T Nation

Long Distance Running as a Physique Athlete?


#1

I haven’t done cardio in over a year and I’ve noticed I’m not as lean as I was back in high school. I wanna start jogging again but I hear all these different things about how cardio kills gains. But in high school I was shredded and ran 1500m in track and ran all the time and still made great gains. Was maybe just noob gains cus I just started lifting in high school. But I’m also entering a men’s physique contest in a few months any thoughts?


#2

Depends on how much muscle you’ve gained since your running days. It can be done (Alex Viada does triathlons as well as powerlifting) but needs to be worked into gradually if you’ve gained a lot of weight–joints and tendons not used to having the extra mass bouncing up and down on them can really get irritated and can lead to tendonitis or such. Nothing likely severe but it could really hamper your training.

Overall I would mix cardio tools. You’re going to need to do cardio to do a physique contest anyway. A good mix of steady cardio like jogging and higher intensity stuff like sprints or hill sprints or HIIT will work well.

It is a myth that the occasional jog will kill your gains. It often even helps recovery in people accustomed to it. Long periods of cardio constantly every week–sure, those can kill gains. But jogging for 20 minute 2 times a week? Nope


#3

I’ve gained a lot of weight since my senior year. Like a lot so yeah probably a good idea to take it easy on the running at first and gradually up my miles and speed. Thanks for the advice


#4

I’ve heard good things about his training, but just an FYI, Alex Viada is a known fraudster in the running/endurance community. There is a fair amount of evidence (both anecdotal and documented in video) of his impressive lifting prowess, but nothing to show he is actually capable of his claimed running times. So holding him up as evidence of what’s possible may provide a flawed baseline of what’s possible on this regard.

Obviously I agree with everything else you said, Aragorn.


#5

I agree with this. I just want to make sure that everybody knows I am not saying Viada’s claimed triathlon or marathon times are accurate. Are you going to be a world breaking triathloner doing both? No chance. None at all. I just want to say I believe both distance running and keeping gains are viable as a “proof of concept” against the claim that any distance running at all will kill your gainzzz.

I did choose a bad example though. Apologies there. First guy that came to mind.