Excessive cardio can negatively impact muscle gains if it is not properly balanced with strength training and adequate protein intake. Cardio can burn calories and increase muscle endurance, but it does not directly lead to muscle growth like strength training does. It's important to find a balance between cardio and strength training to achieve overall fitness goals. Additionally, adequate protein intake is necessary for muscle repair and growth.
How Much Cardio Should You Do When Trying to Gain Muscle?
When trying to gain muscle, it's important to focus primarily on strength training and to limit the amount of cardio you do. This is because excessive cardio can burn calories and potentially lead to muscle loss, which can hinder muscle growth.
It's suggested that you should do cardio to maintain your cardiovascular health, but it should be limited to 2-3 sessions per week of moderate-intensity cardio, lasting 20-30 minutes. This will help maintain cardiovascular health without burning too many calories and interfering with muscle growth. It's also important to have enough rest and recovery time, which can be achieved by ensuring that you're getting enough sleep and consuming adequate amounts of protein.
Best Work Outs for Gaining Muscle
The best workouts for gaining muscle are those that focus on progressive overload, which means gradually increasing the weight or resistance used in exercises over time. This type of training stresses the muscle fibers, causing them to break down and then repair stronger, resulting in muscle growth. Some examples of exercises that are particularly effective for building muscle mass are:
- Compound exercises: These exercises work multiple muscle groups at the same time, such as the squat, deadlift, bench press, and rows. These exercises are great for overall muscle development and can help increase overall strength and power.
- Isolation exercises: These exercises focus on a single muscle group, such as bicep curls, tricep extensions, and leg curls. These exercises can be used to target specific areas of the body and help bring up weaker muscle groups.
- Progressive resistance exercises: These exercises involve using progressively heavier weights or resistance, such as weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, or resistance bands. These exercises help to build muscle mass and increase overall strength.
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT is a great way to increase muscle endurance and burn fat. This type of cardio is intense and short, usually between 20 to 30 minutes.
It's important to note that proper nutrition and enough rest and recovery time are also crucial for muscle growth. It's recommended to consume enough calories and protein, and make sure to get enough sleep, to help your body repair and grow muscle tissue.
Work Outs to Stay Away From When Trying To Gain Muscle
When trying to gain muscle, there are certain types of workouts that may not be as effective as others or may even hinder muscle growth. Here are a few examples of workouts to avoid or limit:
- Long duration cardio: Engaging in long duration cardio exercises, such as marathon running or cycling, can burn a lot of calories, which can make it difficult to consume enough calories to support muscle growth.
- High-rep/low-weight training: Training with high reps (15 or more) and low weight can increase muscle endurance, but it doesn't provide the necessary stress on the muscle fibers to promote muscle growth.
- Overtraining: Over training can be detrimental to muscle growth and recovery. This includes working out the same muscle group multiple times a day, or having no rest days.
- Neglecting rest and recovery: Skipping rest days or not getting enough sleep can also impede muscle growth. Your body needs time to repair and grow muscle tissue, so make sure to include rest days in your workout schedule and get enough sleep each night.
It's important to find a balance between cardio and strength training and make sure to include rest and recovery time in your workout schedule. A good workout routine for muscle gain should focus on progressive resistance exercises that target multiple muscle groups, and be balanced with adequate nutrition and rest.