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Building muscle versus Cardio.

Stoo61Stoo61 Posts: 1,394
edited March 2011 in Health, fitness & training
If you goto the gym and do weights and then do and hour or two of cardio exercise...can it be counterproductive for building and retaining muscle?

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  • nwmlargenwmlarge Posts: 863
    yes

    ignoring the adverts have a read through this forum for tips

    http://www.muscletalk.co.uk/default.aspx
  • Stoo61Stoo61 Posts: 1,394
    Thats a lot of information, can't find any specific threads.

    I need to lose a bit of fat but I want to build muscle at the same time. Is it better then to run/cycle then do weight training?
  • militiacoremilitiacore Posts: 101
    No, you can easily build muscle whilst still doing cardio. If not then rugby players would be very skinny for example and they must be one of the best adverts for building and retaining muscle mass whilst also being very fit.

    All boils down to nutrition in all honesty making sure you eat enough protein for your body to be able to repair and rebuild new muscle tissue and keep immune system in check while taking in sufficient clean carbohydrate sources to for fuel but not in excess which can lead to unwanted fat weight gain. Finally some healthy fat sources and plenty of fresh vegetables for body functions and general well being.

    The other worthy point is to not do too much and allow your body time to recover otherwise all the effort you put in will simply be counter productive and can lead to decline in performance and health.

    Finally I wouldn't bother with looking at muscletalk too much as a forum but there is plenty of decent info to be had at www.esnpro.co.uk as they have some specific nutrition and exercise sections to post on and read through.
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  • pdidpdid Posts: 1,065
    Stoo61 wrote:
    I need to lose a bit of fat but I want to build muscle at the same time. Is it better then to run/cycle then do weight training?

    Ah the Holy Grail!!!

    Have a look through this site http://stronglifts.com/

    There`s a fair bit of american pretentious censored but the programme is easy to follow, doesn`t take up too much time and is fairly highly recommended, particularly for beginners.
  • LimburgerLimburger Posts: 346
    cardio is generally catabolic (muscle eating) as opposed to anabolic (muscle building) so you would ideally do them on separate days or lose the effect of the weights.
    In my powerlifting days we were forbidden outright to do any cardio be cause of the muscle atrophy it caused. mostly why you don't see many lean powerlifters. Well that, and the continuous eating.
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  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
    Bizarrely, I'm trying to do the opposite. I'd love to know what F1 drivers do to get incredibly fit but not put on much muscle. I seem to build muscle very easily when cycling (commuting) which means that I've replaced all the fat I've lost with muscle weight (understand the density thing) - but I'm trying to lose overall mass whilst getting fitter (also for motor racing).
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • Bizarrely, I'm trying to do the opposite. I'd love to know what F1 drivers do to get incredibly fit but not put on much muscle. I seem to build muscle very easily when cycling (commuting) which means that I've replaced all the fat I've lost with muscle weight (understand the density thing) - but I'm trying to lose overall mass whilst getting fitter (also for motor racing).

    Eat less
  • Buckled_RimsBuckled_Rims Posts: 1,648
    Bizarrely, I'm trying to do the opposite. I'd love to know what F1 drivers do to get incredibly fit but not put on much muscle. I seem to build muscle very easily when cycling (commuting) which means that I've replaced all the fat I've lost with muscle weight (understand the density thing) - but I'm trying to lose overall mass whilst getting fitter (also for motor racing).

    You can't burn fat off that easily. Chances are you're putting muscle on under the fat layer and thinking you're getting very muscular.

    It takes 3500 calories to burn 1lb of fat off your body. That's almost 6 hours of bike riding at a brisk pace for someone 5.10 @ 170lb weight approx.

    So, when I hear people losing 4lbs per week I laugh my cotton socks off. The weight lose is almost always 90% sweat and is replaced during the day.

    If you want to be like a F1 driver, eat good nutrition, circuit training and highish reps on weights. Ignore your body shape for a year (yes, it takes that long) and see the results.

    That's assuming you're not naturally stocky in build like Chris Hoy :wink:
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  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337

    You can't burn fat off that easily. Chances are you're putting muscle on under the fat layer and thinking you're getting very muscular.

