Is it possible to Jog and Build Muscle simultaneously?

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Mann beim Treppe hochjoggen am Strand ©jacoblund

Want to build muscle and improve your cardio fitness at the same time? Can you combine both jogging and weight training? Or will you lose your hard-earned muscles if you work on your endurance? Find out how you can combine strength and running training right here, right now!

Does Jogging Lead to Muscle Loss?

Who doesn’t know that old gym-rat rumor: “If you go jogging, you’ll lose your muscles!” Sure, it’s been around forever, but is there any truth to it?

In some ways, yes. To build muscle, your body needs three things: training + nutrition + recovery. Your body needs a calorie surplus to build muscle and jogging burns calories. So any muscle loss from jogging is probably caused by that.

If your body is not getting enough energy or, in other words, if you burn more calories than you take in, you’re going to be in a calorie deficit and lose weight. This includes not only body fat but also your hard-earned muscles.

So what does that mean for jogging? More food! If you want to stay fit by running, you have to make sure you make up for the calories you burn in your diet. If you want to build muscle, you need to be in a calorie surplus. Try to compensate for the extra calories you burn by eating more within a balanced and healthy diet.

That doesn’t have to mean packing more meat into your meals. Even a light and healthy snack can help you meet your calorie needs.

Building Muscle and Running : the right combination of strength and endurance training

Want to not only build up your muscles, but also do something for your cardiovascular system and your overall endurance and fitness? Jogging outside is a great idea, especially in the warmer seasons.

Muskulöser Mann beim Outdoor Training

What’s the best way to combine your strength and running workouts? It’s going to depend a lot on your own workout style and what your body needs. But, in general, you’ve got two options:

#1 Strength training first, then jogging

If you want to build muscle, you have to train hard. If you want to do both workouts in one day, we recommend you start with your strength training first, when your energy reserves are still full and you can go full throttle. Afterwards, a relaxed run not only trains your endurance, but also does something for your muscle regeneration at the same time. Tip: don’t go for a sprint right after strength training. Your body is already exhausted so your concentration won’t be at its peak and your risk for injury will increase.

# 2 Strength training and cardio training on two different days

The most effective combination is to schedule your workouts on separate days. This way you can do each workout with full energy and concentration, without one of them taking a back seat. One day strength training, the next day a running session. But even with this combo, it’s important to listen to your body and make sure that your recovery period isn’t too short.

Build Muscle by Jogging?

Can you build muscles just by running? Jogging is a whole body sport. If you jog regularly, you work on not only your endurance and cardiovascular system, but also your:

  • Foot musculature
  • Calf muscles
  • Thighs and glutes
  • Core muscles
  • Arms and shoulders

And don’t forget, your heart is also a muscle. But, if jogging strengthens all these muscles, why don’t you see runners with really bulky legs? Well, you can build muscles through jogging, but it’s only to a limited extent. You can’t build massive muscles through jogging alone. This is due to, among other things, the type of muscle strain. When you run, the muscle fibers in your legs are stretched lengthwise and aren’t under strain in the same way as they would be during a squat, for example. On top of that, your body and muscles quickly get used to the steady motion of running so they’re not challenged that much. But you can try to build some variety into your cardio training by running sprint intervals.

Support with Clever Supplements

If you jog a lot in addition to strength training, you not only sweat a lot and burn a ton of calories, but also put a lot of stress on your muscles, ligaments, joints, and tendons. It’s especially important that you have enough recovery time if you’re doing both. You can support the regeneration process with the right nutrition.


The foundation of a nutrition plan is always a balanced and healthy diet. On top of that, you can protect your muscles from muscle breakdown by taking BCAAs and/or other protein supplements.

Jog & Muscle Building : Conclusion

  • Muscle building and jogging can be combined.
  • Either put your strength training before your run,
  • Or better: strength training and running workouts on two different days.
  • Jogging burns additional calories, so you need to compensate for that with your diet.
  • Muscle building through jogging is only possible to a limited extent.
  • Protect and maintain your muscles with proper nutrition and supplements.

Sources for this article

We at foodspring use only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.