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Running while Trying to Preserve / Gain Muscle?

Leaving for bootcamp in about 6 months. I love bodybuilding , and would like to keep my size gains. Im going to be cutting down here in weight soon , and i need to decrease my run times. How can i incorporate running into my routine? or how would you? I run a LPP 6x a week , and was thinking of running one leg day , then sprints on the next leg day. Then possibly a walk on my off day. Would this hinder recovery to a certain degree ? Also , as im in a “bulk” phase currently , would eating back the calories i burned have any negative effect on decreasing run times ? Thank you !


What does lpp stand for?


I’m guessing lower/push/pull.

Start to slowly build up your endurance. I suggest low intensity stuff, not sprints. Boot camp will require you to jog for long distances and march with added weight for long distances. Sprinting will not prepare you for this.

Depending on your current running ability, start jogging for time. I’d start with 10 minutes a couple times a week. You just need to build a base for the next 3-4 months. In the last 2-3 months before boot camp, focus on pushing your conditioning while switching to maintenance on your lifting.

You don’t want to be in constant pain and struggling to keep up at boot camp. Sticking out is a bad thing. I can empathize with wanting to keep your gains but your number one priority is boot camp. You have time to keep doing your setup but you need to start gradually shifting your efforts to the stuff you’ll be doing at camp - running, marching, push ups and other body weight stuff.


Don’t forget about structuring your lifting to get the best cardio gains while keeping muscles.

Squat EMOMs, like a set of 3 reps at the top of every minute for 10-12 minutes is better for improving connditioning and running times than running.

My friend Kenny Croxdale told me about this guy, and his research with “cluster sets.” Maybe something useful in here.

I would say cutting down lifting volume will be important if better conditioning is your goal. Either a low volume 5/3/1 template or a Dorian Yates style HIT training could be good options. Also with the running make sure to start slow. Nothing will hinder your progress more than nagging injuries.

Where did you hear/read/experience this? I’ve never heard squatting well improve run times. I agree that it’ll help with general conditioning but I’m skeptical about it improving running.

I hate running and I suck at it and I’ve never improved without just doing it, but I’d be thrilled if I could get better without actually doing it.


Honestly man, it’s been all around, for ever. Crisp intervals (intense exercises with short breaks to keep intensity high) are better than long runs or sets where force production decreases and technique gets sloppy.

Modern football coaches who don’t suck know that short, repeated sprints are more effective than long runs.

Running nerds know about Fart Licking.

Rest/Pause, clusters and low rep sets with short rests are the Intervals of lifting. Crossfit brahs who strive for fitness use EMOMs a lot.

This isn’t like, a coincidence.

I read about these ideas in Louie Simmons’ articles (from westsidbarbell website)for years. He’s been talking about dynamic squat day with short rest to increase conditioning (down to 20 seconds, sometimes less so faster than EMOM) for years and years.

After Louie I tried to check out a couple Russian books. One (Special Strength Training Manual for Coaches) was from Yuri Verkhoshansky, a big time track and field coach. Its all about Running faster and jumping higher. Dude has charts of what running/jumping/lifting exercises athletes of different sports should use. Most of the lifting is done in clusters or series or repeated low rep sets.

In the last few years Westside has put out podcasts and a lot of the info isn’t about powerlifting. Episode 5: The Deadlift for Sprinting is Specifically about how to improve run times through strength and force production.

Years ago in college I was in the ROTC and had to run 2 miles as part of the fitness test. I tried all kinds of stuff to get better times. The best way was to run up the step at the football stadium. Something like 4 trips up and down 48 steps 3 times a week for 2 weeks produced my best run times. Way better than doing 2 mile runs. This isn’t squat EMOMs, but in my mind it supports the interval style.

Strarting like 2 years ago I used the Westside template with short rests and many low rep sets on Dynamic Effort lower body day for about 18 months. I didn’t test my run times, but I did “test” my conditioning with long sled drags (like half a mile and once 2 miles) and fast walks up a steep steep mountain trail behind my house. I surprised myself every time. I couldn’t believe how awesome my conditioning was.

I don’t want to put words in their mouths, but Mark and Punisher may have some kinda tangential experience with lifting fast or EMOMs improving their run times.

Also the Tabata Protocol supports the idea. The Dr Tabata developed the interval style workout to improve speed skaters race times. This method is widely accepted and used ( or widely misunderstood and sloppily applied) so it’s not a huge leap to speculate different work/rest combinations could improve times in different length races.

