Jogging has been getting a lot of bad press lately. That’s because running is an example of ‘steady state cardio’. That means that it involves exerting yourself at a low level for a long period of time – running for 30-50 minutes for example. This is something that fewer and fewer people now advice with the advent of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and it has something that has been shown to be less efficient than that alternative.
If you want to build muscle as quickly and effectively as possible, then you should be alternating high intensity with periods of recovery. This will burn more fat in the long term, it will increase the health of mitochondria and it will be less likely to burn through the muscle. Or at least that’s the theory. But actually, there are a lot of good reasons to carry on using steady state and we’re going to take a look at those now.
HIIT is Brutal
The first reason to keep on doing steady state training is that HIIT is brutal. A lot of people paint HIIT as this ‘quick fix’ for muscle, pointing out that it lets you burn more fat in less time. In 20 minutes of HIIT, you can get a full workout and burn a lot more calories than you would on a 30-minute run.
But actually, the difference isn’t that big and it’s not as profound as most people make it out to be. What’s more, HIIT is really, really unpleasant. While you might think that HIIT is the ‘easy option’, the reality is that it is far more grueling and most people just won’t be able to maintain it as a regular part of their routine. Jogging, on the other hand, is something that everyone understands, that you can do anywhere and that can be quite fun. Just pick a destination and run!
Running Boosts Anabolism
And what is more, is that running can actually help you to increase your anabolism and build muscle in the long term. This may go against everything you’ve been told but it actually makes a lot of sense.
That’s because running trains the heart. Specifically, it helps you to enlarge the left ventricle, which enables you to pump more blood around the body with each beat. This is good news because it means you’ll have a lower resting heart rate, which in turn will translate to lower stress and lower cortisol.
And that means you’ll spend a lot more time in a ‘rest and digest’ state, flooded with anabolic hormones like testosterone, growth hormone and more. It also means that more blood, more oxygen, and more nutrients can make it around the body when you’re resting and when you’re training to power more brutal workouts.
It’s a Good Way to Get Cut
Running long distances is still a good way to get cut. It will burn a lot of fat and if you run for 40 minutes, you can expect to burn anything up to 700 calories. The negative effect on muscles is far more negligible than most make out too.
So in short: get running!