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Recommendations on muscle-building cardio?

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by GatorDeb, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. GatorDeb

    GatorDeb Active Member

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    I used to do 3 hours of cardio a day every day and have cut down to 4 hours of martial arts a week while I added six hours of lifting a week.

    I want to do cardio that will build muscle and have settled on MAX-OT to give it a try (http://www.ast-ss.com).

    Any experience with it? It seems to preserve or even build muscle. Any recommendations for other muscle-building cardio?

    And let's say I eat 2000 calories a day after making calculations in order to build muscle. I add muscle-building cardio and I burn 300 calories in an hour. Am I correct that I now must eat 2300 calories that day?

    There seems to be a concensus that 30 minutes is when the body starts catabolizing. Am I correct in that you could do this routine 10 different times in a day, making it 200 minutes of cardio, and not lose muscle?

    5 minutes of warm-up 30 seconds of sprinting, 30 seconds of walking repeated 10 times, then 5 minutes of cool-down

    I.e. as long as you keep it 20-30 minutes, it doesn't matter how many times you repeat that with at least a couple of hours in between or so because you will never start catabolizing? So it's not the cardio that burns muscle, it's that people pass that zone when t hey deplete all glycogen and go to town on the muscle?

    Thanks! :) I really want to re-add cardio, but I have a feeling the one-hour cardio classes at the gym are not the answer.

    P.S. in that example every calorie I burn in cardio should be eaten back to make sure muscle is not broken down right? I.e. once you calculate how much you should eat, increase consumption as you increase cardio?
     
  2. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
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    How long have you been lifting weights? If you have not lifted before or have less than a year of progressive experience, you do not need to perform six hours of lifting each week. You'll want to start with a 3 or 4 day Max-OT split, which means you won't be spending any more than four hours lifting weights.

    Max-OT itself is not a cardio program, but a lifting program designed to help you build muscle. Without a caloric surplus, it will not achieve its aim. You will also be hard-pressed to build muscle if you are performing an excessive amount of cardio. However, if you must perform cardio, Max-OT recommends that you perform HIIT. Your example of 30/30 second sprint/walking intervals falls under this type of cardio. The program also recommends that you limit this to a few sessions per week and certainly not multiple ones in a single day.

    You will not build a significant amount of muscle through any form of conventional cardio. If you want to build muscle and burn calories at the same time, I would suggest weight-training at a relatively high intensity (percentage of your maximum) with short rest intervals; however, even this will not be so effective if you are not strong enough to use weights that are significantly heavy in relation to your own bodyweight. As an example of this type of training, search for the member zenpharaohs' fitness journals.

    From your post, I gather that you want to build muscle. Is this correct? If so, why do you want to do cardio? If it's to improve your cardiovascular health then it will be important to perform it, even though it will work against the goal of building muscle. However, if your aim in doing cardio is to prevent fat gain as you bulk, you should recognize that you will not be able to build muscle without allowing your body to gain some fat.

    Your thought on repeatedly performing high intensity cardio for no more than 20-30 minutes throughout the day is not a good one. I would not advise putting it into practice, but instead to watch your diet more carefully so that you do not need to perform more cardio. With that said, in a sports training setting, when repeated bouts of strenuous exercise are needed, athletes will refeed both between and during sessions in order to replenish their energy.

    In general, it sounds like you may need to take your training down a notch -- unless there is a competitive sports situation which hasn't been fully elucidated -- as you are leaning towards erring on the side of drastically overdoing it. It doesn't take all that much exercise to reach body recomposition goals, as diet is the much more important factor.
     
    #2 chicanerous, Oct 6, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  3. GatorDeb

    GatorDeb Active Member

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    I started Monday of last week. I'm doing my own routine (Mon/Fri chest and triceps, Tue/Sat back/abs/legs, Wed/Sun shoulders/biceps, 6 exercises each, 5 minutes each, an hour per session, 3 sets, 8 reps). I'm looking into Max-OT. I'm happy with just the 4 hours of martial arts per week as cardio.

    So I'm doing enough just give it time? I reached 129.5 lbs then went up to 138.5 lbs and stuck there and I'm afraid of keep on gaining because I'm eating at a surplus of 400 calories a day.

    Am I correct that if I gain fat and muscle, it will be easier to KEEP the muscle than BUILD it so I can whittle the fat back down while keeping most of the muscle built?

    My main goal right now is to build muscle. The martial arts should keep me heart-healthy, and I have no other fitness-related goals right now.
     
  4. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
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    Oh that's not so bad -- though that is still a lot of lifting. Your post gave the impression of quite a bit exercise.

    If your weight gain has plateaued that means you need to either increase calories further or reduce your energy expenditure to continue to gain weight (and, of course, build muscle when lifting appropriately). However, if you feel you've gained too much weight too quickly, I would recommend that either you perform a small cut or you reduce your surplus by about half and add in a few cardio sessions. In either case, give it three weeks and then reevaluate.


    If you gain too much fat as you bulk, it will make it harder to preserve the muscle you've built when you cut. However, if you don't gain enough fat as you bulk, you're going to have a hard time putting on muscle in the first place. You might search for the forum for posts about an appropriate ratio of fat to muscle gain during a bulk. If I'm not mistaken, I believe a 2:1 to 1:1 muscle to fat ratio (usually towards the 1:1) is often thrown around as an appropriate range. You can check this by comparing your weight and BF% before starting with their current measurements.
     
    #4 chicanerous, Oct 6, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  5. Robert2006

    Robert2006 Active Member

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    Doing HIIT a few times a week can be challenging. Doing it multiple times a day means you aren't doing HIIT.

    The other question is would you be eating enough to support that? HIIT is one thing that seems to have a post workout calorie burn. So a 20 minute session starts out with a relatively high number of calories burned followed by a further period of higher then normal calorie burn.
     
  6. GatorDeb

    GatorDeb Active Member

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    I think I'm just going to do what I'm doing (martial arts 3-4 times a week) and 6-day split-muscle routing/1 hr per day and see what happens in a month =)
     

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