Last Updated on October 10, 2019
Lots of guys fear the treadmill, believing it has a mystical ability to shrivel up muscle, gain weight and sap strength. And some bodybuilder types bash cardio simply because they don’t like doing it. It is clearly witnessed that excessive cardio can cause muscle loss, what about moderate cardio? Does it interfere with your muscle growth, or does it help?
Myth: Can’t Do Cardio if Want to Gain Weight
Actually, it can go either way:
3 WAYS CARDIO CAN HELP WITH MUSCLE GROWTH
The 3 primary ways that cardio will help you build (and retain) more muscle are:
Improves muscle recovery.
Improves your body’s metabolic responses to food.
Keep up your conditioning and making the transition from “bulking” to “cutting” would be easy on your body.
CARDIO AND MUSCLE RECOVERY
The intense exercise that cause damage to your muscle fibers, which must be repaired. The damage is the main cause of the soreness that you feel in a following a workout and is popularly known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The cardio exercise will help your body gain weight and to repair muscle damage more quick as it increases the blood flow. This helps your body build the muscle back up more quickly and remove the waste, which results in an all-around faster recovery.
CARDIO AND HOW YOUR BODY METABOLIZES FOOD
All nutrients which are eaten would be sucked into the muscles and is either absorbed or burned off and none would result in fat storage in your body. When we are on diet to lose weight, all energy needs would met by burning fat, not the muscle. The reality, however, is that our bodies do these things to varying degrees. Other people are more likely to store excess calories as fat and to lose muscle when they restrict calories for weight loss. Hormones like testosterone and cortisol play major roles in this. Higher levels of testosterone promote more muscle and less fat, whereas higher levels of cortisol promote less muscle and more fat. But unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do about either beyond injecting ourselves with dangerous drugs. Our genetics have set our normal physiological hormonal ranges, and that’s that. All is not lost if you’re not of the genetic elite, though.
Insulin sensitive people is highly beneficial when you’re eating a good amount of calories to build muscle, whereas insulin resistance inhibits muscle growth and promotes fat storage under the dietary conditions. Genetics affect natural levels of insulin sensitivity as well, but you can take various steps to manipulate this mechanism.
CARDIO AND CONDITIONING
The most common issue in bodybuilding world is the reduction in cardiovascular fitness when focusing only on heavy weightlifting for month. Added stress will make weight loss physically and psychologically tougher and can even results in accelerate muscle loss. Those who keep doing cardio regularly seem to better retain the ability to oxidize fat.
2 WAYS CARDIO CAN GET IN THE WAY OF MUSCLE GROWTH
As I said to introduce this myth, cardio can both hurt and help muscle growth.
Two primary ways that can negatively affect your gains are by reducing your caloric surplus too much (gain weight) and by causing you to over-train.
The surplus issue is pretty moot, though, if you watch what you’re burning.
Normal cardio sessions don’t burn that many calories (a few hundred at most), which is easy enough to correct (eat a pile of fruit afterward, for instance). Hard gainers have more to worry about in this regard as they usually have trouble eating enough gain weight as it is. Low-intensity cardio stimulates the appetite, so including some every week can help ensure you eat enough.
SO, CARDIO WHILE FOCUSING ON MUSCLE GROWTH—YES OR NO?
The positives of including cardio in your workout session when you’re
bulking outweigh the negatives, especially considering the fact that
the negatives are easily dealt with. Most common point at which the
added cardio will impair your strength gains and muscle growth will
depend on your genetics and conditioning.
If you find that even that much HIIT negatively impacts your strength, then opt for a few sessions of low-to-moderate cardio each week instead. That will still be enough to enjoy the benefits of cardio while avoiding its drawbacks.