Six cardio hacks that won’t hinder your muscle-building efforts

six great cardio hacks

Perform cardio without eliminating those incredible gains

My main concern is that many people perform cardio too often & vigorously as the only effective means for weight loss and better health.

It’s the one thing that beginners use to lose weight.

This is a great way to start your fitness journey, but the results tend to stagnate. I have seen this in the gym for my entire life!


Extreme and excessive cardio is a lot more apparent in women. Some women are too intimidated to get to the weights area because they don’t know what to do. That doesn’t even consider how scary the weights area looks — especially with bulky men everywhere.

However, I feel that some men are on the same page with this one. A standard amount of cardio for those focusing on building muscle will differ from person to person. For me, I try to do low-impact cardio every day. I love walking, & usually leave the car at home.

During the week, I walk on the treadmill in the gym for about 45 minutes — to 1 hour only. I like to keep active but do not want to hinder my weight training results or strength. Before I train, I warm up for 15–20 minutes by walking, then cool down to relax the muscles & release any tension for another 15–20 minutes.

I usually train for 45 minutes to one hour (more so on leg day). So that’s more than enough.

Spend your time focusing on the goal you want to achieve, and don’t waste time on anything unnecessary 

Six cardio hacks that won’t hinder your muscle-building results

One: Steady-state cardio does serve a purpose, but not when done for extended periods

If your goal is to put on muscle, then your time is better utilised lifting weights. Too much cardio will hinder any muscle-building potential. A brisk walk is sufficient for 20 minutes, and even walking on an incline at a relatively fast pace is a good cardio option. Try to limit your time to about 45 minutes to one hour. Two hours and above is very excessive and best saved for marathon runners.

Two: If you want to do a bit more cardio, pick walking as an option

This would have to be my favourite form of cardio. It’s low impact, relaxing and allows me to switch off, listen to my favourite audiobooks, and smell the roses once in a while. We all need this in our lives, and it’s undoubtedly an efficient option for burning calories and fat as energy.

Make sure you aren’t making up for the effort with more food!

Three: For the ultimate fat burn, please pick HIIT

If you want intense fat-burning cardio to tap into those stubborn fat stores, I highly recommend HIIT several times a week.

You can perform HIIT outdoors or in the gym.

Swap between bouts of intense sprints and active recovery.

These are, by far, the most effective means to burn belly fat. Stick with 20 minutes at a time, and always do this on days you are not lifting weights.

Four: Make sure you are eating correctly — fuel your workouts

No exercise will help if you are not eating a whole-food-based diet with adequate water and rest.

Plan your meals with protein, fat, veggies and carbs. Time your carb consumption accordingly if you find they pose a fat gain problem.

That could be eating carbs around your training time or cycling them daily. Don’t eliminate an essential nutrient for the sake of fat loss.

After the initial honeymoon phase, it will backfire for you, and living your life between intense cravings and bingeing is a poor lifestyle outcome.

Five: Do you need cardio? Do you have extra body fat stores?

Most people do cardio because they think they need to. If you are already lean, then perhaps skip it. Instead, why not focus on your weight training whilst brisk walking regularly when you can?

Don’t waste your time and energy exhausting yourself when you don’t need to.

Six: Try different forms of cardio; don’t stick with one all the time. 

Maybe you might indulge in some HIIT and, on another occasion, focus on high-intensity circuit sessions.

When you swap and alter your cardio, you’ll get better results. Our bodies tend to adapt and stop responding to the stimulus.

Prevent that by always throwing your body into a bit of unknown territory. It’s the best way to keep getting results.

Try out these different ways to keep that muscle on your body as much as possible.

Whilst indulging in your cardio fetish regularly. You can experience a nice balance of both, but remember that muscle is active tissue needing nutrients. Fat stores are of no use apart from causing inflammation and leading to disease. Give muscle building your best shot for better health and longevity into old age.

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