One of the questions as old a the sport of body building is ‘does running build mass?’. This is a loaded question however.
It really depends however on how you go about running.
As you have probably noticed if you ever have watched a marathon, long distance running most certainly does not build muscle. You can quite clearly see that by looking at most long distance runner that many don’t weigh more than 150 pounds.
When you long distance run your body needs a massive amount of energy to power through miles upon miles of continuous running. This is essentially why carb loading is so critical for distance runners. When you run for an extended period of time, all the stored carbs and fats in your body get burned up as fuel. After you burn through all your stored carbs, your body begins to burn through the available proteins. When your body begins to use your proteins a fuel source, your chances of building muscle are slim since proteins are the building blocks for muscle growth. As a result you eventually will get to the point where your body eats away at its self until you barely have any muscle left.
However sprinting enhances your muscle building qualities when combined with weight lifting. There are a few key ways in which you can use sprints to cut down fat, increase cardiovascular endurance, and spark growth hormone
Sprints for resistance training
Your muscles grow through resistance training. This is not secret in the body building industry. By lifting weights in the gym you are performing one of the most basic types of resistance training that will always produce results.
However, people often forget that running is also a form of resistance training as well. Sprinting in particular is one of the best forms of resistance training for building mass. When you are running at high speeds, a huge amount of energy is forced onto your leg as you take a step. The force exerted on your legs can be as much as two to three times your bodyweight. In turn, sprinting for a hundred yards means that you are putting your legs through intense resistance training.
Speed work prepares your body for lifting heavy
When you run sprints specifically before your workout, your central nervous system responds by increasing your force output, or your capacity to lift heavy. Therefore, it is best to do sprints as a bit of a workout before you get into your lifting.
Speed training affects your neuromuscular system in a way that allows your body to lift at peak performance right when you start your workout. Without doing any running or cardio exercise before a workout, it takes a few sets for your body to adjust to the lifting. However sprinting before jumpstarts the process and allows you to start your workouts with more explosive power. By performing your lifts with more strength and power you will be able to lift more weight for longer periods of time. As everyone knows, the more weight you force yourself to lift, the more your muscles will grow.