Your choice of running as your sport is indeed an excellent one. Many of your friends who are also health and sports buffs commented that you could not have chosen any better. So you have become a little proud of yourself, since you finally managed to muster up the drive and the determination to have a regular sport or exercise. You’ve also started implementing a comprehensive workout program that puts focus on aerobic exercises, and which is anchored on running. And the initial returns of your choice have all been very positive, so far. There are noticeable improvements in your level of fitness and health, as you are feeling a little more stronger and flexible and your stamina has also improved somewhat. Aside from that, you’ve lost some weight, which you consider to be one of your major achievements for the year.
Now I have also decided that I want to build up my body as well. Not only do I want just the benefits of running, but I would also like do weight training to increase my muscle mass. I just thought that it is the next logical step in my workout program, and it would also help in making me not just a fit and healthy person, but also one who looks extremely good. That is the plan that I have in mind, but recently it hit it a snag somewhat. That is because a friend told me that running and body building might not go hand in hand pretty well. That left me wondering, is running bad for muscle growth?
Cardio and Muscle Building: Incompatible?
I learned that there exist some questions about the possible conflict between cardiovascular or aerobic training and weight training. I was not aware of this, but I sure am glad that I became aware of it before I proceeded with the build up of my body. Some people who do weight lifting actually believe that running and other aerobic workouts burns and uses up the muscle, and that is why they avoid it as much as possible. And so because of tat I decided to research.
Aerobic training is geared towards achieving a medium to high heart rate, which effectively burns tissues after a prolonged period of time while in this particular state. This burning of tissues is in direct contrast to the aim of weight training, which is to build up muscle mass. Aerobic training usually burns up energy in this order: the carbohydrates that come from the food that we eat and stored ones are the first to go; this is followed by fats that are also either stored or directly from food that was consumed; finally the protein that comes from muscle tissues are the last to go.
So if protein that constitutes muscle mass is the last to be burned, when does aerobic training run counter to muscle build up? That’s when the training extends beyond an hour, it is estimated that it is the time when the body has already used up the fats and carbohydrates. The key for those who want to do both kinds of exercises would be to limit the time of the aerobic exercise, or make sure that they load up on carbohydrates before the aerobic work outs. Carb loading an hour or two before running will ensure that the body would not be forced to use up its protein reserves later on. Ands that is probably what I will do myself, load up on complex carbohydrates so that I can still do some weight training as well.