Monday, April 03, 2006

Cardio and building muscle

Short intense cardio sessions lasting no longer than 15 to 20 minutes is the BEST way to prevent muscle loss from happening by doing cardio.

Most people do cardio wrong, they do it for too long and too slow (not intense) The shorter the sessions and the more intense, the less likely you will cause muscle breakdown.

The main purpose of doing cardio is not the calories you burn during cardio, but the calories you burn after cardio. Short, intense sessions of cardio will raise your metabolism, which in turn will cause your body to burn more calories throughout the day. To show you proof, look at sprinters, who do short bursts of running. They are lean but very muscular.

Now, look at long distance runners like marathoners, they are skinny, lanky, and have little muscle. The difference is in how much cardio they do.

Here is an article I wrote about how to set up yourcardio for best results:

http://www.shawnlebrunfitness.com/sample.html

When doing your fat loss phase, cardio is extremely important, since that's one of the ways to burn calories.

However, in a muscle mass building phase, cardio is still important but not as much as it was with the fat loss stage. In fact, too much cardio during a muscle gaining stage can hinder muscle growth, since you're expending calories that were needed for muscle growth and instead, using them for cardio.

In a muscle building stage, the way you ensure continuous muscle growth without gaining fat is to be quite precise with your nutrition. Adding calories a little at a time, based on current results.

That way, you don't take in so many extra calories that they go towards body fat storage. Remember the old days of bodybuilders doing separate"bulking and cutting phases" It wouldn't be uncommon to see a bodybuilder go from200 pounds to 280 in a matter of weeks, all based upon a serious increase in calories.

We don't want that. We want to stay lean as well as add muscle and that's primarily done by a proper approach to nutrition. So in a mass building stage, cardio now takes a back seat to weight training and nutrition.

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