It’s a common myth that doing cardio will ruin all your hard earned gains in the gym from your strength training. While this is certainly a ‘myth‘ per se, we thought we’d outline some simple rules when it comes to your cardio that ‘could‘ inhibit your ability to gain more muscle.
- Performing cardio excessively
When strength and muscle is a goal, doing a moderate amount of cardio certainly won’t hurt your results. Doing far too much cardio on top of your strength training will not only affect your recovery, but will also ramp up the calories you BURN in a workout meaning you’re probably in a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you consume). This leads us to our next point…
- Not eating enough calories
If you’re trying to gain muscle then it’s beneficial to be in a calorie surplus (eating more than you burn off). Increasing your cardio will increase the amount of calories you need in order to stay in this surplus so make sure you take that into consideration or you’ll become catabolic and use muscle for fuel.
- Protein is too low
Protein from your food is essential for muscle growth and repair. If you’re hammering the cardio but keeping protein too low, you’ll struggle to repair muscles enough for them to grow and get stronger.
- Not doing any strength training
Bit of a no brainer this one…if your doing excessive cardio with no strength lifting…then yeah your muscle gains will be minimal. Look to add in some good quality weight training with your cardio a minimum of 2 times per week.
- Doing HiiT to often
Too much HIIT may actually be doing your body a disservice. HiiT can be very impacting on your central nervous system, so doing it to excess can lead to overtraining, it can exhaust your body, disrupt your sleep patterns, and leave you more prone to injury and mood swings. Try a day on-day off protocol with your HiiT cardio for better work:recovery.