I cut down on running?

  • Syther

    Posts: 19

    Mar 07, 2016 11:12 PM GMT
    I joined the gym last October as I wanted to bulk up and get more muscular.

    I've always ran and I still do while incorporating my weight training.

    The thing is I haven't bulked up as much as I wanted so far and I'm wondering should I stop running now in order to bulk up?

    How much running is too much? I probably run around 20k a week.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14345

    Mar 08, 2016 5:01 AM GMT
    Well if you enjoy running, than keep on doing it. As for the difficulty in gaining muscle mass, it might not be your running. Instead it could be your diet. You might need to adjust your diet by increasing your caloric intake. But don't give up on an athletic activity that you love unless you are starting to have issues with your feet, knees, and legs.
  • leanandclean

    Posts: 270

    Mar 08, 2016 1:00 PM GMT
    Don't cut down if you enjoy it.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Mar 08, 2016 4:00 PM GMT
    Your knees, shins, ankles and lower back will thank you later on if you do.



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  • nicelyproport...

    Posts: 573

    Mar 08, 2016 8:20 PM GMT
    rnch saidYour knees, shins, ankles and lower back will thank you later on if you do.


    At least some studies disagree:
    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/25/why-runners-dont-get-knee-arthritis/?_r=0

    I run 20-30 miles every week. Thus far, no issues with the knees, shins or ankles. And I like how the long distances affect my body, making the muscles longer and leaner.
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1034

    Mar 08, 2016 8:47 PM GMT
    20k a week isn't so much. I've done more than that for decades and it hasn't hurt my muscle mass, or my knees. Just try to maintain proper form and you should be fine.

    If you were running 20k a day I'd say it would be tough to build and keep muscle mass. And you'd run a greater risk of joint problems.
  • Syther

    Posts: 19

    Mar 08, 2016 9:31 PM GMT
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Some people were saying I should cut down on running to build some muscle.

    I'm glad to hear that I can incorporate the two as I do enjoy running.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 08, 2016 10:48 PM GMT
    I have to say I disagree with all the advice you're getting here. Running absolutely WILL impede on building mass. Will you build muscle if you continue running? Possibly. Will that mass be less than you'd build if you cut back (or even cut out) the running? Absolutely. When you run (or do any sort of cardio) it will eventually start catabolizing muscle tissue for energy. Perhaps the amount of muscle burned is negligible depending on your diet and if you have enough BCAAs or carbs.

    There are conflicting opinions on this, but I know that once I cut back on cardio during bulking months and only went all out on it on cutting months, I found the gains were much better during bulking months.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 08, 2016 11:29 PM GMT
    I tend to agree with jackedgamer. My simplistic logic would be that the more energy you have the heavier weights you'll be able to lift, and heavier weights mean bigger muscles. Running could/would use that energy.

    That being said, I'd still favor continuing running because in the overall big picture I find a lean taut body more attractive than one having big muscles. Obviously that's a preference.

    As far as wear and tear go, the usual admonishments about getting sufficient rest and recovery time apply. Don't run races because then you're more likely to overtrain; run for health and fun. Switch to running every other day when you get older.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 09, 2016 6:06 AM GMT
    It's give and take. The more you run, the more your gym workout suffers. And vice versa. You need to find a balance between the two that aligns closer to your goals.

    I run 5K every other day during the week. And maybe a little more on the weekends. It's enough to keep in good cardio shape, but not too much where I start losing mass.

    Also, nutrition is a big factor here as well. You have to consume more calories to fuel both your runs and workouts. If you start hitting a calorie deficit, you'll start dropping weight.

    Start a workout journal. It help you dial down the right amount of weight training / running / nutrition to help achieve your goals.
  • jjguy05

    Posts: 459

    Mar 09, 2016 12:15 PM GMT
    Syther saidI joined the gym last October as I wanted to bulk up and get more muscular.

    I've always ran and I still do while incorporating my weight training.

    The thing is I haven't bulked up as much as I wanted so far and I'm wondering should I stop running now in order to bulk up?

    How much running is too much? I probably run around 20k a week.


