Running and Bodybuilding: 5 Benefits + A 7-Day Training Plan

In pursuing the optimal fitness state, running and bodybuilding has become a hot topic. This question has arisen over the past few years as more weight lifters realize the impact of cardio and more runners realize the importance of strength training.

I’m sure you’re asking yourself, why should you combine running and bodybuilding? In this article, we will talk about the advantages of bodybuilding and running. Then we’ll jump into a 7-day training plan so you can implement this exercise strategy into your fitness routine. So, let’s get started!

What are the benefits of running For bodybuilders?

Running and bodybuilding are an effective duo in your performance activity. Running will help you break your intensity barrier, and heighten your lung capacity and heart efficiency. Running for bodybuilders enhances recovery, meaning your heart will easily pump blood to the damaged muscle fibers and help remove lactic acid and toxins.

Running and Bodybuilding: A Useful Combination

Let’s start with answering the obvious question. Is running good for bodybuilding? As a bodybuilder, you certainly want to build and maintain muscle mass. And if done properly, running can complement your effort. Finding the perfect balance between these two disciplines will help you maximize your gains and benefit you in more ways than one.

When incorporating running into your strength training, you’ll need to implement a diet high in protein and complex carbohydrates in order to make the best of it. That way, you will keep and build your muscles while getting the most out of running.

By incorporating long distance running and bodybuilding into your routine, whether through long-distance sessions or short-interval runs, you can experience improved sleep quality. Additionally, understanding the various benefits of this combination will motivate you to optimize your fitness goals even more. Let’s go and discuss them.

Bodybuilding and running program

5 Benefits of Running For Bodybuilders

If you’re wondering do bodybuilders run, the answer should be clear by now. Yes, they run and reap the remarkable benefits of it. Let’s discuss some key advantages of running to fully inform you as a bodybuilder striving to reach an optimal fitness state.

1. Improved Sleep Quality

The impact of good sleep on your fitness is priceless. Good sleep results in higher energy levels, which means you’ll hit the gym more often and stay active throughout your workout.

It doesn’t matter whether you practice long distance running and bodybuilding or just implement short-interval runs as a workout, you’ll experience this benefit.

Additionally, the improved sleep quality will enhance muscle tissue repair and testosterone production, which plays a vital role in muscle growth.

2. Enhanced Blood Circulation

Moreover, running is an excellent exercise for improving blood circulation, strengthening the heart, and enhancing the efficiency of the cardiovascular system.

During weightlifting sessions, the cardiovascular system brings oxygen and nutrients to muscles, enhancing performance. This means that running for bodybuilders helps maintain a great functioning circulatory system. Also, your muscles will get the proper nutrients to grow faster.

3. Improves Mental Health

Medical studies research shows that aerobic exercises such as running have been proven to reduce mental health issues like anxiety. This is because running triggers the release of endorphins, which help combat stress. Running is a powerful way to build your mental power, giving you confidence and motivating you to push your limits.

Maintaining a stress-free attitude will enhance your athletic performance and support your muscle growth. Additionally, running helps burn, benefiting your leg muscles and their surrounding groups.

4. Gaining Leg Muscle

We all know that a leg day is important to every bodybuilder. By implementing a bodybuilding and running program into your fitness routine, you can reach the muscle groups that may get overlooked during strength training. A good and steady run between bodybuilding training can help prevent deterioration and increase your muscle mass.

5. Increased Endurance

This is another excellent benefit of running for bodybuilders. Increasing your blood circulation, improving your mental health, and improving sleep quality will only increase your endurance in the gym.

Moreover, running challenges your respiratory system, leading to increased lung capacity over time. Enhanced endurance allows for bigger oxygen and nutrient levels to flow into your muscles, which means you’ll have a shorter recovery time.

4 Disadvantages of Running For Bodybuilders

Although bodybuilder running has numerous benefits, we must stay objective and look at the other side. Let’s go ahead and look at the disadvantages running can have for a bodybuilder.

1. Bigger Caloric Expenditure

As a bodybuilder, you certainly want to build and keep your mass. By adhering to a long-distance running and bodybuilding program, you can effectively increase calorie expenditure.

If you choose to incorporate regular running into your routine, it’s essential to reevaluate your diet and ensure you consume the additional calories your body will require.

