Hawkesbury District Independent June 2017 #85 - Page 62

sport with Scott Lewis Do you avoid or severely limit the amount of cardio you perform during the week out of fear that it will “burn muscle” and interfere with your size and strength gains? After all, cardiovascular exercise eats away at your muscle tissue, decreases gym performance and is directly counterproductive to building a strong and muscular body, right? Well, not quite. Just like most bodybuilding and fitness topics, the answer here is not black and white, and it’s most certainly not an issue of cardio being either “good” or “bad” or that you should either perform a ton of cardio throughout the week or none whatsoever. Instead, the answer lies on a bell curve where performing some cardio is totally fine and will produce certain health and fitness benefits, but to where performing too much can begin having a negative impact on your muscle building progress if you aren’t careful. The Negative Effects of Performing Excessive Cardio Yes, cardio can certainly deliver a variety of valuable benefits when performed consistently, but going too far overboard is not a wise idea if you’re looking to build muscle and gain strength as effectively as possible. There are a few reasons why performing too much cardio is not a good thing: 1. It interferes with recovery in between weight training sessions. Remember, the work you perform in the gym is simply the “spark” that sets the muscle building process into motion. The real magic happens while you’re out of the gym eating and resting, as that’s the time when the muscles are being rebuilt larger and stronger in preparation for the next workout. When it all comes down to it, recovery is growth. This is why your cardio volume and frequency needs to be moderated, since every cardio session you perform is another overall stressor to the body that you’ll need to recover from. A moderate amount of cardio can improve muscle recovery when performed within certain limits (I’ll touch on this later), but there eventually comes a point of diminished returns to where the extra cardio begins working against you rather than for you. This is especially true of the higher intensity interval-based forms (or those with a heavy eccentric component such as running or body weight circuits) since these variations place the body under more overall stress and create more muscle damage in comparison to lower intensity variations like walking or slow cycling. And remember, it’s not just your muscles that are being placed under additional stress either; your joints and central nervous system are also impacted, and they require time and resources to properly recover as well. 2. It negatively affects weight training performance. Aside from the recovery aspect after weight training, performing too much cardio can also affect your actual weight training performance if it’s being done in close proximity to your workouts. For example, high intensity sprints or a long duration session on a stair stepper could reduce your strength during a leg workout, hitting a heavy bag might impact your performance on an upper body pushing workout or carrying out an intense rowing session could affect your upper body pulling strength. These are just a few examples of many. And if you’re doing things like body weight circuits, kettlebell workouts or barbell complexes as forms Barrier Rise with Tony Brassel ANTELOPE went like a gazelle leading most of the way in her Rosehill heat. She’s a Not A Single Doubt juvenile operating out of Gerald Ryan’s yard and had almost three lengths up her sleeve. CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES may not have won her trial at Rosehill but she ranks as one of the stars of the session. Bjorn Baker’s youngster breezed down the outer for second and she’s a real up-and-comer. COMPLACENCY skated home to win his juvenile heat. He’s by Charge Forward and hails from Gary Moore’s stable. A short-course assignment should be earmarked for this one. GORESBRIDGE also belongs to Gerald Ryan’s formidable team and he easily cast aside a challenge from one of Chris Waller’s stable to win a 900m trial. His sire New Approach currently has some smart offspring in the UK, too. 62 ISSUE 85 // JUNE 2017 MACKINTOSH has been off the scene since last summer when he campaigned in Perth. Now two trials into his 2017 preparation, he was very cruisy finishing seventh at the Rosehill trial session. PRINCEFAMOUS doesn’t take long to come to hand after a break and his Rosehill barrier trial victory suggests Peter and Paul Snowden have him ready for a near future race win. SHIRAZ powered home to lead throughout at the Wyong trial session earlier this week. Kim Waugh should have this handsome sprinter ready to pounce whenever he’s produced. SIEGE OF QUEBEC is a youngster from the Bott-Waterhouse stable. Sent down the outside of the field, this Fastnet Rock colt was near top speed but there was much to like about his application under pressure. of cardio, these will stress your entire body as a whole and can easily drain some of your strength and energy for an upcoming weight training session. The most important principle when it comes to building muscle optimally is to strive for progressive overload and continuously add more weight to your lifts over time, and that’s why it’s crucial that you always enter the gym fresh and fully prepared to train at your maximum potential. 3. It burns additional calories. 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