    That easily? How easily is that? Since the beginning of Feb I've covered 1200 miles with 90,000ft of climb in all weathers. I've lost 2" off my waist (that'll probably be the the "muscle under the fat") and yet my weight has dropped 1kg. I'm 6ft, 32" waist and 93kg. I don't know how you calculate calories for my commute - my Garmin way over-estimates at around 800-900 each way for 15 miles and 1100ft of climb/decent. My combined bike + me + kit weight is 111kg. There is no fat on my legs to speak of (unless I've developed a special hard fat).

    Now I've met Filippe Massa in the flesh - he was in shorts and his legs are like sticks.

    I lost 16kg a few years back at exactly 1kg a week for 16 weeks (it's stayed off - but maybe I've been seriously dehydrated for 3 years).

    If I eat less do I need to eat less protein?
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • If you really want to build muscle you should aim for up to 1gram protein per pound body weight. People will say this is too much and your body can't use that much, and they are right the body won't used it all and you'll piss alot of it out, but what this protein overconsumption really does is put the metabolism into a natural anabolic high gear and muscle growth becomes more rapid. I know this from years of practical experience trying different levels of protein consumption at the same level of training and it just works. Also its a myth that the body can only digest a certain amount of protein in one sitting (35-40g), digestion is a constant process I only bother with 3 meals a day now instead of 5-6 and have noticed no difference apart from life being easier. Eat most of your carbs in the morning/afternoon and fats in the evening, fats are slower to digest, keep you feeling full for longer, and its cabs at night that'll make you put most fat on.

    Focus on the main big lifts like Squat and deadlift as these also trigger the natural analbolic response,
  • You need to keep your weight training days and cardio days seperate. If you do cardio after weight training then keep it to 20 minutes max.

    To build muscle you should be splitting your workouts into body parts and not doing the same things every time you go. For example do a 3 day split routine, Chest nd triceps on one day, back nd bi's on another and then shoulders and legs on another for example.

    Do your cardio in between weight training days and make sure your eating well and lots of protein.
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  • HedleyPHedleyP Posts: 8
    Over at the Mens Health forum they recommend a Full body workout for fat loss and muscle building. It involves a lot of compound moves.

    Have a read of the thread called: Tentiger Full Body Work Out @ http://www.menshealth.co.uk/chatroom/topic/375687

    I have been losing weight (fat) and gaining muscle for 3 months now in an effort to look good in my Speedos in August :D . I found that eating sensibly and doing a lot of cardio and weights is doing the trick. In 3 months I have only lost about 1Kg in weight but I am bulking out, leaning up and can now bench weights that are double what I started and the wife has started to find me attractive again so it must be working!
    I'm good at falling off.
  • Separate your exercise days i.e. day of cardio, day of weights, day off. Also concentrate on building lean muscle if you want to have both speed and strength. No point trying to lug bulk around quickly!
  • pauldiverpauldiver Posts: 2
    I have to totally agree with MattJohnson and others on this. SInce February I have been doing a 3 day split routine with cardio in between the days. Im also training for an up coming duathlon but Im not sacrificing my weight training days. If I have a long day on the trails then I count that as my cardio day.
    Its important to eat healthy though and also have a day off to rest each week or you will find all that hard work will go to waste and you could do yourself more harm than good.

    Every six-seven weeks Ive had more than a few days off and Ive always felt better after that and noticed the difference in my fitness more.
    Im now leaving the other lads behind on the hill on their hardtails while I pound away on my full sus!!! :lol:
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  • DCR00DCR00 Posts: 2,160
    You also need to consider the propaganda around catabolism as well. There is a relative myth that if you do too much cardio while muscle buidling that the cardio will "eat" all your hard earned muscle. Whilst possible, even high levels of cardio exercise will not prevent you from building muscle.

    As long as you consume a high protein diet that considers both your cardio AND the levels of protein required to support muscle growth (2+ grams per lb of BW you WISH TO BE, not 1gram), then you should be able to do both.

