10 Basic Rules for Gaining Muscle – #9 – Cut the Cardio

Building large amounts of muscle is actually a very complex phenomenon. It is the result of placing intense demands on your body and attempting to illicit certain desirable responses, specifically to increase size, strength, endurance, and appearance. In order to do so, you have to maximize the effects of your training, the nutrients you ingest, your body’s  ability to repair and heal itself, and the natural daily responses by your hormones and chemical functions.

Luckily for you, the basics of gaining muscle is not nearly as tough as you might think. All it really takes is  implementing a series of short changes to your diet and workout habits and a little dedication. The following set of rules will demonstrate the most important things you must know to make your workouts and diet more effective and start gaining size and strength.

Rule # 9 – Cut the Cardio

If you really want to get bigger you need to make a few sacrifices. Even if one of those sacrifices means you wont see your abs for a little while…

The number one mistake people make is to assume they can gain muscle AND lose fat at the same time. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. The most basic principle of training is this – to gain muscle you must eat more than you burn each day, and to lose fat you must eat less. So how can you possibly expect to do both? Performing cardio while bulking really just equates to eating less, and thus limits your potential gains.

It is for this reason that training is divided into two main phases – bulking and cutting. Bulking typically progresses until you have reached your target size and/or you have gained too much bodyfat. Gaining fat is a necessary byproduct of gaining muscle – it just happens. You can limit how much fat is stored by controlling your diet (opt for cleaner sources), but it will happen to a certain extent nonetheless.

While aerobic activity is a necessary aspect of health and wellness, it is counterproductive to your pursuit of muscle gain. I’m not saying to cut it out altogether, but cardio should be kept to a minimum for the duration of a bulking process. By performing cardio, you are burning up many of the excess calories you should be eating each day. This ensures that they do not reach your muscle cells and sabotages your own efforts.

In addition, cardio is taxing to the Central Nervous system as well as the muscles involved, and this impedes your ability to rest between workouts. Since the recovery process is what actually repairs and rebuilds muscle cells (ideally larger and stronger), it is crucial to gaining mass. You need to be fully rested in order to move up in weights and gain muscle, so don’t negate your efforts by overdoing the cardio.

Now if you must perform cardio either for athletics, for fun, or out of a desire for a more general health, that’s a different story. (I personally do it at least once a week just to stay in shape, even while bulking.)It isn’t the end of the world, but you will need to eat even more to compensate for the calories being burned.  Ideally you want to separate aerobics from resistance training, but if this is not possible just make sure to keep it brief and never do it before lifting. For more rules on when to perform cardio Click Here.

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