Does running build muscle?

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Written By Samarjit Sinha

Working out for 10 years | Has a home gym | CPD (UK) Certificate holder in Fitness

How does running build muscle?

Running can stimulate muscle growth. Running stimulates muscles to contract, and the stimulus that causes it will cause them to grow.

Running is a great way to build muscle, but the first step towards building it properly is understanding how running builds muscle. 

It’s believed that aerobic exercise like running is thought to build muscle through sprints and a good diet.

Does running build muscle

By exercising for 30-40 minutes four to five days a week, preferably with a HIIT pattern you can see some muscle gain.

HIIT can help you gain muscle mass with a little bit of effort. It also helps to develop cardiovascular health, which means that it is an excellent type of cardio for all levels.

And be sure to eat a lot of food so that you do not get into a caloric deficit at all. Your every meal should have some protein in it as well.

It’s important to eat before and after your run so that you have the energy needed for intense HIIT sessions or long-distance runs, as well as the proper nutrients your body needs in order to recover from those types of activities.

How does running build muscle

Muscle gain from sprints will vary from the person

The benefit of running depends on the individual. 

Runners that are new to the activity may reap more benefits from steady-state runs, while those who have been doing it for a long time may prefer high-intensity workouts to get their muscles growing. 

Runner’s tend not to gain weight because they focus on cardio rather than weights in order to maintain a low body fat percentage.

Especially if you are a long-distance runner.

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Not all runners reap the same muscle-building benefits, though. Movement is so prevalent among runners that a movement has started among training coaches to increase their push towards the weight room for better results in races and workouts.

Running helps with general health because it can help you get your heart rate up, gets your lungs working more and overall requires the whole body to function.

[Strength Training Workout for Runners]

Running builds muscle if you apply this:

The truth is that running is not the best exercise for building muscle. 

If you want to build more muscle while running, focus on speed, not slow-twitch fibers. Slow-twitch muscles are used when endurance is needed and can cause your body to burn less fat. 

Instead of focusing on these slow-twitch muscles, use fast-twitch muscles in order to generate power with shorter spurts of energy instead.

Speed or incline are two exercises that you can do to build muscle.

How treadmill running differs from running outside?

However, running is not the only exercise that can build muscle. Interval workouts introduce new stimuli to muscles and allow them to continue building mass.

The right strategy for runners who are interested in adding muscle would be workouts like this: 20-second uphill sprints, Lamp pyramids (running up a hill while holding your arms out with something heavy on each hand), then easy mile after 8 laps of straightaways followed by 8 laps of curves—all done at an even pace!

You can and also should do farmer carries and some more workouts like reverse lunges and single-leg deadlifts.

Does running build muscle? 1

Apart from running do this…

Running doesn’t burn muscle and will not build muscle. You should maintain a non-running workout routine for building muscle mass, which includes strength training.

Apart from HIIT training which you can also do indoors using a treadmill. You should do strength training as a powerlifter.

Or maybe like a bodybuilder, but you can skip the exercises like bicep curls if you do not have the time.

You should focus on the big lifts like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses.

Will running build muscle?

Running may build muscle if you are doing sprints and eating at a high-calorie density. Otherwise, running will make you skinny. I was a skinny guy, who tried running for a few weeks and I got very ripped.

I lost weight and lost some muscles as well.

Thus, I stopped doing long runs and opted for indoor aerobic workouts.

So you should run at high speeds for a short duration for maximum muscle gain.

Aerobic activity is best for fat burning, and running is a good way to combine it with other activities. Interval training is often the best way to build muscle through running/cardio.

Running is a great way to spend time outdoors, but it’s not the only activity that can help build muscle. Strength training and proper nutrition are important for building muscles while running as well.

Running builds muscle in different ways. Long-distance running will build leaner muscles while sprinting adds bulk and increases speed.

However, you will have to eat a high-calorie diet to get some bulk after running.

How to build muscle with running [Tips that work!]

High-Intensity Interval Training

High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is a part of the running routine. It builds muscle and fast-twitch fiber muscles. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of cardio workout that alternates between shorter, high-intensity bouts and more moderate recovery periods. 

Although HIIT has many advantages, switching up your normal cardio style can also be beneficial. 

Incline Run

Running up and down hills requires muscles to be strong. You can easily do this with automatic treadmills with an incline feature.

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is a great way to build muscle and increase endurance, while an incline run can help build strength. 

Different types of runs include long-distance runners who incorporate high resistance runs, intervals, and sprints.

