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  1. #1
    RockIT sparky141978's Avatar
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    Cardio vs. Muscle Building

    I'm sure this question has been debated and answered a million times..so here is a million and one.
    Why is it alot of the literature I ready or responses regarding muscle all says to eliminate or reduce cardio to gain muscle, however whenever I ready the bio of a bodybuilder they are doing cardio 5-6 times a week. Is it just part of the cutting process?

    Thanks
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  2. #2
    Registered User star4822's Avatar
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    To gain muscle, you need a surplus of calories. Since cardio burns a lot of calories, reducing or cutting it altogether is an easy way to keep some of those valuable calories needed for building muscle.

    You don't HAVE to give up cardio if you're trying to put on muscle. It's healthy for you, regardless of how many calories it burns. Just don't go all out and do like 2 hours of it every single day.

    That's where the saying "Everything in moderation" comes from. As long as you're eating above maintainance, you will gain weight!
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  3. #3
    Registered User jackie_p_1999's Avatar
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    Like many things regarding training, there are some general guidelines but ultimately you have to experiment and figure out what's best for your body.

    star4822 put it exactly right - you need a surplus of calories from a clean diet. My wife is trying to put on a fair amount of mass and she found that cardio was really getting in the way. If you have a really clean, high protein diet you will lean out to a fair degree anyway. But getting really cut while putting on mass, particularly for women, is not really possible for almost all of us, men and women. Like most things, there's a tradeoff involved.

    The real question is what you are trying to accomplish in the near and long term. Are you heading down a bodybuilding path, a figure path, or just a 'getting in shape' path for your body? What you do over the next year or two should be guided by your goals. For example again, my wife would like to end up in a few years somewhere between figure and bodybuilding. Since she is tall and thin, she is really just focusing for the next 12-24 months on putting on lean mass - so the cardio has gone by the wayside for her because it was getting in the way of that. She lifts as heavy and eats every three hours.

    Bu if you just want to keep you heart in shape, lean out, and put on a little muscle, then you should definitely keep the cardio but maybe try cutting it back to find a balance with the muscle growth you desire. It's not really clear from your post if it has been a problem for you.
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  4. #4
    Fitness Factory IFBB Pro Beefcake Girl's Avatar
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    I am typically a hard gainer but I still do cardio year round. Being in good cardiovascular shape is good for overall health and it helps me lift weights more intensly. I just make sure not to overdo it and I eat enough calories to support gains.
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  5. #5
    Bring on the DOMS!! Mrs_Muscles's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Beefcake Girl View Post
    I am typically a hard gainer but I still do cardio year round. Being in good cardiovascular shape is good for overall health and it helps me lift weights more intensly. I just make sure not to overdo it and I eat enough calories to support gains.

    Yup, that says it all right there. You can do the cardio and still make gains as long as you make sure you're eating enough calories.

    I can't imagine being without my cardio (although I have gone periods without it) because I get so much energy from it. I enjoy running and biking
    so eliminating them would be depriving myself of a healthy hobby! I just make sure I'm properly fueled for the cardio and I almost always do the cardio after my weight workout.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Patrese's Avatar
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    how do you make sure you're properly fuelled for cardio?Im always starving, even with a shake and anything heavier such as fruit would just jiggle around in my tummy!


    Originally Posted by Mrs_Muscles View Post
    Yup, that says it all right there. You can do the cardio and still make gains as long as you make sure you're eating enough calories.

    I can't imagine being without my cardio (although I have gone periods without it) because I get so much energy from it. I enjoy running and biking
    so eliminating them would be depriving myself of a healthy hobby! I just make sure I'm properly fueled for the cardio and I almost always do the cardio after my weight workout.
    watch out Fawnia!
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  7. #7
    Bring on the DOMS!! Mrs_Muscles's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Patrese View Post
    how do you make sure you're properly fuelled for cardio?Im always starving, even with a shake and anything heavier such as fruit would just jiggle around in my tummy!
    You need to know how many calories you need to maintain your current weight, then factor in roughly how many calories you'd burn during the cardio and add that to your diet. I eat a fairly high complex carb meal/snack before I run. Pay close attention to your body and adjust the calories as needed.
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  8. #8
    RockIT sparky141978's Avatar
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    I am thin...I have another post "threat from my parents' to give you more info.
    So I don't plan on competing but I am finall after YEARS of exercising finally seeing my abs and definition due to clean eating and now heavy lifting. However I dont' want to gain too much in fear of losing that so it's just figuring out what works for me at this point and slowly adding more calories, clean of course, to my diet. My mom would prefer I just go out and eat a DQ blizzard....I am 29 and still hear it from my mother.
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