To Build Muscle Fastest Should I Avoid Cardio Workouts?

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A typical dilemma for any active sportsmen who lifts weights and wants to gain muscle mass is that they know there goal to build muscle up conflicts with the fact that they do a lot of cardio-vascular work. How can someone like this build muscle fastest whilst still doing cardio, indeed is it even possible?

Well often you will read that in order to build muscles fastest you should keep cardio workouts to a minimum. This is said because cardio training session do two major things that could possible restrict muscle building, namely: 1) burn heaps of calories 2) increase the rate of your metabolism. Both of these two things contribute to the same problem, namely, not getting enough calories on board. This takes us to the question of exactly what amount of calories should I therefore be taking on?

Well, to maintain weight each day you must eat enough calories to cover the energy expenditures of your body as if it were at rest (this is known as the basal metabolic rate), then consume enough extra calories to cover the exercise that you will do. If you want to add muscle mass on top of this then you have to add an extra 500 calories every day.

Can I work this number out?

Yes, one way to do this is using the Katch-McArdle formula (BMR based on lean body weight). Here it is:

Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 X wght in kg) + (5 X hght in cm) – (6.8 X age in years)

Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 X wght in kgs) + (1.8 X hght in cm) – (4.7 X age in years)

Once you have gotten this figure you should then multiply it by one of the following to allow for your daily activity levels:

Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (desk job, little or no exercise)
Lightly active = BMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)
Mod. active equals BMR X 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)
Very active equals BMR X 1.725 (sports 6-7 days/hard exercise/wk)
Extr. active = BMR X 1.{9 (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X day training, i}.e marathon, competition etc).

So, if you are doing cardio and weights frequently then you should multiply this by at least 1.725. This will give you the figure that will cover your daily energy needs. This amount then needs to be altered to suit your goals. A further 500 calories a day need to be added if your goal is indeed to gain muscle mass.

So, for arguments sake lets say the number you figure out is 3000 calories then that would mean 6 meals everyday which each contain 500 calories. the constituents of every meal would therefore be protein: 37 grams, carbohydrate 62 grams and 11 grams would come from fat. This is because 1 gram of carbohydrate or protein is 4 calories and one calorie of fat equals 9 calories.

Correct muscle building nutrition and working out your calorie needs like this is what is going to ensure you build muscles fastest, not any miracle new exercise!




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