Some types of runs are high-intensity continuous training, sprint intervals and long-distance running. Intervals work different muscle fibers in your body to build them up. 

Running routines may look different but the key is mixing up the type of workouts you do or weight lifting like a slow twitch muscle fiber which can be built by running and weight training.

Long Distance Run

Long-distance running helps to build slow-twitch muscle fiber, which is the type of muscle that burns fat and builds endurance. Incorporate a good amount of protein in your diet for better results.

Read here for long-distance running and muscle loss.

Recovery Run

Building muscle with running is important to do when you have time. It helps your muscles rest, repair themselves and become stronger than before. Strength training also builds lean muscle which is helpful for those who focus on it.

A recovery run will help you cool down after a strength workout session. Thus, it may not directly help you with muscle gain but it will do it indirectly.

Healthy Balanced Diet

Running helps build muscle, but it’s not the only way to do so. To gain muscle and stay healthy, eat a balanced diet that includes protein, carbs and fats in addition to water.

If you are looking for weight gain then you can check this Indian weight gain diet PDF for inspiration.

Mix and Match weight training and Running

Running can build muscle or it can burn it. It depends on how you train and what your personal goal is for the muscles. A split routine may be best for beginners, as running on an empty stomach in the morning would not be recommended.

In this routine, add sprints and weight training and do weight training before running to emphasize muscle growth.

Running is one of the most effective ways to develop muscle. When you run, your body undergoes multiple physical and biochemical changes that help build muscles. 

However, it’s important not to underestimate the importance of strength training in building muscle as well because it helps protect against injury and allows for better recovery time between workouts.

It can be hard sometimes balancing running with strength training due to their different demands on a person but by combining these two types of exercise together you’ll get more benefit from both.

3 supplements for running and muscle gain

The answer to this question is all bodies are different. The best way to find out what works for you is by trial and error. If muscle building, weight loss or endurance training are your goals then there are supplements that can help you achieve them.

– BCAAs: Branched chain amino acids increase protein synthesis which helps muscles gain size and build strength

– Glutamine: Helps maintain healthy immune function, regulates blood sugar levels and may have some effect on mood

Protein: Essential for muscle growth, recovery and the prevention of protein loss.

There are a number of supplements that can help runners maximize their workouts and maintain muscle mass. One supplement, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), helps the body recover from exercise so it’s able to do more work in the future. 

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Another supplement is glutamine which aid in recovery because they can keep glycogen stores high during intense training sessions. 

Protein powder should be taken after a workout or strength-training session as this will provide nutrients for muscles without adding any extra calories and sugar.

The most important thing is to get enough protein in your diet.

If you are not getting the required amount of protein, supplements like BCAAs and glutamine can be helpful because they help runners build muscle while also providing them with energy.

Does running builds muscle in legs?

Running is not the only exercise that will cause leg muscles to grow, but it does have a positive effect on them. Any type of activity causes muscle growth and development, so long as your heart rate is elevated consistently.

However, running will develop muscles that are good for running. That might make your leg muscles look different than those who do heavy squats and deadlifts.

Does running with a weighted vest build muscle?

Running with a weighted vest will build muscle. But those muscles are mostly built around the muscles that you use for running. You will not build muscle on your arms or chest. But since you will be moving a lot and will be carrying additional weight thus you will get more fit quicker.

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Running will build some muscles, but those will be specific to running activity. For overall muscle growth, you have to do some weight training as well. And if you want to gain more muscle, then you should be running as the cool down workout. You should run rather than sprint after you have done your weight training.

About The Skinny Author


Working Out for 10 years | Owns a home gym |Certificate course done on Improving Aerobic Fitness, Diet | CPD (UK) Accredited Certification on Fitness

Yo Friends, this is Samarjit! A skinny guy who is building his tiny home gym.

I have successfully gained 10 kgs in 10 months going to commercial gyms. And I have been working out on and off for about 10+ years now.

I have gone swimming, done martial arts, Olympic lifts and body-building-type workouts!

I canceled the gym subscription as I was more into making my home gym for workouts. And getting ready, then getting my cycle and ride to the commercial gym seemed a drag after 10 hours in the office.

Thus, I needed a home that I could access at any moment!
And I started building my home gym!

I had to research a lot to build my home gym and decided to share effective, budget-friendly home gym machines, and nutrition to buy as per your goals here in

If you have question then contact me here

Ps: The author is highly experienced with making small workout routines, understanding and guiding people to get gym equipment, and setting up the home gym as per their Fitness goals.

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