Does cardio really kill gains? – In other words, is cardio bad for muscle growth? If you’re like most people, you probably think that doing cardio and muscle building are two completely different activities. After all, how can you possibly do both at the same time? But, contrary to popular belief, you can do both at the same time – and it’s the best way to get the most out of your workouts.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss cardio and its effect on muscle gains. We’ll also provide tips on making the most of your combination cardio and muscle-building workouts. So read on for more information!
Does Cardio Kill Gains?: What You Need To Know
While it’s true that too much cardio (and not enough calories) can be detrimental to your gains, moderate amounts of cardio can be beneficial. It’s perfectly reasonable (and even recommended!) to do cardio alongside your strength training for the variety of benefits that cardio offers.
Many studies have shown that cardio can help improve your cardiovascular health, increase your endurance, and help you burn fat.
That being said, if your number one priority is gaining muscle, you should prioritize your weightlifting workouts and do your cardio after your strength training. It’s completely fine to do cardio alongside strength training but you should spend the majority of your energy on your strength workout as your priority.
In addition to that, if you’re trying to gain muscle and you do a lot of cardio at the same time, you need to make sure you’re eating enough protein and calories in order to fuel your body so you don’t lose your muscle. A 2018 study shows that certain types of cardio, such as HIIT training showed little to no negative effects on muscle building.
So, if you want to improve your overall fitness and health, moderate amounts of cardio may be just what you need. Just be sure not to overdo it – too much of anything is never good!
Cardio And Strength Training: What People Are Doing Wrong
Now that we’ve established that moderate amounts of cardio can benefit your gains, let’s discuss how to combine cardio and strength training properly.
First, it’s important to understand that cardio and strength training are two completely different activities – and they should be treated as such.
Trying to do both simultaneously is a recipe for disaster and will likely lead to subpar results in both areas.
Instead, you should focus on one thing at a time – either cardio or strength training. Once you’ve completed your workout for the day, then you can move on to the other activity.
This may seem like a lot of work, but trust us – it’s worth it. Your body will thank you for it!
7 Tips on combining cardio and strength training
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of combining cardio and strength training let’s give you a few tips to help you get started.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Start slow: if you’re new to exercise or haven’t worked out in a while, it’s essential to start slow. Don’t try to do too much high intensity cardio at once – you’ll only end up overwhelming yourself, and you might even get injured.
- Build up gradually: once you’re comfortable with your current workout routine, you can gradually increase the intensity. This will help you see better results, and it will also help reduce your risk of injury.
- Prioritize low intensity cardio activities: if you have joint problems or are starting, it’s essential to focus on low-impact activities. These include things like walking, biking, and swimming.
- All about volume: If training for strength, try reducing the volume of your workouts. This means not doing too much cardio and not lifting too heavy weights. If you overdo it, you’ll only end up hurting yourself – so take it easy!
- Separate your workouts: Make sure the cardio and muscle-building resistance training workouts are separate. This means doing them on different days or at different times of the day.
- Focus on quality, not quantity: when working out, it’s essential to focus on quality, not quantity. For example, if you’re doing more reps with less weight, you’re not going to see the same results as you would if you were doing fewer reps with more weight.
- Give yourself time to rest: finally, don’t forget to give your body time to rest and recover. Using a massage gun, muscle stimulator, or other recovery device can minimize soreness.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the basics of combining cardio sessions and strength training, let’s answer some common questions:
Is Cardio Killing Your Gains?
Doing cardio in itself won’t make you lose your muscle mass, as long as you are consuming enough protein and calories, it’s fine to supplement your strength workouts with cardio. In addition, it helps improve your cardiovascular health and increase blood flow to your muscles, aiding in recovery and growth.
What’s the best type of cardio for building muscle?
There isn’t necessarily one best type of cardio for building muscle. However, some research suggests that HIIT (high-intensity interval training) may be more effective than other types of cardio in terms of promoting muscle growth.
How much cardio should I do if trying to build muscle?
Again, there isn’t a definitive answer here. If all you care about is building muscle then cardio isn’t necessary. However, most experts recommend doing at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio daily for all of the health benefits that cardio offers. If you want to do HIIT, most experts recommend doing it two to three times per week.
What are some other benefits of combining cardio and muscle building?
In addition to aiding in muscle growth, cardio can also help improve your cardiovascular health, increase your endurance, and burn calories. In addition, strength training can help improve your bone density, increase your strength and power, and decrease your risk of injuries.
Are there any risks associated with combining cardio and muscle training?
If you have any pre-existing health conditions, checking with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine is always best. Other than that, there aren’t any risks associated with combining cardio and strength training. However, it’s always important to listen to your body and ensure you’re not overdoing it.
Does intensive cardio burn muscle?
No, hard-hitting cardio does not burn muscle in itself. That being said, if you’re doing high amounts of cardio and not eating enough, you will lose muscle due to your body needing to break down muscle mass for energy due to not being def enough. That being said, intensive cardio should not be purposefully avoided and it’s perfectly possible to gain muscle while doing regular cardio training.
Cardio and strength training are both great exercises to do on their own. However, combining them can offer even more benefits. So if you are keen to improve your overall health, build muscle, or lose weight, consider adding cardio and strength training to your workout routine. Just make sure to listen to your body and not overdo it.
We hope this has helped clear up some of the questions you may have had about does cardio kill gains. In conclusion, to answer the question of is cardio bad for muscle growth: no it isn’t necessarily! As long as you’re eating enough protein and calories. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us. We’re always happy to help!
Editor-In-Chief at Recovatech. Dr. Ben is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic with over 10 years of clinical experience. He specializes in structural and neurological imbalances with an emphasis on functional movement patterns, exercise performance, and muscle recovery. He has been the team chiropractor for professional baseball and soccer organizations, as well as collegiate athletes. In his personal life, he’s always been driven when it comes to athletics and personal performance.