Will Doing Cardio Affect My Muscle Gains?

Question:

I know what anabolic and catabolic states are but I'm not sure how doing cardio work would affect my muscle gains due to the fact it induces a catabolic state but without stimulating muscle growth.

I need to know when I should do what, for example can I do both cardio training and weight training on the same day? What intensity and how long should I exercise for to burn fat but not muscle?



Answer:

Since you already understand what catabolic and anabolic states are you're already one step ahead of the game. For those who don't know, catabolic is the term used to describe muscle breakdown. Anabolic is used to describe the muscle building.

Will Doing Cardio Affect My Muscle Gains?

There are several effective ways to incorporate cardio work into a muscle-gaining program that will not derail your progress.

 

1. Long and slow cardio

This is essentially easy cardio, for example going for an hour walk every night. The intensity of this exercise won't be sufficient to put you in a catabolic state but will burn calories to help with fat loss. This can be done at any time, regardless of when you do your weight training.

 

2. Interval training

This is my personal preference for cardio as not only does it rapidly improve your cardio fitness and improve your muscle power, it is actually more effective for fat loss. This type of training is best done as a separate session from your weight training.

Here is an example of how you can do interval training:

  • All you need for this is an open field or track.
  • Do this training 3 times a week.
  • After a few minutes of light jogging to warm up start by sprinting as hard as you can for 30 seconds then walking for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat this cycle 5 times.
  • Be tough with yourself and use a stopwatch to keep yourself honest.
  • The next session you will increase your repetitions to 6 times through. Each session after that, add 1 more time through until you max out at 15 times. Any more than that and you will wear yourself down too much for your other training.

This type of training will burn more calories while you are doing it and boost your metabolism long after you are done, which is the key to effective fat loss.

If possible, schedule your cardio training for a separate session from your weight training.

 

 


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