This is why your cardio volume and frequency needs to be moderated, since every cardio session you perform is another overall stressor to the body that you’ll need to recover from. You may hear of professional or aspiring bodybuilders telling people about their ‘worst nightmare’ of losing all their muscle leading up to a show or competition as a result of too much cardio. The body can burn either sugar or fat for energy, but using sugar is both faster and easier, so it uses that first. After a physical day, cardio or heavy bodybuilding workout, it may require too much energy to go to the kitchen to grab a glass of water, even though you’re thirsty. Or they may drive to work instead of walking or cycling. © 2016 – 2020 Anabolic Bodies. In other words, from a calorie-burning perspective, bodybuilding and resistance training is just as effective for fat loss as cardio. However, to optimize your chances of winning, you’ll have to drop an additional five percent of body fat percentage, which means you’ll have to reduce your calorie intake further. Even if you aren’t using cardio as a means of improving body composition, the psychological benefits alone are well worth it. Here, both HIIT and low-intensity cardio can help us do that. Thanks for checking out my article! You’ll also want to space your cardio out during the week as best you can so that it has minimal interference with weight training performance and recovery. The problem, though, is that cardio triggers the exact opposite. No. Aside from the recovery aspect after weight training, performing too much cardio can also affect your actual weight training performance if it’s being done in close proximity to your workouts. THE CLAIM. 2) It negatively affects weight training performance. When you are performing resistance training, while following a calorie-restricted diet, then you stand a better chance of losing strictly body fat, while helping to enhance the natural curves of your body. The weight lifting or bodyweight exercises you do are going to help you maintain that hard-earned muscle … That’ll bear more fruit when it comes to shaping an eye-catching figure. Sure, that’s not ideal from a muscle-maintaining perspective. In fact, far from burning away the hard work you put in on the gym floor, the researchers found cardio can actually increase muscle size. In fact, you’ll burn about the same number of calories … Now, some people will argue that I’m overstating the interference effect of cardio. Cardio and bodybuilding aren’t always two words that go together well. (And no, it doesn’t matter whether you do that cardio in a fasted state or bodybuilding exercise in the ‘fat burning zone’ − you’ll get the same outcome.). Yes cardio can burn muscle, but only if you eat very low calorie, have a very low body fat percentage and eat very low protein. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions and I\'ll get back to you as soon as I can. The more cardio you do, the more it’ll interfere with your strength and muscle gains. We know that to lose fat, we need to create a caloric deficit. Instead, the answer lies on a bell curve where performing some cardio is totally fine and will produce certain health and fitness benefits, but to where performing too much can begin having a negative impact on your muscle building progress if you aren’t careful. Don’t perform cardio movements that have much of an eccentric phase, such as running. To be more specific, the more cardio you do, the more it will interfere with muscle growth. The real magic happens while you’re out of the gym eating and resting, as that’s the time when the muscles are being rebuilt larger and stronger in preparation for the next workout. I’m referring to the fact that…. For example, weight training is more effective than cardio at building muscle, and muscle burns more calories at rest than some other tissues, including fat . The Bottom Line, 12 Common Bench Press Mistakes And How To Fix Them, The Best Bodybuilding Carbs Sources For Muscle Growth. Light intensity sessions for 20 – 40 minutes a couple of times a week can offer huge benefits towards improving your gains. We’re not quite sure, but what we do know is that most bros prefer to lift, not burst a lung running or get a mouthful of water doing laps in the pool. Franco Columbu 2x Mr.Olympia: “We didn’t do any cardio when bodybuilding back in the day. Further reducing your calorie intake may make it impossible to consume enough protein and hit your daily micronutrient needs. After documenting my results of doing eight straight weeks of consistent cardio training on http:visualimpactcardioreview.net , I’ve been asked many different questions regarding muscle … So, just make an effort to position your cardio workouts on the specific days of the week that would maximize recovery and prevent training overlap as much as possible. Keep in mind that there’s no definitive answer here that will apply to every single person across the board, since the style and duration of the cardio you do, your nutrient intake, strength training routine, sleeping