Incorportating the Right Kind of Cardio -
Tim’s Tips are written by Tim Rigby, M.A., NSCA-CPT

You’re well aware that fitness training involves both resistance training with weights (or your own bodyweight) along with a certain level of cardio. Unfortunately, many people shoot themselves in the foot and blunt their potential gains for muscle growth, simply by doing the wrong type of cardio. It’s not that any specific type of cardio is “bad” for you, but it all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Here’s a rundown of what’s most appropriate:

If you’re in a muscle-building stage and lift weights with some intensity three or four times each week, then performing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts at the same time is suicide for muscle growth. You’ll overtrain and put yourself in a catabolic state where muscle breaks down. The potential you have for building stacks of lean muscle will be negated. You’re much better off during this time to perform simple active recovery two or three times a week, such as 30-45 minutes of steady-state walking. Studies indicate this actually enhances your potential for muscle growth.

On the other hand, if you’re outside a stage of muscle growth and simply want to get cut and lean down, then by all means, go and perform some HIIT. It will definitely get your metabolic rate up and help you get shredded. Just make sure that you keep your protein levels high – just as much as when you’re in your mass-building stage. You want to burn glycogen and tap into your fat stores, while preserving nitrogen balance and an anabolic state.
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