Get A Physique Like Franco Through Running
This probably goes against the grain of what you’ve heard and probably been told.
The amount of myths and theories I’ve heard about this, if I were to list them all I’d be sat here for hours writing.
“Avoid Cardio when trying to pack on muscle because of xyz and blah, blah, blah”
Trying telling that to Franco Columbu, a multi-Mr. Olympia winner who maintained a trim yet massive physique, was one of the first to see that running could help, not hinder, the bodybuilder.
One of the primary benefits that running brings to the body is burning off body fat.
You know the guys who are big but they just look fat?
Yeah, those guys don’t run.
Some bodybuilders have recognized the benefit of running (like me) and have incorporated running as part of their training routine.
Franco reveals that the bodybuilders who do run realize fantastic benefits:
“Whenever I have a problem getting definition fast, I start running. The effects soon become apparent. My midsection shapes up fast and the definition in my thighs improves daily. With unanimous surprise, all the running bodybuilders, including myself, have discovered that running has not affected the size of our muscles. The greatest effect that running has is the same as jumping rope, that is, it speeds up the metabolism which helps burn off fat and conditions the body so that training becomes easier and one is able to train faster. I recommend running rather than jogging because it speeds up the metabolism more, which is very important in achieving definition.”
Franco has high praise for running and touts its benefits for the bodybuilder.
Franco prefers the more hard-core running to the cardio-aerobic style of jogging.
However, the cardio-aerobic style of running also has super benefits.
John Christy, a trainer and owner of Total Fitness, Inc., is adamant about the advantages of cardio-aerobic work for the bodybuilder:
In my opinion, aerobic work should be performed by everyone – period. Even a trainee who is extremely skinny should do aerobic work. The aerobic work is not going to prevent you from putting on muscle as long as you implement it correctly and are getting a caloric overload. As a matter of fact, it will actually help you in your weight training efforts by increasing the rate of recovery between workouts, and help to limit the fat that you gain. Most of all, aerobic work will keep your most important muscle in shape – your heart.
Heart benefits are no small matter, and are often overlooked by the bodybuilder.
One of the common causes for early death in the bodybuilding community is heart failure.
Another key point made by Christy is that of improved recovery rate between workouts.
This is a crucial point that many overlook.
In fact it plays a huge role in building muscle. Adrian Kneeshaw, Editor of Body Building Monthly, describes this beneficial process:
Aerobic fitness assists by improving the efficiency of the recovery process. This is where aerobic fitness is an advantage, as oxygen is used to transport these waste products away. Therefore, an individual with superior aerobic fitness is able to use oxygen more efficiently to help them recover faster from exercise, and therefore able to train and perform with greater effectiveness. Likewise, in the period following training, superior aerobic fitness enables the body to transport nutrients round the body more efficiently, enhancing post-exercise recovery.
One of the prime elements in building the muscles is the recovery factor.
Aerobic fitness produces this effective recovery better than anything else.
The more efficient you can make your oxygen use process, the quicker your recovery.
And that greatly enhances muscle growth!
So does the boost to post-workout push of nutrients to the body at the crucial point of the rebuilding phase.
Running is a fundamental aerobic exercise, an exercise that some consider the very best of all the cardio-aerobic exercises.
Running significantly improves the efficiency of the physique’s recovery process as well as burning body fat.
That dual offering makes running a knockout combination for every bodybuilder. Bodybuilders who run are healthier than bodybuilders who do not run.
And bodybuilders who run have a much more efficient recovery process than those who do not.
How to implement running to your fitness routine…
The best approach is to add two running days a week.
One of these can be the more aggressive hard core running that Franco refers to.
This type of running can be set up in an interval approach for time effectiveness. That is, the interval approach to running allows workout time to be seriously compressed.
A major new study published in the Applied Journal of Physiology indicates how effective interval training can be, according to fitness guru and author Phil Campbell.
He points out that research shows that when comparing just a few 30-second cardio sprints to traditional long, slow cardio, there is a 4 to 1 time-saving, efficiency advantage for interval training.
In other words, a 20-minute program that includes as few as 4 intervals is equal to one full hour of long slow cardio.
The ability to condense the effects of fat loss exercise into a smaller time package is of great benefit for bodybuilders or athletes who need to make the most of any and all training time.
In the study, research revealed that given the large difference in training volume, the data demonstrated that SIT (low volume sprint training) is a time-efficient strategy to induce rapid adaptations in skeletal muscle and exercise performance.
These intervals should include warm-up time, and then a 20-30 second sprint, with a minute or two of rest between the sprints.
Initially perform 4 sprints, and gradually work up to 8 sprints, performing the final 2-3 sprints at 95% of top output.
The other running day should be a traditional longer run.
You don’t need to run a marathon, but if you can work up to a few miles on one morning a week, you will really benefit your body.
If you have not been running recently, work up slowly from a 20 minute run to a longer 45-60 minute run.
Slowly increase your pace until you are performing your runs at a good clip.
Stretch and warm-up your leg and hip areas before you run, as well as hydrating well prior to the workout.
Stay with your running and watch as it enhances your entire physique.
From health to appearance, running is a massive benefit to your bodybuilding efforts.
Your next step…Download my free ebook below (if you haven’t already).