Not long ago, I was putting together a training program for a guy who hadn’t been to the gym for a couple of months. He’d lost some muscle, and was on a mission to get it back as fast as humanly possible. When Hickson told his boss what was going on, Holloszy told him that “this should be the first study you do when you have your own lab.”. Adding cardio on several of your rest days means that some of the resources used by your muscles to recover and grow are now spread more thinly than they were before. Think of low intensity cardio as the type that you can do and still have a conversation with a friend while doing it. Just scrolling through a Google search of cardiovascular exercises can be overwhelming. As you get older, those resources become increasingly scarce, and you’ll need to be a lot more careful about how they’re allocated. Hickson was a powerlifter, who’d been doing his post-doctoral work in the laboratory of Professor John Holloszy. Cycling at a low-to-moderate intensity for 20-30 minutes the day after a heavy leg workout, for example, will often reduce post-exercise muscle soreness, and may accelerate the rate at which muscle damage is repaired. How well you recover from it, which in turn is affected by age, diet, and sleep, as well as any crap you have going on in your life that leaves you stressed, anxious, or worried.  Interestingly, the amount of fat loss the women experienced in this study was no different in those who did their cardio in the fasted state as compared to those who completed their cardio in the fed state. Not only that, he also wanted to get a lot fitter, but without interfering with muscle growth. In fact, there are multiple studies showing that high intensity cardio does not pack on muscle mass (12,13). In that case, you’ll need to play around with the intensity, time, and type of exercise you do to avoid killing your gains. What studies on concurrent training are really telling us is that during the bulking cycles when muscle and strength are your priority, keep your cardio to a minimum - … In fact, some types of cardio may help recovery by promoting blood flow to the muscles without causing further damage. The authors did admit most of their analysis revolved around short-term studies on untrained subjects, so take their recommendations with a grain of salt. If you want something that doesn’t take up as much time, go for HIIT. Too much of one (psychological stress) can make it harder to recover from the other (the physical stress of training). However, we are now seeing more and more studies that show how high intenstiy interval training actually burns much more fat than steady state cardio does. By the end of the three-month study, subjects in the continuous group had ridden for 27 hours. This is tremendously useful to help offset age-related declines in bone mass. There are a few other things to think about, most notably your age, as well as any stuff you have going on in your life that’s causing you an undue amount of anxiety, worry or some other form of psychological stress that you don’t want to feel. Obviously if your priority is building muscle, it doesn’t make much sense to emphasize cardio over weight training since the latter is imperative to muscle growth and the former is more of a helping hand. But are there any drawbacks to doing cardo? If you’re already very fit, this type of program isn’t going to get you a lot fitter. Strength training and cardio exercise affect the body differently with regard to the types of hormones they release into the blood, new research shows. In support of this fact, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you should get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. Relative to preventing cardiovascular disease, moderate intensity cardio has been shown to be very effective [3]. As a result, the intensity of the “growth signals” sent to your muscles will be weaker than they otherwise would be, which in turn means a slower rate of muscle growth [2]. A new study finds that lifting weights is a better option than cardio for older adults who want to lose weight, but preserve muscle mass as they age. Interestingly, there was no improvement in the pain during the 4-day recovery period from any of the strategies utilized, meaning that low or moderate intensity cardio exercise was no better than just sitting! At the end of the study, there was no difference in the muscle sizes between both the legs measured. In one study, a group of triathletes in their fifties recovered more slowly than triathletes in their twenties in the days following a 30-minute downhill run [12]. running vs cycling). What you do to one changes what happens to the others. If you want to maximize muscle growth, they say, cardio should be kept to an absolute minimum. This can be done on separate days, or even after you’ve trained your legs – … Despite a five-fold lower time commitment, various measures of cardiometabolic health improved to a similar extent in both the HIIT and steady-state groups. There also seems to be a consensus that cycling is more effective at building muscle than running. You might find that running five days a week, for example, is too much for your body, but 2-3 days a week is fine. When it comes to improving cardiovascular fitness, most studies show that HIIT is superior to steady-state cardio, on a time-equated basis at least. Physical and psychological stress make withdrawals from the same account. 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