Cardio workouts are awesome when it comes to staying fit. However, the general rule is that if you want to build muscle, you lift weights. If you want to get lean, you have to do cardio. Or so they say. Let’s take a closer look at how you can avoid muscle loss in cardio workouts. If you know why you are losing muscle with your cardio workouts, you will be better able to fix the problem.
Does the Body Lose Muscle through Cardio?
The answer to this question does not totally lie within cardio. There is one rather important factor that always seems to get overlooked. This is dietary intake. When you want to build muscle, you have to gain weight. You gain weight by eating a lot of food often, and not by doing fat burning cardio routines. But, your extra pounds don’t turn into fat beacause you are turning it into muscle with weight lifting and staying active.
Once you have gained enough weight to satisfy your goal, there are two things that may seem logical to do. The first is to slow down on the carb filled diet because you do not want your extra weight to turn into fat. The second is to slow down on your cardio because you don’t want to lose the muscle that you have worked so hard to build. What you need to know is that niether of these choices are the best solution to get the results that you want.
Simply put, if you are eating less food and working out more, then you are going to lose weight because you are burning more calories than you are taking in. Unfortunately, this means you are going to lose your muscle too. This is not because you are doing cardio, but because you are no longer eating enough to keep up your muscle mass. The cardio workouts help you to burn fat. But, you need food to keep your muscle.
How Can I Avoid Losing Muscle in Cardio Workouts?
As you can see, cardio workouts do have a small hand in muscle loss. But, the first thing you want to do is to keep your caloric intake high if you are doing cardio and muscle building workouts. You need it. You need the calories to burn so that you can keep your body healthy and moving. You also need to eat enough so that you can maintain your weight and eventually turn that weight into muscle.
Dietary intake is also especially important when you begin to incorporate your cardio routine into your workout schedule once again. Also, make sure that you are not working out too much; that is, more than you are eating. This is no way to sustain your muscle mass. If you are eating enough, you will be able to keep your muscle while losing the fat.
At the end of the day, it’s all a balancing act. In order to plan your workouts and dietary schedule properly, set a specific goal. If you know what you want beforehand, it will be much easier to achieve in the end.