    First of all, it's only been 5 months. While everyone makes easy newbie gains at first (provided you're doing a REAL WORKOUT with big basic lifts, and you've been EATING MORE), your nervous system may still be adjusting to utilize more of your existing muscle mass before you grow. That will happen.

    That said, yes running 20 fucking K a week doesn't help. Steady-state long distance cardio like that burns muscle. End of story. I don't care what the "if you like running, keep doing it" crowd says; they don't know what they're talking about. It's counterintuitive that that kind of running would kill muscle, but it does.

    Ever seen a muscular guy jogging? I mean, truly muscular, not a skinny guy that's cut. Look at the Olympics. Why are the marathon runners basically skeletons? The short-distance sprinters, OTOH, are muscular. Short bursts don't kill muscle; they actually stimulate it.

    So if you must keep running, consider switching to short sprints. Ditch the long-distance running.

    20K...geez, man. Don't expect any progress while doing that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 09, 2016 5:22 PM GMT
    If you limit the high impact activity (running) your joints will not hurt when you are 50 years old. Also. it's hard to get bigger if you run all the time.



  • FredMG

    Posts: 988

    Mar 09, 2016 5:25 PM GMT
    How's your protien intake?

    ThereĀ“s a rule of thumb that you need 1g of protien for every pound of muscle - or roughly 11g/kg of muscle (probably a bit more).

    It's just a guess, bit it looks like you weigh 70-75kg, which means if you want to add 5kg of muscle you'd need to eat 80g of protien / week, which is about 1 serving of Greek yogurt, a chicken breast or a good sized piece of fish.

    There's a lot of arguments for and against plant based proteins. Thoug I figure if cows and chickens eat them and can convert them to protien, we can too, it may just not be the optimal mix. Though worst case is that your serving of beans will give you a good bit of dietary fiber.

    Hope this helps.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 09, 2016 10:48 PM GMT
    Nothing catabolizes muscle like lifting weight in the gym. That doesn't mean it's a bad thing. But then it's just as ridiculous to assert that any effort label cardio is definitely going to burn muscle too.

    20k is not a lot. That could easily be covered in a warmup and cooldown to more intense workouts, and could help recovery. But if the running is high-effort itself then it probably will leave you more tired. Just like a lot of other things in your life may leave you more tired, and unable to hit the gym quite as hard. That's a question of priorities in your lifestyle.

    Almost certainly you need to eat more (if you're not gaining mass), and need to wait longer. Muscle grows really slowly, and the changes aren't easy to see, and if you're not used to lifting, the weights you're using at the moment probably aren't that challenging.

    So if you're in a hurry to see a big weight increase, just sit around all day eating when you're not in the gym. But if you want significant growth, it's a long-term game, so you need to be comfortable with sustaining that lifestyle.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Mar 09, 2016 10:51 PM GMT
    nicelyproportioned said
    ...I run 20-30 miles every week. Thus far, no issues with the knees, shins or ankles. And I like how the long distances affect my body, making the muscles longer and leaner.



    Just wait a few years.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 10, 2016 5:45 AM GMT
    rnch saidJust wait a few years.

    According to the online BMI calculators you are overweight at 6'0" and 215 pounds. Even if you have a low body fat composition that's a lot of weight for your bones to carry and be running. So in your case if you were running I would be surprised if your knees, shins, ankles, and lower back didn't eventually have problems.
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    Mar 10, 2016 6:08 AM GMT
    Lumpyoatmeal said
    rnch saidJust wait a few years.

    According to the online BMI calculators you are overweight at 6'0" and 215 pounds. Even if you have a low body fat composition that's a lot of weight for your bones to carry and be running. So in your case if you were running I would be surprised if your knees, shins, ankles, and lower back didn't eventually have problems.


    BMI calculators are not accurate and do not account for big muscular men for example. Running will eventually cause problems for most people as they age.
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    Mar 10, 2016 6:37 AM GMT
    desertmuscl said
    Lumpyoatmeal said
    rnch saidJust wait a few years.

    According to the online BMI calculators you are overweight at 6'0" and 215 pounds. Even if you have a low body fat composition that's a lot of weight for your bones to carry and be running. So in your case if you were running I would be surprised if your knees, shins, ankles, and lower back didn't eventually have problems.
    BMI calculators are not accurate and do not account for big muscular men for example. Running will eventually cause problems for most people as they age.

