Debunking the Myth: Strength Training Will Not Bulk You Up, But Keeps You Injury-Free as a Runner

Runners wearing Herron Apparel running shorts on a city street during a race

Running is a fantastic form of exercise that is enjoyed by millions of people all over the world. However, in recent years, injury rates among runners have been on the rise. This has led to a lot of misconceptions about running, with many people claiming that it is inherently bad for your body.


The truth, however, is that while injury rates among runners are still too high, that doesn't mean that running is bad for you. In fact, many runners get injured not because of the running itself, but because they are neglecting other important aspects of their fitness routine.

One of the most significant things that many runners are missing out on is strength training. Despite the fact that strength training is essential for preventing injuries and improving performance, many runners avoid it because they believe that it will cause them to bulk up.


However, the truth is that to bulk up, you would need to engage in a specific type of weight training that is completely different from the type of strength training that runners need to do to stay healthy and injury-free. For example, someone who is bulking up might engage in a weight training program that looks like this:


Day 1: Chest, shoulders, triceps Day 2: Back and Biceps Day 3: Legs Day 4 Chest, shoulders Triceps Day 5: Back and Biceps Day 6: Legs

As you can see, there is no cardio included in this program. On the other hand, a strength training program for a runner might look like this:

Day 1: Full body pushing movements Day 2: Full body pulling movements 4 Days of running and 1 complete rest day


When compared to the weight training program for bulking up, it's clear that the volume and intensity of the strength training for runners is much lower.

It's important to note that running, as a form of cardio, will burn more calories and help in overall weight loss. But for running specific performance and injury prevention, strength training is a must. Even running a few miles a week doesn't make up for lack of strength in your legs, core, and glutes.


So, the next time you hear someone say that running is bad for your body, remember that while injury rates among runners are still too high, that doesn't mean that running is inherently bad for you. The key to staying healthy and injury-free as a runner is to engage in a well-rounded fitness routine that includes not just running but also strength training, recovery, and other forms of exercise.

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