Don't pay attention to cardio myths - Train like an athlete
Use cardio to build muscle? You better believe it. You can bust up cardio myths and build lean muscle mass with a solid cardio workout. Train like an athlete.
For years...I should say decades...one of the most prevalent myths in the gym was, "If you do any kind of cardio, you will lose all of the size you have gained by lifting. It will make your muscles smaller."
To back up these claims, all somebody had to do was point to a distance runner or marathoner...and the visual proof seemed to be real evident.
They were usually gaunt, had soft-looking upper bodies and their arms looked like a piece of spaghetti hanging out of their shirt sleeve..
Add in the fact that these competitors ran many miles before sunrise, and people equated that with mindless jogging like they had attempted at some time in their lives.
It gave cardio a bad name and it kept a lot of guys from reaching the levels of muscularity and definition they could have.
Is it any wonder all of the so called "experts" and personal trainers (high school education...2-day certification course) said "You cannot use cardio to build muscle"?
However, they forgot one segment of the population...Athletes.
Athletes use cardio to build muscle
The next time you watch a track meet (or the Olympic Games) on TV, pay attention to the sprinters, hurdlers, and decathletes. Checkout the men and women who run the 100, 200 and, 400 meters.
What do you notice about them? They are tightly muscled, super defined, and extremely strong-looking. Some decathletes weigh over 200 lbs, yet they have 7% body fat.
How about this...The next time you watch an NFL game, take a close look at the running backs, wide receivers, linebackers and defensive backs. What do you notice about them?
They ALL are tightly muscled, super-defined, and extremely strong-looking.
Guess what? BOTH groups do intense cardio. Lots of it...but do they look like their muscles are small or weak?
Here's the secret: When ATHLETES train, they do their cardio in explosive bursts followed by a segment of rest. It is called interval training workouts and it is the most effective way to burn belly fat and build lean muscle tissue when doing cardio.
Athletes do not have time for 45-60 minutes of mindless jogging.
Their livelihood depends on having the fittest body possible. That means eating right, lifting to build strength so their muscle grow accordingly, and doing cardio intensely to strengthen their heart/lungs, burn belly fat, and build lean muscle mass.
Why don't more guys do cardio to build muscle?
That's an easy question to answer. There are two reasons: (1) Because it is tough and, (2) It scares most guys.
* When you workout like an athlete it means you will breathe real hard, sweat in buckets, and not feel real great the whole time.
* You can't use an iPod when you do interval training, and you will be way out of your comfort zone. This DOES NOT appeal to most guys.
* It takes a lot of mental toughness to say, "Today I need to run 4x200m in :40 seconds or less with a :45 rest in between. Then run 8x400m in 1:40 or less with a 2:00 minute rest in between." It is a heck of a lot easier to get on the elliptical trainer or recumbent bike for 20 minutes and watch the TV or checkout the chicks in the gym.
Just so you know, you will not look like a professional athlete after 3 months of training like one. You are seeing them after YEARS of intense training.
However, if you put in a solid 18-months of interval training, twice a week,(plus eat intelligently and lift consistently) you will see a huge difference in your body.
You do not have to train as hard as an athlete. Most people do not have the capacity, nor the support system (like a coach to exhort them, and teammates to provide competition) to do so...but you can still mimic their training protocol to use cardio to build muscle.