    Yes, as I said, even if his body fat is low that's a lot of weight for his bones to deal with and be running. And as I said before, the people who are more likely to develop problems are the ones who over train, typically from preparing for races.
  • jjguy05

    Posts: 459

    Mar 10, 2016 6:55 AM GMT
    Danny_1M saidNothing catabolizes muscle like lifting weight in the gym. That doesn't mean it's a bad thing. But then it's just as ridiculous to assert that any effort label cardio is definitely going to burn muscle too.

    20k is not a lot. That could easily be covered in a warmup and cooldown to more intense workouts, and could help recovery. But if the running is high-effort itself then it probably will leave you more tired. Just like a lot of other things in your life may leave you more tired, and unable to hit the gym quite as hard. That's a question of priorities in your lifestyle.


    20k is 12 miles. That's a lot to jog per week.

    And it's not just calories in, calories out. Moderate-intensity cardio at a constant pace...i.e. jogging...is catabolic (burns muscle). After a certain amount of time, moderate-intensity constant-pace cardio stops burning bodyfat and starts breaking down muscle. This is a fact, and has been demonstrated in the sports world. Not all cardio. Just this type of cardio.

    So, for a guy looking to bulk: don't jog. Don't play soccer. Don't play basketball. Don't do activities that require a very long time of this kind of running.

    OTOH, short bursts of high intensity (like sprints or HIIT), or 15-30 minutes of low-intensity (like uphill or uphill/downhill walking) is good.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 10, 2016 6:48 PM GMT
    xrichx saidI run 5K every other day during the week. And maybe a little more on the weekends. It's enough to keep in good cardio shape, but not too much where I start losing mass.

    According to my heart rate monitor watch I'm running 4.5 km per run. I run every other day. I prefer to look at my runs as how long I ran, i.e., duration, not how far. My runs take me about 30 to 35 minutes. I once read long ago in a running magazine that you only need 20 minutes of running for its benefits, so the OP could do that; 20 minutes every other day. And don't worry about speed. You could use a heart rate monitor to keep your heart rate within the range that's appropriate for your age.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 10, 2016 6:58 PM GMT
    jjguy05 saidAfter a certain amount of time, moderate-intensity constant-pace cardio stops burning bodyfat and starts breaking down muscle. This is a fact, and has been demonstrated in the sports world.


    After a certain amount of time, laying in bed stops burning bodyfat and starts breaking down muscle. Asserting things as fact doesn't necessarily help anyone. Context matters.

    Yes, 20k is 12 miles, which is a long way for a person without any training to run all at once. It's also less than 2 miles a day, which is a 10-15 minute warmup done morning and evening. Even if you're not doing resistance training every day, it's probably good for your overall development to do some kind of light physical activity, which you acknowledge for some people may be walking. But for others they can quite comfortably jog a mile without burning muscle or draining their adrenals.
  • jjguy05

    Posts: 459

    Mar 10, 2016 7:51 PM GMT
    Ugh. Whatever you say, dude. Keep jogging and keep advising others to jog. The ones that wrongly see wisdom in you and take your advice won't see any gains. But that's their multi-year mistake to make. I'm not gonna worry about it anymore.
  • Syther

    Posts: 19

    Mar 11, 2016 12:05 AM GMT
    Guys!!!

    I'm more confused than before now! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

    I think I'll continue to jog but cut down to maybe 10k a week, focusing more on weights and other exercises.

  • jjguy05

    Posts: 459

    Mar 11, 2016 12:34 AM GMT
    ^^ And you'll waste years with no gains, and you'll learn from that mistake.

    Good read:

    https://www.t-nation.com/training/the-best-damn-cardio-article-period
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 11, 2016 12:58 AM GMT
    Syther saidGuys!!!

    I'm more confused than before now! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

    I think I'll continue to jog but cut down to maybe 10k a week, focusing more on weights and other exercises.



    I'm not trying to be an asshole here, but consider the advice of someone like jjguy05 and what he looks like and the the advice of those telling you to keep running 20k and what they look like... you'll notice that the more muscular guys don't advise running long distances for long periods of time, for a reason.