When it comes to physical fitness, there are countless fitness regimes and training methods that individuals try to achieve their desired results. Two popular forms of fitness are marathon running and bodybuilding powerlifting. However, the question remains, who has a better overall level of physical fitness? Is it the marathon runner with their exceptional endurance and cardio capability, or the bodybuilder powerlifter with their impressive strength and muscular physique? In this blog, we will explore each form of fitness and assess their benefits, limitations and analyse which is the better option for overall physical fitness.

Who Has A Better Overall Level Of Physical Fitness A Marathon Runner Or A Bodybuilder Powerlifter

Comparing the physical fitness of a marathon runner and a bodybuilder powerlifter is an interesting topic. Both athletes require immense dedication and training to achieve their desired level of fitness. A marathon runner has excellent cardiovascular fitness, endurance, flexibility, and lower body strength. They are also lean and have a low body mass index. On the other hand, a bodybuilder powerlifter focuses on building muscle mass, strength, and power. They have a bulky physique, with well-defined muscles and an impressive level of upper body strength. However, they may lack the endurance and cardiovascular health that a marathon runner possesses.

Overall, both athletes have an outstanding level of physical fitness, but their specialties lie in different domains. It is challenging to compare and determine who has better physical fitness as their training methods, and goals are distinct. A marathon runner aims to maintain a steady pace for an extended period while a bodybuilder powerlifter aims to lift the heaviest weight in a few repetitions. However, a marathon runner can improve their physical fitness by including resistance training and gaining some muscle mass. Similarly, a bodybuilder powerlifter can improve their endurance levels by incorporating cardiovascular exercise into their routine. Ultimately, it is the individual’s personal goals and preferences that define their level of overall physical fitness.

What Are The Differences In Training Methods Between A Marathon Runner And A Bodybuilder/Powerlifter?

It is difficult to determine who has a better overall level of physical fitness between a marathon runner and a bodybuilder powerlifter as both require different types of training and have different goals. A marathon runner is focused on building endurance and cardiovascular health through long-distance running. They mainly focus on building cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, and stamina. They have a lean physique and high levels of VO2 max. In contrast, bodybuilder powerlifters focus on building muscle mass and achieving strength through resistance training. They focus on increasing their one-rep max in squat, bench press, and deadlift. They have a bulky physique with well-defined muscles and low body fat percentage.

Both marathon runners and bodybuilder powerlifters have different training methods and workout plans. A marathon runner usually spends several hours each week running and doing endurance training, while a bodybuilder powerlifter is involved in high-intensity weightlifting and resistance training. Both have good physical fitness, but it depends on what aspect of physical fitness is valued the most. If one values cardiovascular and muscular endurance, a marathon runner would be considered to have better physical fitness. However, if one values strength and muscle mass, a bodybuilder powerlifter would be considered to have better physical fitness.

In conclusion, it is not possible to determine who has better overall physical fitness between a marathon runner and a bodybuilder powerlifter without specifying the aspect of physical fitness being considered. As both have different goals, training, and physical characteristics, they excel in different areas of physical fitness. Therefore, their overall physical fitness level differs according to their training objectives.

How Does Cardiovascular Fitness Differ Between A Marathon Runner And A Bodybuilder/Powerlifter?

Comparing the overall level of physical fitness of a marathon runner to a bodybuilder powerlifter is like comparing apples and oranges. While both of these athletes are incredibly fit, their training and goals are vastly different. The marathon runner focuses on endurance and cardiovascular fitness while the bodybuilder powerlifter focuses on strength and muscle size.

A marathon runner’s training involves running long distances at a steady pace, building endurance and aerobic capacity. They also often incorporate strength training and flexibility exercises to prevent injury and improve performance. On the other hand, a bodybuilder powerlifter’s training focuses on lifting heavy weights to build muscle size and strength while also incorporating high-intensity cardio to improve cardiovascular health.

In terms of overall physical fitness, it is difficult to compare the two as they both excel in different areas. The marathon runner has exceptional cardiovascular endurance, while the bodybuilder powerlifter has incredible strength and muscle mass. Ultimately, it depends on what aspect of physical fitness is being measured, but both athletes have impressive levels of fitness in their respective fields.

What Does Overall Physical Fitness Entail Beyond Just Running Or Lifting Weights?

Comparing physical fitness levels of a marathon runner and a bodybuilder powerlifter is a complex task as both require different types of physical fitness. A marathon runner has excellent cardiovascular endurance, muscle endurance, and overall stamina. Moreover, marathon runners usually have lean bodies with low body fat percentage. They prioritize steady-state endurance training, such as running or cycling, with some strength training to develop lean muscle mass. On the other hand, bodybuilder powerlifters prioritize strength and power, and focus heavily on resistance training to develop muscular strength, size, and definition. They perform exercises that require maximal strength, often at high intensity or for limited repetition.

While marathon runners have high aerobic endurance, bodybuilder powerlifters possess remarkable maximal strength and significant muscle mass. However, both have weaknesses in the area they do not prioritize. For example, marathon runners may not have the muscular strength and size that bodybuilder powerlifters possess. Conversely, bodybuilder powerlifters may have lower cardiovascular endurance than marathon runners. They may find it hard to engage in any lengthy endurance activities. Ultimately, it’s subjective to determine which one has a better overall level of physical fitness. It depends on the criteria used to assess fitness, such as endurance, strength, agility, flexibility, and power.

Therefore, it’s necessary to consider balancing both endurance and strength training to achieve good overall physical fitness. Combining the two can help runners obtain more muscular strength, and bodybuilder powerlifters attain better cardiovascular endurance. For optimal health, individuals should engage in a variety of activities to promote a sound mind and body. This may include activities like weightlifting, running, cycling, and other forms of aerobic and anaerobic workout programs.

Can A Bodybuilder/Powerlifter’S Strength Training Translate Into Improved Endurance For Running?

Comparing a marathon runner and a bodybuilder powerlifter in terms of physical fitness is like comparing apples to oranges. The two have different types of fitness goals and therefore develop different types of fitness levels. Marathon runners primarily focus on endurance and cardiovascular fitness, while bodybuilders and powerlifters focus on strength and muscle mass.

A marathon runner typically has a low body fat percentage, a high cardiovascular capacity, and excellent endurance. They have to be in excellent cardiovascular shape to run for long periods of time, often over 26 miles. They also have to maintain a lean body mass to decrease the load that they carry while running. However, marathon runners may lack in terms of strength and muscle mass.

On the other hand, bodybuilders and powerlifters have exceptional strength and muscle mass. They work to build muscle through weightlifting, often including specific muscle groups to develop a symmetrical physique. They are also judged on their overall appearance, which plays an important role in their competitions. However, they may not be able to run for long periods of time due to their increased body weight and muscle mass, which can make cardiovascular activities more difficult.

In conclusion, both marathon runners and bodybuilders/powerlifters have excellent fitness levels in their respective areas of specialization. It depends on the specific fitness goals you want to achieve: whether you want to excel in endurance sports or have exceptional strength and muscle mass. It all comes down to what kind of physical fitness you want to achieve and your individual fitness goals.


After analyzing all the factors, it is clear that the answer to the question depends on what is considered an ideal level of physical fitness. If we are looking for overall endurance and cardiovascular health, then a marathon runner would have the edge. However, if we are looking for strength, muscle mass, and raw power, then a bodybuilder or powerlifter would have the upper hand. Ultimately, both athletes are immensely talented in their own right and have dedicated themselves to their respective disciplines, leading to impressive physical feats. So, it is up to the individual’s preference and goals to determine who has a “better” level of overall physical fitness.

By Julie