It is evident that during weight loss or drying, when the goal is to reduce body fat, several cardio sessions per week are necessary. They will help increase energy costs and make the body burn fat.
However, what if at the moment there is a mass gain period, that is, an increase in muscle mass and strength? Is it necessary to do cardio in this case, or is it better to focus on hard training and eating enough food?
This topic is often discussed. In general, there is no clear-cut answer, and there is no advice that would suit everyone. You need to proceed on type of body structure, the amount of physical activity (excluding training in the gym), appetite, and how the workouts are planned.
One of the most discussed issues among the super-strong people. Some argue in favor of cardio, while others strongly oppose cardio while gaining weight and the truth, as always, is somewhere in between.
Let us look at the pros and cons of cardio training. First, I want to determine what we are talking about low-intensity cardio. Interval cardio, in this case, will be an obstacle for weight gain. Although, for sure, there is one for whom this type of cardio will work, for the majority, this type of training will not work.
The main advantages:
– With light intensity, blood is pumped from the working muscles; as a result, the body is better restored.
– Burned more calories – you can eat more. Systematic activity increases nutrient intake. Put, the “extra” calories will not go into body fat; the body will get better as it were. After all, most people, while gaining muscle mass, still want to lean muscles, not fat.
The main disadvantages:
– For ectomorphs, anyway, any cardio is a loss of calories that could go to the growth of muscle mass. If it is already hard for you to eat, cardio will only aggravate the situation.
– Most of the people still cannot calmly walk along the track, quietly pedal. Without noticing it, the intensity is gradually increasing, and this is already fraught with overtraining. It is a well-known fact that for the best “calorie burning,” it is necessary to combine strength training with medium/high-intensity cardio. Therefore, with muscles, this can interfere. Muscle recovery can be significantly worse.
In this case, the critical point is precisely the intensity of cardio. Although even with low intensity, but excessive amounts, cardio can still harm. Therefore, by controlling the number of aerobic workouts and their intensity, it is quite possible to gain muscles.
The optimal will be cardio workouts for 20-30 minutes on days without strength training, or 10-15 minutes of low intensity after strength training. Although here you certainly need to consider the total amount of training time. If you did strength training for an hour and a half, then you hardly need to add more cardio. If you work out well for 40-50 minutes, then it is quite possible to add a little cardio to get the blood going. In 10 minutes, many calories will not burn, and it will help to recover.
As already mentioned, the number and duration of cardio workouts strongly depend on the personal parameters of the athlete. However, for most people, 2-4 cardio sessions per week would be a good option. You can make 1-2 of them with high intensity for 8-20 minutes, the rest with lower intensity, aerobically, for 40-60 minutes.
It is wise not to mix strength training and cardio, dividing them by the day.
If you are skinny, it is logical to do less cardio since the body is not too prone to accumulate fat. If you, on the contrary, tend to be overweight, then the amount of cardio should be greater.
If your work is related to physical activity, then it is quite possible that additional cardio is not even necessary. However, if it is desk work you have sitting down in the office, then the additional physical activity is necessary and will only benefit.
It is important to remember that with a large amount of strength training, you cannot get involved in cardio because of the risk of overtraining. Alternatively, you need to limit yourself to aerobic cardio sessions.
Summing up, if you love cardio – do not be afraid to add it in small doses, if you are thin – focus on strength training, leave cardio alone.
Yes, it is recommended to do cardio, even if the main goal is to gain weight. First of all, because it will improve endurance, speed up metabolism, optimize the processing and use of nutrients, speed up recovery, and help not to gain excess fat.
When planning cardio workouts, be sure to take into account the type of body structure, the number, and volume of strength training, and the general level of your physical activity.
Choose the bike in size.
Have a good workout!
About the author
Melisa Marzett is a content writer who was working as a journalist for a local newspaper in her native Phoenix and a translator and currently writing articles for findwritingservice. She is passionate about writing, cooking, and fashion.