When you're trying to gain muscle, the last thing you want to do is spend hours on the treadmill or elliptical.
Surprisingly, cardio can actually have a negative effect on your ability to build muscle mass.
In this blog post, we'll explore the science behind how cardio works and why doing too much can be counterproductive.
We'll also offer tips for balancing your cardio and weightlifting routine for the best results.
The role of cardio in muscle gain
When most people think of cardio, they picture long-distance runners or cyclists.
However, cardio can actually be a valuable tool for anyone looking to build muscle.
Cardio helps to improve blood circulation and delivers oxygen and nutrients to muscles more efficiently.
In addition, it helps to remove waste products such as lactic acid that can build up during exercise.
As a result, regular cardio can lead to better muscle gains by helping muscles work more efficiently.
For best results, aim for 20-30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio per day.
This can be anything from brisk walking to jogging to swimming.
Incorporating cardio into your workout routine can help you see better results in the gym.
The science behind how cardio works
Cardio exercise is an essential part of any fitness routine.
Not only does it improve heart health, but it also helps to burn calories and promote weight loss.
But how does cardio actually work?
When we exercise, our heart rate increases and we start to breathe more rapidly.
This increase in heart rate and breathing pumps more blood around the body, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the muscles.
The muscles then use this oxygen to produce energy, which helps us to keep going for longer.
Cardio exercise is therefore beneficial for both the heart and the muscles, making it an important part of keeping fit and healthy.
Why doing too much cardio can actually be counterproductive
For many people, the best way to lose weight is to cardiovascular exercise.
Cardio burns a lot of calories, which can help to create a calorie deficit and lead to weight loss.
However, there is such a thing as too much cardio.
Doing too much cardio can actually be counterproductive and lead to weight gain instead of weight loss.
This is because when you do a lot of cardio, your body goes into survival mode and starts to hold on to fat stores.
In addition, excessive cardio can lead to overtraining and burnout, making it harder to stick with your workout routine in the long run.
So if you're looking to lose weight, moderate amounts of cardio are best.
Too much of anything isn't good for you, and that includes cardio.
How to balance your cardio and weightlifting routine for the best results
There are a few different ways to balance your cardio and weightlifting routine.
If you are new to exercise, you may want to start by focusing on cardio exercises such as walking or jogging.
As you become more fit, you can start adding in some light weightlifting exercises such as dumbbell curls or tricep dips.
If you are already fairly active, you may want to split your workouts evenly between cardio and weightlifting.
For example, you might do 30 minutes of cardio followed by 30 minutes of weightlifting three times per week.
Ultimately, the best way to balance your workout routine is to find what works best for you and your goals.
Tips for beginners who are trying to build muscle mass
Building muscle mass can seem like a daunting task, but with a little knowledge and effort, it is certainly possible to achieve.
Here are a few tips for beginners who are trying to build muscle mass:
1. Lift heavy weights: This may seem obvious, but lifting heavy weights is essential for building muscle mass.
Focus on compound exercises that work for multiple muscle groups at once, such as squats and deadlifts.
Additionally, make sure to increase the weight you are lifting gradually over time.
2. Eat enough protein: Protein is essential for repairing and rebuilding muscles after workouts.
Aim to consume 0.7-1 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day.
You can get your protein from sources such as lean meats, eggs, dairy, and beans/legumes.
3. Get enough rest: It is during periods of rest that your muscles actually grow larger.
Make sure to get plenty of sleep each night (around 8 hours) and allow yourself time to recover between workouts.
Foam rolling and stretching can also help to reduce soreness and speed up recovery.
It’s clear that cardio has an important role in building muscle mass, but doing too much can actually be counterproductive.
To get the best results, it’s important to balance your cardio and weightlifting routine.
Beginners should start slowly and gradually increase their cardio intensity as they become more fit.
With a little bit of effort and some basic knowledge, you can create a workout plan that helps you build muscle while still enjoying plenty of cardiovascular benefits.