Fitness A To Z 3 MIN READ 735 VIEWS February 19, 2016


Written By Vidhi Tuteja

Cardio for building muscles

Are you shunning cardio on your muscle building route? Read to find, if it is right.

On the muscle building route, do you avoid cardio and focus only on weights? The approach has inherent flaws because the shortcut to shred lies in cardio.

Do you live to build your body? Does ‘one more rep’ define your life’s ideology? If your answer is yes, then the word ‘mass’ has a special place in your dictionary and you are passionate about your muscle gains. Not only are you willing to go to any length to sculpt those muscles, you’re extremely protective about them too, so much so that you’re willing to avoid cardio. However, there are times when you’re unsure of the decision you’ve made because cardio is an excellent workout for your heart and the lungs. In those hours of indecision, you look at the marathon runners and need no further explanation. MuscleBlaze delves in to seek answers to the query haunting every muscle seeker. Will cardio help or hurt, but the basics first.

Building muscles involves muscle breakdown and new muscle synthesis. To build muscles, your workouts should be intense enough to challenge and cause trauma to your existing muscles. In response, your body will repair the distressed muscle fibers and build stronger and bigger muscles through protein synthesis, and testosterone accelerates and amplifies the whole process. Now, you know why men have more muscle mass.

Concurrent Training

Doing aerobics and strength training at the same time is known as concurrent training. Scientists have researched concurrent training since the 1980s and found that when too much aerobic or cardio workout is done along with strength training, there can be an interference effect, which can hinder your muscle gains. Before you chuck cardio also known as aerobics, you need to know that it increases your oxygen intake and is an excellent way to stay in shape. It also benefits your metabolism and speeds up fat loss.

The win-win situation for the bodybuilder in you will be to reap the advantages of cardio and weight lifting at the same time. It’s possible, if you know the right balance and do not overdo.

At least four different studies on concurrent training came to one shared conclusion: If the cardio (i.e. aerobic or endurance training) does not go beyond 20 to 50 minutes (depending on the intensity) and doesn’t exceed three days a week, there is little or no interference effect. This means you can stop fretting and include cardio even on the day of your strength training, when you’re bulking up. Easily you can increase the frequency of cardio to more than three days, when you move to the cutting cycle to get leaner.

Cardio Acceleration: Shortcut to Shred

If you are stuck in the weight loss plateau and are looking for a shortcut to shred, cardio acceleration is for you. Employ cardio to punctuate your weight lifting sessions and you get the key to a ripped physique. Cardio acceleration encourages muscle maniacs to do cardio in the rest intervals of their training session. During cardio acceleration, suggests Jim Stoppani, the most trusted man in muscle kinesiology, you can perform exercises as simple as running in place next to the bench. You can also do jump rope, dumbbell cleans, step-ups, or any combination of full-body exercises. The only requirement is that you move for an entire minute and not stay still. Though it may seem strange, but those one-minute sessions of cardio will add up to 20-30 minutes of high-intensity intervals per workout. Twenty minutes of high-intensity training burns much more fat than 20-30 minutes spent walking on a treadmill.

Be sensible and recruit cardio to your advantage, the way competitive bodybuilders use it before competitions to get the amazingly ripped physiques.

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