September 22, 2023
Does Cardio Kill Gains

Cardio and gains are two important concepts in the world of fitness. The word “Cardio” is short for cardiovascular exercise. It refers to any physical activity that elevates your heart rate and improves cardiovascular health. On the other hand, Gains are a measure of progress in terms of muscle growth and strength in your body.

But many people have questions: Does cardio kill gains? The answer is No, cardio does not kill gains. There is a common myth that the impact of cardio on gains depends on the intensity and duration of the cardio. That means too much cardio can interfere with your muscle gains and prevent you from reaching your fitness goals.

However, the relationship between cardio and gains is not that simple. In this article, we’re going to provide you with a clear understanding of the impact of cardio on muscle growth and strength. By exploring the latest research and expert opinions, we aim to help you make informed decisions about your workout routine.

The Science of Cardio and Gains

The science behind the connection between cardio and gains is complex and multifaceted. There is a mass of factors that can influence the impact of cardio on your muscle growth and strength. Here are the factors including the type and intensity of the cardio, the role of nutrition and recovery, the balanced training program, and the individual’s diet and lifestyle. Here are the following matters that influence the relationship between cardio and gains. 

How Cardio Affects Muscle Mass and Strength

Cardiovascular exercise can have both direct and indirect effects on your muscle mass and strength. Cardio also can increase the number of calories you burn. So, it can lead to a temporary reduction in strength if your diet is not adjusted to account for the increased calorie cost. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) also can provide a stimulus for muscle growth and improve your cardiovascular health and endurance.

You should know that the impact of cardio on muscle mass and strength will depend on a variety of factors. The factors are including the type and intensity of the cardio, the duration of the workout, and workout routine and diet.

Related Article: Learn about low-impact exercises that can improve your cardiovascular health and reduce knee pain in our comprehensive guide on the best cardio for bad knees.

The Role of Nutrition and Recovery in Building Muscle

Nutrition and recovery are crucial elements of building muscle and achieving gains. A balanced diet provides you with adequate protein and calories. You know that it is essential for muscle growth. On the other hand, sufficient rest and recovery time between workouts also play an important role in muscle growth.

Recovery is also crucial for building muscle.  Because it allows the muscles time to repair and grow.  Therefore, sufficient rest and recovery time between workouts is essential, as well as proper sleep, hydration, and stress management. On the other hand, foam rolling, and other forms of active recovery can also help boost muscle recovery and growth.

Read More: Does smoking weed affect cardio? Find out the shocking truth about the impact of marijuana on heart health and exercise performance.

The Importance of a Balanced Training Program

A balanced training program that includes both resistance training and cardiovascular exercise. It is the best way to build muscle and achieve gains. It also improves your overall health. But resistance training should be the primary focus for building muscle. And cardio can be used to supplement resistance training. It provides additional benefits for cardiovascular health and endurance.

It’s important to find a balance between resistance training and cardio.  Because, it works for you, taking into account your goals and fitness level. A well-rounded training program that includes a mix of resistance training and cardio. It can help you to achieve your fitness goals and maintain good health.

Debunking the Myth: Does Cardio Really Kill Gains?

The belief that cardio kills gains is a myth.  A moderate amount of cardio does not kill your gains. It can actually enhance your overall fitness and performance and does not restrict your muscle growth. Cardio also improves your cardiovascular fitness, by aiding recovery, and reducing muscle soreness and fatigue of your body. So, many successful athletes, bodybuilders, powerlifters, and CrossFit athletes, incorporate cardio into their training routines.

On the other hand, excessive amounts of cardio can potentially hamper muscle growth. Because, it can cause the body to burn through glycogen stores, which are necessary for muscle building and recovery. Additionally, if caloric intake is not sufficient to support both cardio and muscle building, your body may break down muscle tissue for energy. However, this is only an issue with excessive amounts of cardio or insufficient caloric intake. So, here are the following three factors that will break your myth about cardio and gains.  

Read More: Discover the best tips and strategies to effectively balance cardio while bulking to build muscle and maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. Stay on track with your fitness goals and achieve your desired physique.

