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What Science Says About Cardio Exercise Effects On Muscle Growth




             There are many things that may surprise you in a bodybuilder, but one of the most memorable facts is the skepticism about Cardio Exercise Effects. The fear to lose any pound make them throw away cardio trainings and see them as the cause of muscle lose. If you are one of these bodybuilders who marginalize the role of cardio in a balanced workout routine then is time to revise your thoughts. By reading this post you will find out why and how cardio can still benefit you based on on what researchers say about it.

Cardio Exercise

            Do you really need cardio to build muscle mass was one of the question we asked in one of the previous posts. Then we mentioned that the best form of cardio exercises that a weightlifter can use are warm-up cardio movements and cardio exercises for muscle definition. Today we gonna develop this subject and analyze cardio exercises through the contribution they have an increasing body strength, and in results muscle growth. Or better said, if they have any or just worsen the situation.

Cardio Exercise Effects On Muscle Growth

             Concomitantly performance of strength training with cardio is as concurrent training and catched the researcher’s attention for more than three decades. Long time observations draw to conclusion that that cardio training performed before strength workout decrease the hypertrophy, which means less muscle mass is build.

            There is a strong correlation between cardio training intensity, frequency and length and the bad effects on muscle mass. The higher are these cardio training indicators, the more you miss the chance to build muscle mass.

            Does it mean that cardio training has to be completely abandoned? Of course, no. Nothing improves metabolism and burn fat as cardio exercises do. Aside of this, cardio training has a good influence of heart rate and overall health. Therefore, simply cutting it off from your daily life is not a good idea at all.

          Just imagine how great it will to be to have the chance to embrace all these advantages while packing on muscle mass. Burn fat and build lean muscle mass is dream of every bodybuilder. Well, researches says that this is possible to achieve when a good balance between these two components is established.

How to know when too much cardio is done?

             When mixed with strength training for bulking, cardio training needs to have a frequency no more than 2-3 times a week and not exceed a half an hour. All this supposing that you follow a low intensity. Such a cardio training just potent the effects of strength training and has no negative effects at all. Go this way and you will manage to build muscle, while cardio exercises do their good effects on your body.

Sweat As Much As You Can

         Things change when you cross this line. If your goal is to get rid of fat, then you would  find no problem with it. Longer cardio training performed at a higher intensity every other day have great cutting effects, so that you will become lean within weeks after starting such a program.

          What you have to understand is that for bulking is good to follow a lower intensity cardio training with greater effect on strength workout. After you build the muscle you want and consider the time to melt away extra fat gained over the bulking came, you can just increase cardio training intensity and frequency to get this effect.

This is what we have:

  • Minimum cardio for bulking purpose.
  • More cardio for cutting effect.

What to do if you worry about losing too much muscle while looking to cut off fat?

             Most of times, to keep the muscle mass is harder than building it. Preventing the muscle mass while going through a cutting stage is the biggest challenge. It’s quite understandable your fear to lose muscle and the fact that you want to have over it.

            To make sure you lose fat and not muscle mass, keep a close eyes on your body composition. Once you observe that the one who goes away is not fat but muscle tissue, you can  stop it by reducing cardio exercising.

Some types of cardio training has more destructive effect on muscle mass than others.

           According to a research published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research released that running is more detrimental to muscle growth than any other kind of cardio activity.  Want more details about this subject? Read our post Running an Bodybuilding: is is a good idea to mix them ?

           In the list of cardio exercises with positive impact on muscle growth are cycling. Make it a part of your workout if you are about to increase your muscle size.  

        No need to google for the best exercises for burning fat. Check our post Best cardio and weight exercises to lose weight  and see what these are.


Cardio and strength training can go hand in hand when a good balance is ensured. Less cardio when bulking - 2 trainings session per week at lower intensity for twenty minutes. During cutting stage more cardio is welcome - 3 times a week training up to 50 minutes length at higher intensity ( HIIT method works great).


Building muscle mass is what I like to talk about. If your aim is to build a solid body, then my posts would be very beneficial to you. I always want to know your opinion, so don't hesitate to drop a line below or contact me.



  1. chest muscle

    August 6, 2014 at 1:16 am

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  2. Ella

    August 6, 2014 at 8:08 am

    Hi, happy you found our blog useful to you.

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