Cardio: Does it impede muscle growth?

Cardio: Does it impede muscle growth?

There is an argument that performing cardiovascular activities can hinder muscle growth and prevent you from achieving peak gains. In this blog, we will dive deeper into this issue and discover whether this argument is true or not.

How do muscles grow?

Resistance training is the number one way to stimulate muscle growth and this is done through a process called hypertrophy which involves the increase in size and strength of muscle fibres.

The most efficient way to build muscle is to progressively overload resistance training exercises each week to break down muscle fibres. After this, you should refuel your body with high-protein foods to help rebuild those muscle fibres but this time bigger and stronger than before. 

When cardio can impede muscle growth :

If you perform excessive amounts of cardio then this can put your body into a catabolic state which will result in the breakdown of muscle tissue during your cardiovascular workout. However, as long as you are not doing over an hour of intense cardio every day then it is unlikely that you are going to be performing excessive amounts.

If you are going to be engaging in cardiovascular activities then research suggests that it is better to do this after your resistance training, so that you don’t deplete your glycogen stores and fatigue your muscles before you’ve even started lifting weights.

How cardio can support muscle growth :

Performing moderate cardio can benefit your heart health and improve the delivery of oxygen to your muscles. As a result, your body will be able to cope with more intense weightlifting sessions which will enhance muscle growth.

Conclusion :

It’s clear that if performed moderately, cardiovascular exercises will not impede muscle growth but instead, can actually complement your resistance training and lead to better performance when lifting weights. Cardio should not be feared as it can have a hugely positive impact on your body and your mind when incorporated effectively.    

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