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Cardio for Building Muscle and Losing Fat

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Bodybuilding and Fitness Newsletter 6/28/2017

What's the Best Cardio for Bodybuilding

Cardio is something that you either love or hate there are few who sit in the middle. The truth is that the amount of cardio you will need to maintain your optimal BMR is dependent on your somatotype. For example an endomorph would require more cardio than a mesomorph.

What that means is that if your objective is building muscle the cardio you will need is directly dependent on your generic lean body mass that you start with. The key is moderation and simply adjusting your intensity accordingly. Studies show us that fat oxidation for energy required is used when low intensity exercise is done.

The higher the intensity of the exercise the more calories will be burnt that are taken directly from the muscle glycogen stores in the muscle tissue. As the intensity of exercise rises more calories for that increased intensity will be burned, which comes directly from muscle glycogen and muscle tissue.

The people who use this method to lose fat are called LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) people in the health industry as they are the people in the gym that can spend 2 hours on the elliptical machine or the stair master. LISS means any low impact activity like walking or rowing, swim walking etc.

But research has conclusively shown that the optimal fat oxidation is achieved at around 65% of Vo2 max. This means a higher intensity than LSS but a heart rate that can be sustained for long periods of up to an hour. When HIIT came roaring into the gym industry everyone changed the way to lose fat fast.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) which is a movement done with high intensity followed by a different movement done with low intensity achieves the highest calorie loss with muscle gain. However the LISS supporters believe that these calories come from the easily replaceable muscle glycogen and not fat.

Although in principal this is true the LISS people seem to forget that any cardio creates a calorie deficit that can easily be achieved in a lot less time with high intensity. Fat loss is called lipolysis and that process is started when energy expenditure exceeds calorie intake.

The carbohydrates you eat are ultimately stored as muscle glycogen and is the primary source of fuel in any movement. Many studies show an increased loss of the subcutaneous fat when HIIT is done compared to people who do LISS training on a regular basis.

The reason is because of the after burn effect or EPOC (post exercise oxygen consumption) which can speed up your BMR for up to 72 hours after the workout. With no more than 45 minutes of this high intensity you can achieve optimal fat loss and gain muscle all at the same time.

The muscle gain is achieved from the increased growth hormone (GH) and testosterone floating around because of your HIIT workout. Studies show an increase GH level long after short HIIT workout of only 20 minutes. The elevated levels of these two vitally important hormones lasted for up to 4 hours after a HIIT workout in some volunteers.

It should be noted that testosterone as well GH can be lost when too much HIIT is done, too much HIIT can lead to an increase in the breakdown of amino acids as well as the loss of these two vital hormones needed for muscle growth. Overtraining is said to be the primary reason for bad results using HIIT system.

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