Bodybuilding, Running and Muscle Breakdown

How does one prevent a decrease in muscle mass when running ( 6 miles

at 9 minutes a mile )?

I am a 6' 137 pound (25% body fat) 33 year old female who has been

running and weight training off and on for fourteen years ( more on

than off ). I am now, however, trying to concentrate more on building

mass ( 5-8 reps of a heavier weight ). I continue to run 6 miles a day

and am concerned about losing the muscle I am trying so hard to build

when I run. Specifically, I run 6 days a week and lift weights about

four hours a week.

I recently read in the book " The Edge", by Ben and Joe Weider, that

those who want to build muscle should not do more than 30 minutes of

cardio a day or they are defeating the purpose. Apparantly, they say

more than thirty minutes and your muscles will start shrinking.

Since I love running my six miles so much, I am trying to find a way

to avoid this problem while continuing my routine.

Would a protien/carb drink in the middle of my run help? How about

glutamine in the middle of my run? What can I do to make sure I am not

losing my muscle?

One thought on “Bodybuilding, Running and Muscle Breakdown

  1. By doing more cardio your muscles are changing, not shrinking. I

    would suggest reading the article "Muscle, Genes and Athletic

    Performance" (Ref. 1, sorry, this is purchasable online, but I would

    suggest finding it at your local library). The article in Ref. 2 is

    free, but a little off topic.

    You have three competing types of muscle in your body: slow type 1,

    fast type 2a, and fast type 2x fibers. Each performs a different

    function. Fast fibers do tasks like lifting weights and sprinting

    (high power exercise). Guess what slow fibers do… continuous,

    energy-consuming tasks… like running. The fibers -can- be changed

    into one another, but… they have competing agendas. Namely, power

    and endurance. Sprinting is an alternative to running that helps build

    fast fibers, but your going to have a lot of trouble if you decide to

    try running a marathon after sprint-training for a few months.

    Protein/carb drinks are not going to help, that's what a balanced diet

    is for. If your looking for a lot more muscle mass, I would suggest

    cutting your running routine to a fraction of what it is now and

    increasing your weight training (you can still run, just not nearly as

    much). If you want just a little more mass, you really are not going

    to have a problem… simply increase the weight and keep the reps down

    (about 10 to 12 reps per set), and maybe decrease your running from

    six miles to four. Do the weight training before running if you are

    doing it all in one session.

    Hope this helps,



    1) Muscle, Genes and Athletic Performance; Scientific American,

    September 2000; by Jesper L. Anderson, Peter Schjerling, Bengt Saltin;

    8 Page(s)

    The cellular biology of muscle helps to explain why a particular

    athlete wins and suggests what future athletes might do to better

    their odds

    2) Scientific American: Muscular Again

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