Men aiming at maximum muscle size usually steer clear from any form of cardio. The bottom line is that all cardio, even moderate cardio, WILL decrease muscle size and make it more difficult to add muscle. It is the normal reaction the body has to cardio. It can be most clearly seen in marathon runners who have these thin sinewy physiques with almost no muscle size.
Body fat should be managed by a very focussed diet and NEVER via cardio. Cardio primarily “eats” into muscle and actually help surprisingly little to bring the fat levels down. It is much easier for the body to use the muscles for energy during cardio than to tap into fat storage and thus why cardio nearly always has the opposite effect.
Now, for one who refuse to give up his resistance training and has no other choice but to drop muscle weight due to health reasons (such as kidney problems), cardio presents a great and healthy opportunity to simply add it to the training regimen. The response the body will have when cardio is added, even by sticking to the same diet and resistance training, is to decrease muscle size.
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The general thought process out there is, that if you want to lose fat you must do cardio. It is unfortunately far from the truth. If you want to lose MUSCLE (!) you do cardio.
This video goes a long way as to give some proof about the matter although, admittedly, this is not an actual scientific experiment.
- All factors like diet, resistance training frequency and intensity remained the same throughout the study with the only real added change being cardio that was added 5 days per week.
- Supplements and all other forms of health support stayed exactly the same during the process.
- The project spanned over a 6 month period.
- Before the 6 months only resistance training (4 days a week) with no cardio.
- During the 6 months significant cardio was added 5 days a week (speed swimming – 20 to 30 laps).
Click here to watch video “Visual study to determine body changes when cardio added to resistance training.”
The following very noticeable results after the 6 months:
- Bodyweight down by 7kg’s (mostly muscle with a smaller fat component as well).
- Body shape has become more pronounced and defined.
- Visible body fat decrease on upper body and lower body for a more shredded look.
Continuing with the cardio indefinitely will further decrease muscle size but at the same time enhances shape and shredded look thus providing a healthy fit looking body.
But alas, those in search of size should never follow this route!
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Another interesting article on this subject: http://massgainsource.com/get-best-cardio-workout/
Wish you all happy training.