See these 6 cardio mistakes that slow muscle growth and make sure not to do them.
By now, we all know that strength training can improve your metabolism, build muscle and improve your performance as an athlete. Somehow, many people believe that doing cardio might be counterproductive to hypertrophy, which is not the case.
However, for cardio to help you continue your muscle gains, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind so that your cardiovascular exercises won’t get in the way of your bodybuilding plans. The information for this article was taken from a video shared by Thomas DeLauer in a conversation with Nick Bare.
Nick Bare is the founder and CEO of Bare Performance Nutrition. He shaped the idea of a hybrid athlete with hard-training sessions and constant self-experimentation first in the military and then in civilian tests like ultra-marathons.
See the main points of their conversation below.
6 Cardio Mistakes That Slow Muscle Growth
In a nutshell, these are what DeLauer and Bare talked about as the 6 cardio mistakes that slow muscle growth:
- Run too hard on the “easy” days – spend a good amount of time in zone 2, take the easy days easy, focus on building that aerobic days
- Improper supplementation – if you are doing a lot of cardio and strength training, don’t be foolish to skip proper supplementation like creatine, vitamin C, vitamin E, and even protein
- Improper fuelling – as you get leaner, cardio will get harder if you don’t fuel your body properly, regardless if you are a carbohydrate fuel athlete or a fat-adapted athlete
- Commit to resistance training too – if you are going to increase your cardio, make sure to pay as much attention to your strength training too
- Proper training volume – if you are not used to running at all, you shouldn’t start with 30 miles a week, but maybe try 10 miles in one week and increase incrementally as the body adapts
- Not varying intensity or modality – change up your cardio or intensity every once in a while; doing the same cardio at the same intensity and durantion, the body will adapt and become efficient to it, so you won’t be losing fat or improving your muscular endurance with it
For a full rundown of everything they said about cardio mistakes that slow muscle growth, watch the video below.
Cardiovascular exercise, commonly known as cardio, can be beneficial for muscle growth when incorporated properly into a comprehensive fitness routine. While cardio exercises primarily focus on improving cardiovascular health and burning calories, they can indirectly support muscle growth in several ways:
- Improved Recovery: Engaging in moderate-intensity cardio activities, such as jogging, cycling, or swimming, can enhance blood flow and nutrient delivery to your muscles. This improved circulation helps remove metabolic waste products and delivers oxygen and nutrients needed for muscle repair and growth. By promoting efficient recovery, cardio can support your overall muscle-building efforts.
- Increased Caloric Expenditure: Cardio exercises burn calories and contribute to creating a caloric deficit when aiming for fat loss. This can be advantageous for muscle growth because it can help you maintain a leaner physique. By shedding excess body fat, your muscles become more visible and defined, highlighting the results of your muscle-building efforts.
- Enhanced Endurance and Performance: Building muscle requires consistent effort and progressive overload. By improving your cardiovascular fitness through cardio exercises, you can enhance your endurance and stamina during weightlifting or resistance training workouts. This increased endurance allows you to perform more repetitions or lift heavier weights, thereby stimulating greater muscle growth over time.
- Improved Heart Health: A healthy cardiovascular system is essential for overall well-being, including muscle growth. Cardio exercises help strengthen your heart and improve its efficiency. A strong heart can effectively pump oxygenated blood to your working muscles during intense weightlifting sessions, providing them with the necessary nutrients for growth.
- Optimal Hormonal Balance: Cardio exercises can positively influence hormone levels in the body. Moderate-intensity cardio can help regulate stress hormones like cortisol, preventing excessive catabolic (muscle breakdown) effects. Additionally, cardio workouts stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good hormones, which can enhance your mood and motivation to engage in regular training.
Incorporating cardio exercises into your overall fitness routine can contribute to improved cardiovascular health, enhanced recovery, increased calorie expenditure, and better endurance, all of which indirectly support muscle growth. However, it’s essential to personalize your approach based on your specific goals, fitness level, and overall training program. Consulting with a fitness professional can help you design a well-rounded routine that optimally combines resistance training and cardio to achieve your desired muscle growth goals.
The process of body recomposition typically involves the following key components:
- Resistance Training: Engaging in regular strength training exercises helps stimulate muscle growth and development. It involves performing exercises using weights, resistance bands, or bodyweight to challenge and overload the muscles, leading to hypertrophy (muscle growth) over time.
- Caloric Balance: Body recomposition requires paying attention to calorie intake and expenditure. To lose body fat while gaining muscle, you generally need to maintain a slight caloric deficit (consuming fewer calories than you burn) while ensuring an adequate intake of nutrients to support muscle growth and recovery.
- Protein Intake: Sufficient protein consumption is crucial for muscle building and repair. A higher protein intake helps support muscle protein synthesis and can aid in preserving lean muscle mass during the fat-loss phase.
- Cardiovascular Exercise: Incorporating cardio exercises, such as running, cycling, or swimming, can help increase calorie expenditure and support overall fat loss. However, it’s important to balance cardiovascular exercise with resistance training to ensure muscle preservation and growth.
- Progressive Overload: To continue making progress during body recomposition, it’s essential to progressively increase the intensity, volume, or resistance of your workouts over time. This progressive overload principle challenges your muscles and stimulates further growth.
It’s important to note that body recomposition is a gradual process that requires consistency, patience, and individual adjustments based on your body’s response. It may not happen as quickly as solely focusing on fat loss or muscle gain, but it can lead to long-term changes in body composition, overall strength, and aesthetics. Consulting with a qualified fitness professional or nutritionist can provide personalized guidance to help you achieve your body recomposition goals safely and effectively.
Building muscle, also known as muscle hypertrophy, is a process that involves a combination of resistance training, proper nutrition, and adequate rest. Here are the basics of building muscle:
- Resistance Training: Engaging in regular strength training exercises is crucial for stimulating muscle growth. Resistance exercises include weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, and resistance machine workouts. Focus on compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups simultaneously, such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, rows, and overhead presses.
- Progressive Overload: To promote muscle growth, progressively challenge your muscles by gradually increasing the intensity, volume, or difficulty of your workouts over time. This can be achieved by lifting heavier weights, performing more repetitions, or reducing rest periods between sets.
- Proper Nutrition: A balanced and nutrient-rich diet is essential for muscle growth. Ensure you consume enough protein to support muscle repair and synthesis. Good sources of protein include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and plant-based sources like tofu and tempeh. Additionally, consume an adequate amount of carbohydrates for energy and healthy fats for hormone production and overall health.
- Caloric Surplus: To build muscle, you generally need to consume more calories than you burn (caloric surplus). This provides the necessary energy and nutrients for muscle growth. However, it’s important to strike a balance and avoid excessive weight gain or relying solely on unhealthy foods. Aim for a moderate caloric surplus to minimize fat gain while maximizing muscle growth.
- Sufficient Rest and Recovery: Muscles grow and repair during periods of rest, so allow adequate time for recovery between workouts. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to support optimal recovery. Additionally, consider incorporating rest days into your training program to avoid overtraining and prevent injuries.
- Consistency and Patience: Building muscle takes time and dedication. Consistency in your training and nutrition is key. Stick to a well-designed workout program and maintain a balanced diet over the long term. Be patient and understand that muscle growth is a gradual process that may take weeks or months to see noticeable results.
Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or certified trainer before starting any new exercise or diet regimen, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or specific goals in mind.