So this is a common question, will performing cardio exercises hinder your muscle building ambitions? the answer to that question is, possibly! it all depends on your diet and if you are consuming enough calories to support muscle growth. It also depends on the amount of cardio and weight training you actually do.
If you are consuming enough calories to support muscle growth, then performing cardio shouldn’t necessarily affect your muscle gains in any noticeable way. However if your cardio training is very intense then yes it could affect your muscle gains and recovery times, after all the body can only cope with so much. Depending on what your goal is, there has to be a balance between cardio and resistance training to attain your desired outcome.
Could cardio actually improve muscle development?
This maybe a question that most beginners may never even ask or think, but the answer is probably yes! cardio and good cardiovascular fitness could actually help you to increase your muscle gains. Our muscles require blood and oxygen to work efficiently, to repair and to grow.
Cardio training increases your lung and heart capacity therefore increasing your ability to build muscle, good blood flow also helps to remove waste from the muscles such as lactic acid, as well as increasing the ability of the muscles to store glycogen or carbohydrates which gives them energy. The more energy you have, the heavier you can lift and the harder you can work those muscles, and for longer. This could make a big difference over time.
Cardio for reducing body fat
When aerobic/cardio exercising is used in conjunction with weight training it can be very effective for reducing that body fat percentage. Some bodybuilders will increase their aerobic exercising shortly before a competition to reduce their body fat percentage, therefore improving tone and definition. However be careful because some studies do show that when cardio training is implemented into weight training workouts there is a reduction in muscle gains, some studies suggest that there is a significant reduction.
Different types of cardio
Not all aerobic or cardio exercises are created equal. Running for example puts a lot of impact stress on the muscles of the legs, including your knee joints. This stress puts a toll on the body, therefore it will require more energy and resources to repair the muscles. This will require calories and time to recover and this will have an obvious affect on any other form of training that you do. Cycling, rowing or swimming maybe a good alternative to running as some studies report that these exercises have less negative impact on overall full body muscle growth.