    Of course, what nobody has mentioned yet is genetics. This has the biggest influence on whether you will build muscle in the first place. Secondly, age has a massive impact as well - as you get over 30 your testosterone levels start to drop and so muscle buidling becomes harder.

    The reality here is that no one process works for everybody.

    However, as has been alluded to, cardio should really be done either on a separate day, or after your muscle work (unless you have sufficient gaps between the two – i cycle to work in the morning, but then do muscle work after work, then cycle home again). Why ? nothing to do with catabolism, but rather that if you do your cardio first, then your body will use glycogen ahead of burning fat. You need glycogen to fuel the muscle contraction, so if you burn it up doing cardio, then you will struggle to train with any sort of intensity. But if you do the muscle work first, using all the glycogen, then your body is more likely to mobilise fat when you do your cardio afterwards (hence why you need a big gap if you do cardio first, so you can replenish your glycogen store with lots and lots of food.

    Lastly, to pack on any serious muscle you need food, and lots of it.

    P.S. MuscleTalk is a decent forum (but does have its fair share of BS as does any other forum)
  • tbh the short answer is no it isnt.

    Building muscle is easy enough to do while maintaining a high CV system level.

    to be honest the biggest thing "body builders" do is build up huge muscles but they turn out to be in fact exstreamely unfit, no lie there most are shocking unfit when it comes to overall fitness.

    that why it best to build up CV to a good level then on top of this build up muscles, dont start drinking all this censored that so calls builds you up in 30 days ect.

    simple muscle workouts wont affect your CV, to put simple:

    big muscles that serve no real use = waste of space and take up too much O2 when doing CV work.


    Small effective muscles= use little O2 as their O2 effectiveness is high therfor dont affect CV workouts.

    Just look at the top triathletes their muscle strength is very high while having a very high CV level as well..
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  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,561
    Forget all of the above and get out and lift and ride and run if you like. It's not as if you're trying to be Arnold and Lance and a marathon runner all rolled into one. Do what you enjoy. Lots of people, including all types of Pro athletes, pump iron to gain strength and run or cycle for some cardio benefit. Why would anyone think that lifting weights and gaining a bit of strength and muscle would be counter productive to any sport? It's insane to even think that gettting stronger is a bad thing but that's what some seem to be saying. Lift, run, swim, bike, do it all if you have the time and inclination. It's ALL good stuff.
  • KaiseKaise Posts: 2,498
    i am currently on a programme for duathlon training, the girl i know that wrote the programme is a full time strength and conditioning coach working with the likes of bath and bristol universities so she should know whats going on

    i build muscle very quickly, which is usually a benefit, but for duathlon it isnt,

    i do the following over the course of 3 build up weeks before starting a lot of specific "brick" sessions

    Mon -- Swimming, 40 lenths (25m) mixing front crawl and breaststroke in sets of 10 lengths at a medium pace
    Tue -- Strength session (squats, Deadlifts, Upright rows, Single leg Set ups, Push Ups, Core Work) followed by a pyramid running session (5mins warm up walking, 5mins 0.5kph below normal pace, 6mins at normal steady pace, 30 seconds rest and then reduuce the time by 1 mint and increse the speed by 0.5kph
    Wed -- Rest Day - 15 min stretching
    Thur -- 1hr Bike ride at a steady pace
    Fri -- 45 min steady run (should be able to talk while running without any problems)
    Sat -- Rest day (usually out on the mtb though)
    Sun -- Rest Day (usually out on a bike of some description)

    now i am 27 and when i started these session at the beginning of january i was 17st9 with not a great deal of muscle mas (quads excluded)

    its been 8 weeks and i am now 16st8, defined and feeling the fittest i have been for a very long time. Still along way to go until i would say ripped but i'm making a start to it

    what you eat is massively important, balanced diet and eating to fuel your body for the exercise you are going to do and the recovery you need. Everything brown when it comes to carbs, (rice,pastas) all need to be wholemeal.

    Protiens need to be lean, stick with fish and chicken/turkey rather than reaching for your steaks and mincemeat.

    water, drink lots of it, stay hydrated and you will have the urge to snack less!!


    just my 2p's worth anyway
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