Are you a bodybuilder concerned about incorporating cardio into your routine? We understand that it can be difficult to maintain muscle mass and health while also engaging in a lot of cardio. But fret not! Read on to find out how to safely exercise your body and not lose any muscle mass.
Make Sure to Warm Up and Cool Down
Before any kind of workout, no matter if it’s cardio or strength-based, it’s important to warm up your muscles and prepare them for the activity. A warm-up will reduce the chances of muscle stiffness and soreness afterwards.
Just as important as warming up is cooling down. Following your workout, you should stretch your muscles and relax your body to prevent injury and speed up recovery.
Keep Intensity Moderately Low
When engaging in cardio, avoid high-intensity activities such as running and cycling, which can cause significant muscle loss. Instead, opt for moderate intensity cardio such as swimming and walking. These activities will help you stay fit without compromising your body’s muscle mass.
Include Strength Training
Combining cardio with weight-bearing exercises can help you build muscle and keep your body healthy. This type of exercise will make your body work harder which in turn encourages more calorie-burning. Strength training is also known to support a healthy cardiovascular system.
Do Cardio After Weight Training
If you’re looking to build muscle, try doing cardio after weight training. Weight comes first, then cardio. Doing the reverse could prevent you from reaching your muscle-building goals since you will be exhausting your body before getting to the important part of the exercise session.
Choose the Right Exercises
If you want to benefit from cardio without compromising your muscles, choose the right exercises. Instead of running and swimming, focus on lower body exercises such as stair climbing, walking, cycling and rowing. Since these activities are low impact, they will help you stay fit without putting too much strain on your muscles.
Limit Cardio to 2-3 Times per Week
Engaging in too much cardio can lead to muscle loss. That’s why it’s important to limit your cardio sessions to 2-3 times per week. If you find that your body needs more exercise, try adding yoga, Pilates and HIIT workouts for additional but still low-impact cardio.
Eat Enough Protein and Carbs
Protein and carbohydrates help build and repair muscle tissue. Make sure that you eat enough of both and try to get them from natural sources. Also, make sure to stay hydrated, as water facilitates the muscle-building process.
Incorporating cardio into your bodybuilding routine can help you stay healthy and fit without compromising your muscle mass. Just make sure to keep the intensity low, include strength training, choose the right exercises and don’t forget to eat well. When done properly, cardio can be a great addition to your workout, so don’t be afraid to give it a go!