Building Muscle for Endurance Athletes

Endurance athletes are focused on being able to perform for hours on end!

Their training can be brutal, and quite inflammatory might I add. Building muscle for endurance athletes is possible but requires a serious amount of focus and planning. You may want to build speed, endurance capacity and improve efficiency possibly while reducing body fat.

Muscle mass plays a big role not only in body composition but also in helping with training capacity!

You can reduce body fat and gain some muscular strength while training in endurance sports, albeit little. Strength is an important part of your endurance performance and power. Endurance athletes need to make sure the rate of muscle synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle break down. Easily broken down if key components aren’t followed. The most important keys to this are consuming enough protein along with resistance training.

Most endurance athletes have very low strength and muscle mass.

So even just getting started on a program will do the world of good. With structural and neurological stress leading to increased muscle mass and strength. Becoming a super muscular and also body builder size will, however, not be possible. As this requires a serious focus and intent, just as becoming an endurance sport enthusiast does.

I know many endurance athletes are averse to gaining muscle as they think it may slow them down.

But as stated above, gaining muscle will help change your body composition, and help you train with greater consistency. When you think of building muscle for endurance athletes, the positives outweigh the negatives. Also you have the opportunity at getting faster by improving your aerobic fitness with improved body composition, therefore effort in training.

Building muscle takes just as much dedication and effort as training for your endurance events but it can certainly propel your performance and abilities!

1- Eating prior to endurance training and post training is so important.

This not only helps your recovery and returns glycogen to your muscle stores for your next training but it will help you preserve the muscle you do have. Keep your muscles well fed for best results all around.

2- Absolutely focus on your protein intake, including protein in every meal is the best way to ensure this.

Protein consumption is the building block for muscle, think of it as building up your foundation! As stated earlier, spread this out throughout the day. As a general rule for endurance athletes intake 1.2-1.6g per kg of weight and this includes eggs, meat, fish, dairy, nuts and supplements.

3- Try and incorporate some resistance training into your workouts.

This might sound like a lot but it is going to not only improve muscle mass but it will do wonders for your endurance training too. Cross training is so beneficial across all sports and athletic needs as it helps with recovery, mental strength, prevention of injuries and improving overall fitness.

Let me know if this helps you and if there are any other athletes out there who need support drop us a comment below with a question or blog request!




Isilda Da Costa is a personal trainer and women’s fitness specialist who, if she isn’t at the gym training, is busy researching the most up to date information for growing those muscles. She has combined her love of everything healthy by being a health coach in her own health shop in Swaziland. Follow along on @izzy.healthandfitness

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