Just last night I was sitting with one of my friends and we started talking about working out. I haven’t known her very long but I did know that she worked out and ran a lot (5-8 mile sessions).
Somehow we got to talking about training legs and she proceeded to state that running was great for building leg muscles…needless to say I almost fell out of my chair and got very excited at the chance to help out her poor misinformed soul.
She was adamant that if I wanted big legs I needed to run and that she herself has gained consider muscle in her legs from running (and she does have a descent amount of leg muscle).
Now as I began telling her that running for muscle building couldn’t hold a candle to squats, lunges, leg-presses, and stiff-leg deadlifts, I got a little overworked and said that running wouldn’t build muscle at all.
In hindsight I bet that was probably an inaccurate statement but as I continued to ponder this question I realized I didn’t have any solid information about running and it’s direct muscle-building properties.
It seems evident that it really would be a second tier form of leg building, as I don’t think a typical bodybuilders leg day consists of 5 miles on the track but my question is does anyone have any evidence or can point to any studies that show anything about the correlation between running and gaining leg muscle?
Everything I know about running is mainly for fat burning, pure cardiovascular health, and the secondary benefits cardio gives you for muscle building (can eliminate c02 better, flush lactic acids, etc.)
I realize there are lots of individual variables that could affect whether one gains muscle simply from running, such as genetics but any help with this question would be appreciated!