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Is it important to run while also lifting?

Is it important to run while also lifting?

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Photo by Victor Freitas:

So, you are wondering about the age-old question: Should I be running if I’m also weight-training, or will it kill my gains? I, for one, think it is a great idea to incorporate running into your routine. However, it might not be for the typical reason one would assume.

No, I do not think it is a good idea to run or do cardio every single day if you are training hard in the gym in order to hit some PRs or for a competition. But, I do think it is a good idea to consistently incorporate and expose yourself to as wide of a variety of different stimuli as is reasonably possible.

“But I only care about getting bigger, leaner and stronger. Why waste my time?”, you rightfully ask. Well, I will do my best to explain. My number one reason is that no matter the exercise or type of training you are doing, your heart is the primary muscle responsible for powering your body through the workout. Having a healthy heart and cardiovascular system will only make you that much stronger, as well as help improve your endurance and recovery.

Blood carries oxygen throughout your body, and this blood flow is one of the primary factors in recovering. The quicker you can recover, the sooner you can properly train again. Those who neglect doing any cardio whatsoever, put themselves at an immediate disadvantage in the weightroom. If you do happen to currently be on a bulking phase, I recently wrote a blog post titled “Is it ok to run while bulking?”. You can click here to check it out.

There is another reason that I strongly suggest incorporating running, yoga, cycling, walking, weight-sleds, mobility work, foam rolling, stretching, and especially myofascial release into your regular routine, and that reason is: Being mobile and well-rounded in as many areas as possible will ultimately make you less susceptible to injury and stronger all-around in the long run. Check out the below video from “The Heightened Living Podcast with Chris Kidawski, kinesiologist, on the importance of myofascial release.

Yes, this means well-rounded in other areas within reason. Obviously, if you are spending most of your time running, stretching and doing foam rolling, and only 2-3 hours per week weight-training, you’re likely going to get weaker. However, if you incorporate one of these other facets into your routine for 5-10 minutes before, during or after each training session, over time you will begin to reap the benefits and your body will thank you!

One of the most important, and often overlooked components to training is the ability to train consistently over as long of a period of time as possible. If you are lifting heavy for 4-6 weeks, and then get injured or are not recovering properly and have to miss a week, and so on and so forth, your training and gains will suffer. It is usually not a matter of “if”, but rather “when” injury will strike.

I have personally found that incorporating self-myofascial release and mobility exercises into my daily routine has been one of the most valuable tools I have found. It can be as simple as buying one of these massage ball sets from Amazon and simply rolling on them a few times a week. It sounds simple, but they have helped me immensely by allowing me to work out my own knots and adhesions.

Click here to check price on Amazon

Thank you for checking out this blog post, and I hope it was helpful for you on your fitness journey. Please feel free to browse around our site for other running and lifting related articles!