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“No! Don’t include cardio in the routine, it will mess up my gains.” “Stop right there! I am trying to gain muscle mass not lose weight. Why should I do cardio?”
Sounds familiar? Said those to your gym trainer? Heard your friend saying that to their coach? Well, whether or not one should indulge in cardio for muscle gain is a hot topic and something we decided to address today. There is a lot of debate on the subject and many controversial opinions from fitness enthusiasts making it difficult to decide whether to incorporate cardio in your routine if your fitness goal is to gain muscle. But let’s settle that once and for all today and without further ado, understand the deal with cardio and gains.
Many fitness experts suggest that indulging in intense cardio frequently might interrupt with gains and might mess up the efforts you are putting into strength training. Some also suggest that for beginners who struggle with gains a lot, it’s better to stay away from cardio for the first 10-14 weeks. It’s better to focus entirely on gaining some muscle and diet.
However, what Science has to say is slightly different from this opinion. A simple Google search will show you that cardio exercises include a plethora of options ranging from from walking and running to swimming and cycling, and a lot more. There are many others but for now, let’s stick to the intensity of these activities.
There are many benefits of indulging in cardiovascular exercises which includes keeping diseases at bay, preventing certain forms of cancer and a lot more. Even low impact cardio can help you achieve those benefits and help you stay in shape. However, its better to indulge in moderate intensity cardio as it’s very effective. In fact, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that everyone should get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardio exercises per week.
However, one should indulge in cardio, not only for the health benefits associated with it but also because it helps in losing weight and cutting down fat percentage. But on the other side, research has shown that if you combine Strength training with even low intensity. Cardio power production is lessened. So if you want to bulk up then it’s better to skip or at least limit low intensity cardio training too.
Let’s understand it this way. Think of all the resources your body requires to gain muscle. Good diet which is rich in protein that contributes to muscle growth and carbohydrates and fats to help boost muscle recovery from workouts. Not just that, rest time is also very important to let your body recover between workouts and increase muscle mass.The muscles don’t grow during workout, they grow between them. Now think of the resources as a mug, and frequency of it being filled is directly proportional to gaining muscle mass. So, every time you indulge in an intense workout, you are taking out resources from the mug and the harder you train, the more you are taking away. Now, as you fill it again by giving yourself time to recover and eating right, you are making sure that the resources are present to help you get the gains. Now, the only problem with indulging in cardio is that you put the same resources that your body needs to build muscles towards something else. So, now your body not only has lesser resources but also your recovery time is longer.
We hope this helped and by now you have understood whether or not to indulge in cardio for muscle gain. If you would now like to indulge in strength training for muscle gains then you can do it with FITPASS- India’s largest network of 5,500+ gyms and fitness centers.