Does Running Build Muscle? The Truth Behind This Common Fitness Myth

Does Running Build Muscle?

Many people aspire to have a more muscular and fit body and wonder if jogging might aid in muscle growth. This article seeks to analyse this frequently asked fitness question and provide you with a thorough grasp of how running and muscle growth are related.

The Science Behind Muscle Building

Let’s first review the fundamentals of muscle development before delving into how running contributes to muscle growth.

Muscle Growth and Exercise

Hypertrophy, or the development of muscles, is a reaction to resistance or strength training. Our muscles adapt and become stronger when we put them to the test with weightlifting and other workouts.

Running – A Cardiovascular Exercise

The main classification of running as an exercise is cardiovascular. Its primary goals are to increase cardiovascular health, stamina, and endurance. But may it aid with muscular growth as well?

The Impact of Running on Muscle Growth

The Role of Running in Muscle Building

Running helps build muscle indirectly, even though it mostly works your cardiovascular system.

Caloric Burn and Muscle Mass

Running helps produce a calorie deficit since it burns calories. If you consume fewer calories than what your body needs, you can lose weight. But muscle mass may also be affected by this.

Types of Running

Running styles, such as sprinting and long-distance running, have differing effects on the development of muscles.

Long-Distance Running

Running long distances mainly increases endurance and can result in smaller muscles.


Fast-twitch muscle fibers are activated during sprints, which may aid muscular growth.

Nutrition and Muscle Building

The development of muscle is greatly influenced by diet. Running frequently requires consuming more calories to promote muscular growth.

Protein Intake

Consuming enough protein is necessary for both muscular growth and healing.

Carbohydrates and Running

Carbohydrates provide the energy required for running. To maintain muscular mass, one must consume carbohydrates in a balanced manner.

Strength Training and Running

Strength training combined with running can improve muscle growth.

Combining Exercises

Running and weightlifting together can produce a comprehensive strategy for developing muscle and general fitness.

The Myths and Misconceptions

Cardio Burns Muscle

A popular misconception contends that excessive exercise, such as jogging, might result in muscle loss. Let’s dispel this misunderstanding.

Balancing Cardio and Strength

Maintaining and even improving muscle mass can be achieved by combining strength and cardio exercise.


In conclusion, you can include jogging in your workout regimen even if you want to gain muscle. To have the best effects, it should be used in conjunction with strength exercise, a balanced diet, and an appropriate nutrient intake. The misconception that running only burns muscle has been debunked, provided that it is combined with other fundamental fitness exercises.


Can I build significant muscle by running alone?

Running is one of many effective ways to build muscle, but it can help. To get noticeable muscular gain, strength training must be incorporated.


How can I prevent muscle loss while running?

Maintain a well-balanced diet high in protein and carbohydrates, and include strength training in your fitness regimen to help minimize muscle loss during running.


What is the ideal balance between running and strength training for muscle growth?

Although everyone’s perfect balance is different, in general, you should include two to three days of strength training in your running regimen.


Is it possible to gain muscle while training for a marathon?

Because marathon training requires a significant caloric expenditure, it can be challenging to gain muscle. During this intensive training phase, keep your current muscle mass in mind.


Can running reduce body fat?

Yes, when paired with a healthy diet, running can aid in reducing body fat. Running burns calories, which helps people lose weight and get a leaner body.

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