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Weight Lifting and Long Distance Running question... (Read 1567 times)

    Hey all, First off, I will say "hi" as I am new here. Now for my question: this past summer I got really intense about my workout regimen; 2 hours a day at the gym and long distance runs on weekends. My mileage would usually be around 3-6 miles a day. Also, I started using creatine monohydrate for a month. I built a lot of muscle, but not as much as I think I should have for the amount I was lifting. I spoke with the manager of a local Vitamin Shoppe, and she told me that running long distance burns off excess muscle mass. Is this true? If so, would it be true to say that my lifting was essentially negated by going on 12mile runs? Any input would be appreciated, Thanks! Joe
      Also, I started using creatine monohydrate for a month. I built a lot of muscle, but not as much as I think I should have for the amount I was lifting. I spoke with the manager of a local Vitamin Shoppe, and she told me that running long distance burns off excess muscle mass. Is this true? If so, would it be true to say that my lifting was essentially negated by going on 12mile runs?
      Hiya NSA Joe! The short answer - your local Vitaman Shoppe (with an e!) manager needs to share whatever he's smoking. A shorter answer - No ... and hell, no. A less-of-a-smartass answer - you might want to get your workout advice from a sports medicine specialist, or a legitimate personal trainer, not the guy selling Soy and Wheatbran Smoothies. Big grin Now the long version: What are your weight lifting goals? Strength? Flexibility? Add to your running abilities? Or are you just trying to bulk up? The answer makes a big difference. If it's one of the first two, ignore Mr. Spinach and Soy shake. If it's option C, the truth is that you have to be pretty specific with lifting to help your running, and if you're into long distance, adding bulk will slow you down. I know this cuz I face the same dilemma: I dig running, but I don't really want a distance runner's body. So I'll keep lifting, but it will always be a tradeoff that will make me a little slower. But I think your question is actually D - is running keeping you from gaining mass? Is that right? Well, here Mr. Granola at the shop(pe) might have a bit of a point. For a couple reasons. First, if you're really running 3-6 miles a day and 10-12 on weekends, you're burning a helluva lot of calories, not to mention those burned lifting. If you want to gain mass, you need more positive caloric intake, as I'm sure you know. You might need 4,000-5,000 calories to bulk up, depending on your size, and if you're running that much, you might be burning an extra 1,000-2,000 a day, depending on distance. So there's your first answer: if you want bulk and you want to keep running, you'll probably need to eat more. (And you know the drill: low-fat, high-protein, blah blah blah. Dig those skinless chicken breasts and egg whites). Next thing: if you're looking for a bodybuilder kinda physique, you want balance - meaning symettry in your arms and legs. As I'm sure you also know, the key to gaining bulk (just like getting better at running), is stressing the body and then RESTING it. If you're running every day, I suspect you're never giving your legs (and maybe your arms and shoulders) enough of a real rest in between workouts to gain bulk. The answer: you don't need to lose overall distance, but you probably DO need to run less OFTEN. If I were you, I wouldn't run more than 4 times a week, and 3 would probably be better - especially if you're working your quads and calfs in the gym. And then there's the worst news: as I'm sure you once again already know, how much you can bulk up is largely genetic. Some guys gain an inch on their biceps having a few beers; some guys could curl a Volkswagon for a year and not get bigger arms. You just might be one of those who don't bulk up easy. Which isn't necessarily bad ... it might mean you could get stronger and more flexible and still be lean enough to be a great runner! Big grin I think your answers in there somewhere: watch the diet, run less often (even if you keep mileage the same), add calories and the right kind of calories, maybe make your long run once every 2 weeks instead of weekly, and make SURE you're getting enough off days to let your guns expand. The bottom line is NO - if you do it right, there's no reason you can't run and also look Herculean. At the Country Music marathon last April, I passed a guy at mile 25 that looked like Lou Ferrigno without the green makeup. He was frickin' huge. (Of course, I felt sorry for the guy, having to lug all that weight for 26 miles!). If he can do it, you can. Ignore Captain Vitamin. (By the way ... back when I was more serious about lifting, I heard A LOT of big muscleheads talk bad about running. Was Captain Vitamin by any chance a pretty buff dude? Seems common for serious muscle beach types to question the benefits of running. And I used to think they were right. Now I think they're insane. Which is okay, since I can taunt them and then run away faster than they can possibly move ...) Good luck! And keep us posted - I'm curious as to your results in 6 months.
      E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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        I'm with Jake on this one. I've been able to put on a good amount of muscle over the past year or so and I don't think there was a time I wasn't really running alot ( except a few times this year when I couldn't which didn't last more than a week or two) Of course I'm not a guy lol Here is a before (2004) and a now (2006). I've run a marathon a couple half marathons and run TONS. http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c152/rockenmamma/Front_49_2089Sep282004_450thumb.jpg http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c152/rockenmamma/4-5-2006.jpg

        Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don't so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head." - Joe Henderson

          Wow, thanks JakeKnight and Rocken- Very insightful and informative. I started this summer thinking I wanted to get rid of that "baby fat" layer around my midsection that I have had forever- Once I was close, I started getting curious as to where my real plateau was (hence the creatine). I did that for a while, and did the running too, but got a little put off when the Vitamin Nazi (which was a woman, BTW) told me that myth of the running and burning muscle. I think what I have decided as of now for my goals are thus: during school, focus on maintaining a strong core (lots of calisthenics and high reps) and maintaining body fat around 8-10%. Then once I have more time in the summer, load with creatine and focus on building buku muscle and strength training. The main reason for that is once I am at school I don’t have 2 hours a day to dedicate to the gym, and the running is a real stress reliever (UofM = teh uber stressorz) I joined the running club here, and each day they do 2-3, 5-6, and 7-9 mile runs. I think I am mostly going to stick to the 5-6 mile runs 4 days a week, then hit the longer ones on one weekend. I go to the gym twice a week to do chest and back one day, then arms and shoulders the next. I maintain abs almost everyday I can. Cliff notes: from now until about mid April, I am focusing on maintaining a strong core and tone. From end of April until beginning of September, I will go back to building muscle (read: NO XPLODE FTW!) Again, thanks for the responses guys, take it easy. Big grin Joe
            Next summer, try just one thing: add in one extra day off. From the lifting, I mean. I think you'll be surprised. At the moment, you are working out pretty hard. If you're like me, you'll probably find it harder to take days OFF than anything else. The 4 day a week running thing is probably smart, too. I was just reading a Jeff Galloway article the other day when he talked about a friend of his who - at 60 something years of age - finally decided his body couldn't take his standard 5 miles a day 6 times per week. So he shifted to running only 3 times a week - but kept the mileage the same by making each run 10 miles. The result? At 60-something, he went out and ran a PR in the marathon by 10 minutes. All because of more rest days. Something to think about. And I think you'll learn the same lesson when you start trying to bulk up. Harder, longer workouts maybe ... but more rest in between. By the way ... which UofM? Missouri? Montana? Minnesota? Or - my guess - Michigan? (If I forgot an 'M' state, I apologize!) Smile
            E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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              Thanks for the idea- and yes it is University of Michigan Big grin Joe.
                Thanks for the idea- and yes it is University of Michigan Big grin Joe.
                I'm sorry to hear that. Tongue Go Spartans!
                E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                  undefeated football team, what what?! Surprised