The Benefits of Cardio for Overall Health and Wellness

Cardio has many benefits for your overall health and wellness. It improves your cardiovascular function, increased endurance, and reduced the risk of chronic diseases. It also improves your mental health. However, it also supports your weight management and can help with recovery after intense strength training sessions. 

How Cardio Can Complement Strength Training

Incorporating cardio into a strength training program can improve your overall fitness and performance. Cardiovascular fitness can help you recover faster between sets and improve endurance during training if you’re an athlete. It can also aid in relieving muscle soreness and fatigue after intense strength training.

Read More: Want to slim down your thighs while also improving your cardiovascular health? Check out our list of the best cardio exercises for slimming thighs.

Examples of Successful Athletes Who Incorporate Cardio Into Their Training

Many successful athletes incorporate cardio into their training routines, including professional bodybuilders, powerlifters, and CrossFit athletes. Let’s have a look at who are the successful persons:

  • Simone Biles: The Olympic gymnast incorporates cardio into her training to her keep her heart healthy and improve her endurance. She often does 20-30 minutes of cardio on the treadmill or stair climber after her strength training workouts.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger: Schwarzenegger was known for incorporating both strength training and cardio into his routine,  during his bodybuilding career. He was a successful athlete who incorporate cardio into his training.
  • Rich Froning: The CrossFit champion regularly incorporates cardio workouts, such as running and rowing. He was successful in his cardiovascular fitness and overall conditioning.
  • LeBron James: The NBA star is known for his intense cardio workouts, which include running, biking, and plyometric exercises. He uses cardio to enhance his endurance and maintain a healthy weight.

Finding the Right Balance: Cardio and Gains

Finding the right balance between cardio and gains training can depend on a person’s goals and fitness level. Here are some tips to help find the right balance:

Factors to Consider When Incorporating Cardio Into Your Training

You need to consider some factors when incorporating cardio into your muscle-gaining training. Let’s have a look at the facets below:

  • Goals: If your primary goal is to build muscle, you should focus on strength training. And you should limit cardio to 1-2 moderate sessions per week. On the other hand, if you want to improve your overall fitness and endurance, incorporate more cardio into your routine.
  • Fitness level: If you’re a beginner, you should start with lower-intensity cardio. You can gradually increase the intensity and duration over time to get a better result.
  • Recovery: Sufficient rest and recovery are important for muscle growth and performance. So, you should be careful to give yourself enough time to rest between workouts. 
  • Time constraints:  You also need to consider your schedule and how much time you have available for training. If you have time limitations, try combining strength training and cardio into a single workout.

How to Design a Balanced Training Program That Includes Cardio and Strength Training

Here are some directions to design a balanced training program that includes cardio and strength training:

  • Determine your fitness goals and design a training program that supports those goals.
  • Incorporate exercises that support both cardio and strength training. You can include high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
  • Schedule workouts to allow you for adequate recovery. You also need to ensure you have enough time to complete both cardio and strength training.
  • You need to increase the intensity of your workouts over time. So that, you’ll be able to avoid overtraining and injury.

3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Combining Cardio and Strength Training

Here are some common mistakes  you have to avoid when combining cardio and strength training:

  • Overtraining: Overtraining can ruin your goals. It also can lead to injury and may impede muscle growth. So, you need to take adequate rest and recover between workouts.
  • Focusing on only one type of exercise: Incorporating a variety of exercises can prevent boredom and prevent overuse injuries.
  • Inadequate nutrition: To support both muscle growth and cardio, it’s essential to consume enough calories and nutrients.

In Sum Up

It’s time to break free from the discussion of does cardio kills gains. The belief that cardio kills gains is a myth. With a balanced strength training program, cardio can offer several benefits to overall health and fitness. Cardio improves your heart health and weight management. It also decreases the risk of chronic disease.

However, the relationship between cardio and gains is complex and often mistaken. Strength training is important for building and maintaining muscle mass. On the other hand,  cardio can also play a crucial role in your overall fitness and health. Many successful athletes in various sports and disciplines incorporate cardio into their training regimens to improve their performance. So, you can incorporate cardio into your strength training to improve your performance. To find the right balance for optimal results, you can follow the instructions in this article.