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2. Reduced Recovery Time

Bodybuilding can be very hard and intense, so adding running on top of that may reduce recovery time – if not properly planned. To ensure your well-being, engage in a proven bodybuilding and running program that aligns with your goals and supports your overall health.

3. Additional Joint Stress

Moreover, weightlifting itself brings a lot of joint stress. Running being a high-impact activity can further distress joints, ankles, and knees. Be careful how you do both, and always prioritize your safety.

4. Risk of Decreased Strength

Don’t circle back to this risk when implementing running into your bodybuilding fitness goals. Extensive long-distance running sessions may lead to potential muscle tissue breaks and decrease your mass.

7 Day Training Program for running and bodybuilding

We’ve concluded that running and bodybuilding can be beneficial for your goals when combined properly. That’s why now I’m gonna share a bodybuilding and running program to help you build and maintain muscles while enjoying all the benefits of running.

Monday – Upper Body StrengthChest press (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
Biceps curl (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Diamond push-ups (3 sets, 8-12 reps)
Pull-ups (3 sets, 6-8 reps)
Dips (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Bent over row (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
Tuesday – Endurance Training (Running)Beginner: 40-minute run with 3×5 minutes in tempo pace and 3-minute recovery in between.

Advanced: 60-minute run with 3×8 minutes in tempo pace and 4-minute recovery.
Wednesday – Lower Body Strength TrainingRomanian Deadlift (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
Barbell Back Squats (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
Hip thrusts (4 sets, 10-12 reps)
Leg press machine (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Calf raises (3 sets, 12-15 reps)
ThursdayRest Day
Friday – RunningBeginner: 8×400 meters on the track with a 400-meter light jog in between.

Advanced: 10×800 meters on the track with a light jog for the same time it took you to run each 800.
Saturday – Full-Body Strength TrainingBarbell squats (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
Chest press (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
Deadlift ( 4 sets, 6-8 reps)
Pull-ups (4 sets, 6-8 reps)
Shoulder press (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Dumbbell lunges (3 sets per leg, 10-12 reps per leg)
SundayRest Day

Running vs. Bodybuilding: Why There Are So Many Pros And Cons Of The Combination?

Running and bodybuilding are separate disciplines, each with benefits and drawbacks. Suppose you’re asking yourself can bodybuilders run fast, or can runners do weightlifting? Let’s find out by looking at some of the pros and cons of this combination.

Pros of the Combination:

  • Better sleep quality
  • Improved cardiovascular system
  • Improved mental health
  • Helps gain leg muscle
  • Increased endurance

Cons of the Combination:

  • Reduced recovery time
  • Bigger caloric expenditure
  • Additional joint, knees, and ankles stress
  • Risking decreased strength

These two disciplines are complementary in various aspects, such as running improving the cardiovascular system and bodybuilding enhancing the strength you can use for running.

This synergistic relationship can lead to better overall fitness, improved athletic abilities, and reduced risk of injuries. However, it is essential to balance the two disciplines, plan for adequate rest and recovery, and tailor the training approach to individual goals and fitness levels.

Considering this, the question of runner vs bodybuilder will always have many solid arguments back and forth, and your preference will only make a difference.

Bodybuilder running

Frequently Asked Questions about running for bodybuilders

Can You Be a Bodybuilder And a Runner?

You can be both a bodybuilder and a runner by smartly dividing your endurance and resistance training in line with your objectives, recovery, and nutrition. Properly managing your workout and eating habits allows you to excel in both pursuits.

Can I Run While Building Muscle?

Yes, you can run while building muscle. Running even helps you in gaining leg muscle. However, it’s essential to form a balance between running and bodybuilding.

Final Thoughts On Bodybuilding and running

Although running and bodybuilding are separate disciplines with many crucial differences, they can complement each other. We’ve covered all the benefits you can get from running as a bodybuilder and the risks that come with it. With proper considerations, running can align with your bodybuilding goals and can help you take your fitness journey to the next level.

Do you feel ready to take your fitness journey to the next level with this powerful combination? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this hot topic. Share any questions you have in the comments below, and we’ll answer them together!

Also read:


  1. Sleep Satisfaction and Energy Levels // Sleep Foundation: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-hygiene/sleep-satisfaction-and-energy-levels
  2. Exercise for Mental Health // PMC: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/
  3. Preserve your muscle mass // Harvard Health: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/preserve-your-muscle-mass
  4. Cardiovascular aspects of running // PubMed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3902253/

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