habits, external stressors, genetics and overall lifestyle will all affect how much cardio you can safely get away with without impacting your gains. What exactly would be considered as “excessive cardio”, and exactly how much cardio is too much? I hope you found the information useful. So, the bottom line is that you should avoid cardio if you want to maximize muscle growth, instead focus on proper bodybuilding. Despite popular broscience beliefs, cardio does not burn muscle. And the higher the intensity of the cardio, the stronger the interference. At the end of the day, fat loss comes down to one thing: energy balance. That will minimize the negative impact of cardio. When bodybuilding if you want to lose fat, you must do cardio, correct? While excessive amounts of cardio can have the opposite effect by impeding recovery in between weight training sessions, a moderate amount can actually be beneficial in this area. All those hours of grinding away on the treadmill may do more harm than good for your muscle mass and bodybuilding goals. That’s right! You might also like: 17 Powerful Tips To Boost Muscle Growth [Backed By Science]. Ideally to no more than twenty minutes per session. You may have experienced this yourself as well. In other words, you must be in a calorie deficit. Do you have anything else to share about cardio? Ten men aged between 25 and 30 were put through a … Aside from your “aesthetic desire” for a big chest and lean abs, let’s not forget about the basic benefits of simply maintaining sound overall cardiovascular conditioning. But you’ll have no other options left. However, for most average trainees in most situations, 2-3 cardio sessions per week is almost certainly not going to have a negative effect on your muscle building progress as long as your nutrition and sleep are on point, and most people can probably get away with 4 if for some reason they want to perform that much. For example, if you’ve been neglecting your cardio altogether and then head out to play a game of basketball with your buddies, it won’t be long before your lungs catch fire and the experience is no longer enjoyable for you. The researchers looked at how adding cardio to a resistance training plan would influence hypertrophy, and they found that it lowered muscle growth effect size by almost 50%. When you’re more physically active throughout the week you’ll just simply feel better, and this will have direct positive carryover to all areas of your life from your fitness program to your work to your social life and more. When you become more senstive to insulin, carbohydrates are more likely to be stored as glycogen rather than fat, and you’ll have lower levels of inflammation and require less recovery time in between workouts. Fasted cardio, most often done first thing in the morning, has been a popular approach in the world of bodybuilding for years... and it works, if you're using performance-enhancing drugs to protect your muscle mass. Thirdly, poor cardiovascular conditioning will also negatively impact you in regular day to day life. Made with love for fitness & bodybuilding. Aside from the benefits that cardio produces on basic muscle growth, fat loss and cardiovascular conditioning, but here are a few other positive effects of cardio to keep in mind when it comes to your physical and mental health…. A bigger problem with cardio is that it impairs muscle growth, which it does by increasing AMPK while lowering mTOR. The 15-20 minutes you spend on your cardio workout isn't going to be enough to see gains in your aerobic levels, and is going to seriously sap your muscle stamina right when you … That’s because the most muscle damage occurs during the eccentric part of a movement. That’s why cardio isn’t effective for losing fat. Excess cardio burns up muscle, lowers your immune system, and raises stress hormones. After untrained folks do a few weeks of cardio, however, the training ceases to remain a sufficient stimulus and won’t enhance muscle growth further, but will actually impair it. And if you’re doing things like body weight circuits, kettlebell workouts or barbell complexes as forms of cardio, these will stress your entire body as a whole and can easily drain some of your strength and energy for an upcoming weight training session. Conclusion – Does Cardio Burn Muscle? But also, simple and direct enough for you to put to use. If you did enjoy this post, don\'t forget to sign up for my newsletter that delivers science-based, no B.S muscle building and fat loss tips, macro-friendly recipes, motivational strategies and more straight to your inbox every week: And if you\'re into social media, make sure to connect with me on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and more for additional fitness tips and updates: on “DOES CARDIO BURN MUSCLE AND KILL GAINS?”, The Negative Effects Of Performing Excessive Cardio. Now, you may argue that even though cardio doesn’t have any unique fat- loss benefits, it still helps you get lean because it causes you to burn calories. 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