If you will try to get an advice from an older bodybuilder about the need of cardio training for adding muscle mass, most probably you will be told that there is nothing as cardio training in bodybuilding. However, the truth is that cardio has a role in building muscle and not a minuscule one.
You should now cardio and weight training have different goals and the ways they work are quite different. Cardio exercises are very effective for burning fat. Thus, those who look to lose weight are recommended to use high intense cardio exercise like running (or use treadmill), riding a bike or a stationary one, skipping using a rope, swimming and other movements that greatly raise the heartbeat.
Weight training breaks down small fibers muscle involved in work. After hard lifting training session you need at least one day off to let your muscle repair, rebuild and strengthen. Too often weightlifting training can get you overtrained and do not let your body fully recover. So, do not need to feel guilty for missing every day training, since it not necessary. For continue muscle growth and for your safe lifting training need to has a periodicity of 2 -3 times a week. With condition that you will not cheat and do the full lifting workout properly.
It becomes clear that based on your goals, you will have to focus on cardio or weight training. Muscle are covered by fat. The higher is the body fat percentage, the less visible are muscle. And this doesn’t mean at all that you have no muscle mass developed. You just need to burn fat, and after this concentrate your efforts on weight lifting training.
Does it mean that cardio movements are excluded during the long way of building muscle mass? The answer in no, since we still need cardio exercises but not in the same degree as for fat burning. We need cardio since it has three very important functions which assist you to build muscle faster. First of all, cardio helps you to stay in shape while you will follow a rich diet. Secondly, it increases fat body enzymes, helping you to gain more muscle mass instead of fat. And thirdly, during cardio movements muscles get more blood, thus they will recover faster.
There are two main ways cardio exercises are used for building muscle mass:
-Warm-up cardio exercises;
-Cardio training for muscle definition.
What are warm-up cardio exercises?
On of the first instructions you were given when you came in the gym was the necessity to warm-up before weight lifting training. Warm-up process should take only 5 up to 10 minutes and has the role to increase the body’s temperature. This will help you to stay safe during workout. Whatever exercises you will choose for warmup-running, riding or skipping - you have to save energy for further workout, and do not get exhausted.
Cardio training for getting ripped
Cardio movements has nothing to do with enhancing body strength and muscle size. These results can be achieved only through weight lifting training. But if you gained already enough muscle mass and fat as well, and want to get a ripped look, then is the best time to add to your workout cardio exercises.
For getting those six pack on your abs and for leaning out you have to focus on cardio exercises too. This doesn’t suppose that you will have to run one hour or do other low intensity exercises. What you need is high intense exercise performed in a short time.
Best time to do cardio exercises for muscle definition
Once the positive impact of cardio training on getting ripped is quite obvious, there is another question that every has to be answered. It regards the most optimum time to do cardio: before or after weight lifting exercises. Researches have been shown the most benefits of cardio training are achieved if it is performed straight after weight lifting workouts. A twenty minutes cardio workout after lifting weights would help you to get ripped within weeks.
This also means that no cardio training is required on off days, since following above schedule is quite enough.
Getting overtrained is very likely to happen if you do you weightlifting training plus cardio training too long or too often. Being less experienced with cardio training increases your chances to get overtrained. Take slowly, and focus on exercises intensity and not duration. Listen to your body and let them fully recover before returning to gym. Make a own program training based on your body characteristics. We are all different, and it will be wrong to think that you have to train exactly the way others do.
In worst cases, getting overtraining means staying out of the for a long time. And this undoubtedly the the last thing you want to happen to you.
That being said, cardio training is not for gaining muscle mass and for increasing strength. You will not gain muscle mass through running, riding or skipping. You need such low intensity but high frequency exercises to burn fat.
But this doesn’t means that you do not need cardio exercises at all during the long way of building muscle mass. Cardio exercises are great for warm-up before weight lifting training. Also, if you want to get well-defined physique than cardio training is what you need. Add a 20-25 minutes of high intensity cardio training after weight lifting workout and you will see fat burning within weeks.