Muscles of Iron

Strength, Health, and Might

Running for The Weight Man

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I always ran as part of my training regimen for powerlifting and general fitness when I competed. I never felt comfortable jogging. Contradiction? Not really. Jogging over long distances resulted in back and knee discomfort where as 3/4 max-speed sprints had no ill effect at all and enhanced my lifting ability.

Photo 1

Cartoon drawing of a shirtless 'bodybuilder' running around a football field.

Many lifters incorporate running into their training routine to increase stamina, improve cardiovascular fitness, and shape the legs. Drawing by Chris “Sticks” Bostick. All rights reserved.

I’m sure heavy squatting and deadlifting on a regular basis gave me a built-in fatigue factor when I jogged. I found that eight 100–yard sprints, walking the corners between each sprint, improved my aerobic capacity, and my quads shaped up nicely too. When I needed a change, I would run and gun with a basketball for 15 to 20 minutes, tanking long shots and chasing rebounds.

The quick runs have some historical powerlifting significance. The great Marv Phillips began his squat routine with several 220–yard runs in a tunnel adjacent to the college weight room he trained at. Phillips was a world-record squat holder (1972) in the 220-pound class, accomplishing a mighty 810–pound single with sneaks, a belt, and nothing else. So give running a shot; spring is here, I think.

Chris “Sticks” Bostick,
MOI contributing writer