Kettlebell advocates talk about a Russian study were some military dudes did their military fitness tests to establish a base line. Then they only did kettlebell swings for training. Basically high force interval style training. When they took the fitness test again they improved everything, including run times, broad jumps and maybe even chin ups. I’m a little fuzzy on the exact details. But a work/rest interval set up with swings made them run faster.

Ah, yes. I was thinking in terms of distance running. I know the stuff I do in the weight room can improve short distance/time performance because it’s the same energy system. I’m not so sure it’ll improve a 2 mile or 5k time.

Your stair workout makes sense. It’s different than a 10 minute squat EMOM because you were constantly going instead of doing a 1:3 work to rest ratio.

I don’t know man. Using the intermediate energy system repeatedly for 10, 15 or 24 minutes must tap into the long duration energy system.

You seem kinda closed off to the whole idea. I think you’re Really missing out if you don’t try it.



Just speaking from my personal experience, but I ran XC in 9th grade, and wasn’t that good, and from the end of that season (October) until the beginning of my 10th grade season (August), I ran maybe…five times. Like literally, maybe five times. Probably less.

I did start lifting that summer leading up to the 10th grade season though, and did some pretty basic stuff (squats, front squats, deadlifts, Oly-lifts - no specific posterior chain stuff - hip thrusts, GHR’s, or single leg stuff) and my times improved immensely.

Bumped me up from JV (3K/1.8 miles) to varsity (5K/3.1 miles) and my times got way better, even with the distance increase.

Spent the next winter expanding my lifting vocabularly and doing more specific posterior chain movements as well as the big lifts, and when I did track for the first time I qualified for state in the 400m and 800m. Never got great at the sprints (didn’t really try to), and while I’m sure I could’ve been good at the 1 or 2 miles with my XC background, I started hating long distance and just did mid distance that season.

Sorry for the length, but yes, in my personal experience, and in the one high school runner I’ve been training, strength training has helped our 5K times pretty well.

I’ve been strength training for over a decade and I’ve always been terrible at running. It could have more to do with our muscle fiber types and percentages. I’ve always done better at shorter duration things that require a bit of explosiveness.

I could dunk when I was 14 and I was 6’2" at the start of that school year. I was 6’4" and about 185-200 lbs as a junior and I ran XC and it SUCKED. I hated every minute of it. The only workout I enjoyed was when we ran about 100 m uphill and downhill as a 3 man team relay. I loved that workout and maintained my speed the whole time.

Yeah, I’m sure it’s more of an individual thing. Depends on the person’s genes, like you said.

I haven’t really been running at all for a while now, but I’m thinking of maybe starting to do sprints once or twice a week, and a longer distance run once a week or once every other week this spring. The sprints should be fine, but I’m wondering if the longer distance stuff needs to be more often. I don’t expect my 5K time to go down drastically - I just want to be able to run a 5K without completely dying, but I’m wondering if once every other week is often enough to not die haha.

I’ve never dunked, but I could grab the rim pretty easily after about a year of lifting - I can’t anymore since I’ve gained weight, and am overall less “explosive” and athletic, but I want to get back to that. I’m not a basketball player but it’s cool to be able to do in front of people.

And I love running hills. LOVE it. It’s the only thing I was consistently better at than my XC teammates. I was a little “rounder” than they were, but I was fairly strong since I was usually pretty active and just naturally bigger, so I could always be one of the best at it, and I honestly just really enjoyed it. I always felt that strength actually played a pretty big part in it, rather than just purely running ability. I should start incorporating some of those in again as well.

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I can still dunk two handed from a flat footed start and I’m 20 lbs heavier than usual. I could still dunk at 250 lbs too (recently lost a few lbs). I’ve known people who were naturally good at running. They’d take like four months off and be completely out of shape and then go run 5 miles at an 8:00 pace like it was nothing. My money is on genetics and personality. Running hurts, and I don’t enjoy it, so it’s very difficult to push through the pain when I run.

Be careful on the sprints. If you haven’t moved fast in a while then ease into it — like over months instead of weeks. I keep straining my hamstring because I think I can run at 90% and I’m wrong LOL

Intervals develop mitochondria! More mitochondria, more energy for all energy systems and all activities! Science!


Short and to the point. I can do that!

Who gets 6 months notice of bootcamp lol. The new army! I was told 3 weeks from my interview I’d be going to basic training and I’m a Canadian. You will lose muscle mass but if your gonna use your gains as am excuse not to be a good soldier then find a new career. Go all in and use that energy for getting swole to get freaktastic in army shape. Be faster and better able to put in work then anybody. Nobody gives a shit how jacked you were if you dont put out.