Running On Leg Day
Today, the amount of people aiming to transform their body is constantly growing. The majority of them want to trim off unwanted pounds and become slim and healthy. Of course, there are dozens of methods that can help them reach their goals. The weight loss world offers an extremely wide range of diets, which promise to change your life. You can also find numerous workouts that promise you to get that dream body. The only question is: How to choose the proper tools and combine them correctly?
Many people tend to do everything possible to burn more calories and accelerate the process of weight loss. They think that the more they work, the better effect they will get and the healthier they will become. This is one of the most widespread mistakes. Everything is good in moderation, and it is important to be careful, especially when it comes to your health. Overdoing or getting too much exercise can be harmful for your body. It can lead to anxiety, depression, tiredness, need for longer periods of rest, trouble sleeping, and more (2).
Some people don’t realize what consequences they might face and proceed to combine some types of exercises that shouldn’t be combined.
In this article you will find information about possible risks and benefits of running on leg day. Let’s start!
Should running be on leg day?
You probably know that running has a bunch of health benefits. It can help protect your brain health, slow down the process of aging and support your cardiovascular health. Moreover, it lowers the risk of death caused by cardiovascular diseases and risk of cancer-related deaths (7). However, it doesn’t mean that you should run every single day and exhaust your body, combining it with numerous other workouts. Running on leg day is not the best idea and it is important to be careful.
First, it is critical to understand that when you perform physical exercises, your body uses stored muscle glycogen as fuel. After you perform one type of training session, this energy source can get depleted. That’s why the following workout you perform the same day will suffer from the fuel deficiency. The second workout will be difficult for you and too tough for your muscles (1). Such a combination is unlikely to bring your desired effect.
Second, the experts claim that any kind of resistance training may harm your endurance training. To put it simply, your weight lifting training session may harm your running workout, when they are combined incorrectly.
The problem is that your muscles need appropriate recovery periods between the training sessions. If your body doesn’t get the rest it needs, your endurance development might be impaired.
How resistance training affects the quality of endurance training?
Physiological stress for your body caused by a regular 40 to 60-minute resistance training can last for several days after the workout. A regular endurance training session demands a 24-hour recovery period. Moreover, there are number of variables that may adjust the way in which resistance training affects the quality of endurance training:
- The intensity of training sessions
- The volume of training sessions
- The speed of training sessions
- The recovery period between the training sessions
- The order of training sessions
Understanding the impact of these aspects will help you to schedule your resistance and endurance workouts in such a way that will minimize fatigue between them. In this way you’ll also significantly increase the quality of your running workouts.
If you cannot avoid running on a leg day, you can monitor the fatigue level between two types of workouts and with different recovery periods after different levels of physical load. In this way you’ll understand how to combine these exercises correctly. Moreover, your running workout should be done prior to resistance training despite their intensity. Make sure to have at least half a day of recovery between them (5).
Will running on leg day speed up weight loss?
It is a well-known fact that if you want to get rid of your body fat, your task is to burn more calories than you consume. To achieve such an effect, you should either eat lower amounts of food or be more physically active to burn more calories. However, a combination of both methods is the best option. So, additional cardio workouts, such as running, is a great way to get rid of extra calories. Some weight-watchers are sure that intensive cardio after a resistance workout for your legs will help you burn more body fat, since your body has already used the stored glucose during the leg training session.
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Here are some tips for your success:
- If you are a fan of high intensity or speed run, make sure to have a minimum of 48-hour recovery period after a leg day. If you had a moderate-to-high or a high-volume lower body training session, it is better to have 72 hours of recovery.
- When you have your leg day, you should never skip hamstrings. These are a group of three muscles on your rear thigh. Hamstrings actively bend the knee and straighten and extend the hip. They are not quite active when you are walking or standing, but are crucial for the proper performance of jumping, climbing and running (4). That’s why you shouldn’t underestimate its role and should pay necessary attention to them. Make sure to avoid hamstring injuries, which are so common among the athletes (1).
- The proper technique of exercise performance is critical for your health. By performing the workout correctly, you can avoid injuries. That’s why you should never round your back when performing the exercise. Damaged disks are very expensive to cure and even after the treatment they will never be the same. Moreover, it is one of the most painful injuries (8). Next time when you perform squats with a barbell or some similar exercise, make sure to keep your back strong and flat (1).
Some more tips:
- To avoid health issues connected to overtraining, it is important to support your body. You should consume enough calories for the level of physical exercises you perform, as your body needs fuel to build muscles. It is important to get necessary amounts of water before, during, and after workouts (1). In this way you will regulate your body’s temperature. Moreover, water lubricates your joints, which is important for the normal work of your body during your workout routine. Lack of water may lead to tiredness, dizziness, muscle cramps and more (6).
- As it was mentioned above, your body uses stored muscle glycogen as fuel. To maintain necessary levels of glycogen, it is recommended to consume foods high in carbs along with proteins for muscle growth and strengthening. However, make sure that you choose high-quality and nutrient-dense carbohydrates. Potatoes, pasta, vegetables, fruits and whole grains will provide your body with necessary amounts of simple and complex carbs, as well as with necessary vitamins and minerals (3).
What if I still want to perform running and leg workout on the same day?
If you still want to incorporate cardio workout to your leg day, it is recommended to choose a light type of cardio. High intensity training isn’t suitable.
In conclusion, weight loss and muscle gain don’t happen overnight. These are quite hard and time-consuming processes, which demand self-discipline. It is highly important to be careful and do everything properly. That’s why it is always better to consult professionals in order to avoid injuries and achieve desired results in a safe and healthy way. Moreover, keep in mind that performing physical exercises on a regular basis is only half the battle. It is also crucial to make smart eating choices to provide your body with fuel and all necessary nutrients. Don’t forget about the importance of high quality sleep – this is one of the keys to your overall health and success in weight loss. Your health and wellbeing are your major priority.
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This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 10 Things You Should Never Do On Leg Day (2018, bodybuilding.com)
- Are you getting too much exercise? (2018, medlineplus.gov)
- Fundamentals of glycogen metabolism for coaches and athletes (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Hamstring Injuries (2019, medicinenet.com)
- How to combine ‘leg day’ with running (2019, sciencedaily.com)
- Hydration for Athletes (2017, familydoctor.org)
- Running, no matter how little, is linked to 27% lower death risk (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Understanding Spinal Disk Problems — the Basics (2019, webmd.com)