Do Bodybuilders Do Cardio

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Cardio offers several advantages, including improved fitness, health, and mental well-being. However, cardio is frequently blamed for a loss of muscle mass, therefore many lifters avoid it. What about bodybuilders, though? Do bodybuilders exercise? This essay will attempt to answer that question.

During the cutting phase, bodybuilders employ cardio to lose fat. Low-intensity steady-state (LISS) cardio activities such as running or cycling are frequently preferred. Resistance training counts as cardiovascular exercise, thus all bodybuilders undertake cardio by default.

In this post, we will dispel misunderstandings regarding cardio and muscle gain and discuss how and why bodybuilders use cardio into their training plans. Giving you a better understanding of why cardio is essential and providing you with relevant information

Do Bodybuilders do cardio?

Weight lifters and cardio are the subject of an ancient joke. It's not really amusing, but it highlights how many lifters see cardio. The joke goes something like this: "Cardio? Of course, I do cardio; I just lift heavier weights quicker."

We can proceed with the remainder of the article once you've recovered from that joke and can breathe properly again. The point I'm trying to make is that lifting weights for 10 repetitions (or whatever) at a time is a cardiovascular activity. So, even if a bodybuilder claims not to do cardio, they are technically incorrect.

This may appear to be a pedantic remark because we all understand that when we talk about cardio, we mean organised cardio. But my pedanticism is correct. Because weight lifting counts as cardiovascular exercise, you don't need to run, cycle, or swim to reap the advantages of heart health.

This explains why many lifters are fit and healthy while not having a pair of running shoes. If they deadlift twice a week, they are most likely exercising harder than most runners! When it comes to burning fat, bodybuilders typically use cardiovascular workouts such as running, jogging, walking, or cycling.

The reason for this is that low-intensity exercise may burn a lot of calories without reducing workout volume and causing overtraining. To understand more about the cardio/resistance split, see my post on training twice a day in bodybuilding.

Should You Exercise When Bodybuilding?

Whether you should incorporate cardio into your workout depends on where you are in your training cycle. If you are a total novice, include cardio in your program is a good idea. Improving your cardiovascular fitness can help you not only exercise harder, but it can also provide some minor hypertrophic advantages.

A 2014 research discovered that aerobic exercise might cause minor improvements in muscle hypertrophy, especially in beginning or older individuals. Aerobic exercise is more suited to muscle loss prevention than muscle gain, although it can still provide a little benefit at the beginning of your training.

If you are a seasoned bodybuilder (you have been training for months or years), adding cardio to your plan will not provide any hypertrophic advantages. But it doesn't mean it's not valuable.

If you're trying to lose weight, exercise can help you burn more calories than you would usually. As a result, fat loss will increase over time. It also enables you to consume more calories while losing weight. Which is good for your physical and mental wellness.

How Much Cardio Exercise Do Bodybuilders Get?

Bodybuilders perform a lot more cardio than most people realize. Especially during a cut. Many bodybuilders may use a step counter to try to achieve 10,000 steps per day (or whatever amount they chose) because walking is a low-intensity activity.

The stereotypical bodybuilder spends hours in the weight room, yet many bodybuilders may get on a recumbent bike, walk on a treadmill, or utilize a cross-trainer to burn fat. They may also engage in cardio-focused resistance activities.

  • Supersets
  • Tri-sets
  • High-rep exercises on a circuit (with shorter rest periods)

All of this qualifies as adding cardio to your exercise, and any bodybuilder nearing the end of a pre-competition training program will incorporate some type of cardio into their routine.

Recreational cardio, such as basketball, tennis, or other team sports, is far more uncommon during the pre-competition phase, but it can be rather popular throughout the bulk. Of course, this depends on how flexible and supple the bodybuilder is! Bodybuilders are typically more adaptable and versatile than people believe.

The amount of cardio practiced varies on the bodybuilder in question, however in preparation for a competition, they may exercise cardio every day. If you consider walking to be a type of cardio, then it is unquestionably every day.

What Kind of Cardio Exercise Do Bodybuilders Perform?

Bodybuilders, unlike many other fitness experts, will avoid high-intensity cardio. This is apparently done to avoid muscle atrophy or exhaustion. In reality, high-intensity cardio should be acceptable for bodybuilders to do, and it is unlikely to cause muscle loss. In fact, it may even help beginning lifters grow muscle!

However, low-intensity exercise conducted for 60 minutes or more will ultimately burn more fat than high-intensity cardio, and many bodybuilders may find it difficult to run/cycle at full effort owing to their huge proportions. Not all bodybuilders, but the great majority of them.

Seating cardio devices, such as recumbent cycles or upright exercise bikes, are popular among bodybuilders. Treadmills and cross-trainers may also be used. These are usually done at a slow speed while listening to music or watching TV. The resistance will be modest, and many will view it as an opportunity to decompress rather than a concentrated workout.


Bodybuilders' Favorite Cardio

Check out this pretty amazing YouTube video by John Meadows where he talks the ideal cardio for bodybuilders. He claims that cardio has two purposes: to promote heart health and to burn fat. Each kind has unique requirements and relies on various forms of cardio. His top three in each category are as follows:

  • Cardiovascular Exercise for Health
  • Swimming Elliptical/Cross Trainer Assault Bike
  • Cardio for Fat Loss
  • Plyometrics Ply

Meadows' stance on low-intensity cardio for fat reduction is particularly intriguing (remember, he's a bodybuilding legend). Not only does he claim that it is inefficient as a fat burner, but he also claims that you shouldn't strive for too many calories burnt in the first place. Instead, you should concentrate on building a calorie deficit through nutrition.

I honestly can't argue with either of those points. However, this article isn't so much about what bodybuilders should do for cardio as it is about what bodybuilders do now, and low-intensity long-duration cardio is the most prevalent.

Meadows is correct in my opinion, however I'm not convinced plyometrics is a good idea for many individuals. I'd also want to remind out that Meadows chose cycling and strolling outside as personal preferences since he appreciates the feeling of the sun on his back.

As a British citizen, I can affirm that this advise does not travel well! In the United Kingdom, you'll be lucky to see the sun more than 12 times in your life. It was the last time I saw it in 2006. Wonderful memories.

The recommendation is clear. If you want to burn fat, don't rely just on cardio; instead, focus on your food. Choose low-intensity workouts like walking or cycling, but if you have the stamina and ability, you may also choose higher-intensity exercises like plyometrics.

Do Bodybuilders Exercise? Last Thoughts

Bodybuilders use cardio, mostly for fat loss, but also for cardiovascular health and enhanced fitness. Low-intensity steady-state cardio is the most prevalent type of cardio performed by bodybuilders (LISS). This is beneficial for fat burning and has a minimal effect, so it should not interfere with resistance training.

HIIT is often avoided by bodybuilders, but this does not have to be the case. It is quite feasible to add HIIT into your exercises without harming muscle mass; but, a bodybuilder in a calorie deficit may find it difficult to train at a high enough intensity.

Whatever your goals are, walking, cycling, or swimming appear to be the greatest cardio alternatives. Spending time outside provides minor mental health advantages, but you may achieve amazing results in the gym or outside. Even while most cardio workouts are intended to be low-intensity, this does not imply that they should be simple. Extending the length is an excellent strategy to burn calories.

That being said, if fat reduction is your aim, you should focus more on calorie restriction in your diet rather than attempting to burn 500-1,000 calories through exercising. Every day, 200-300 calories from aerobics are more than plenty; in fact, you might get away with even less calories.

Is it necessary to perform cardio during bodybuilding?

Bodybuilders employ cardio to assist boost oxygen supply to muscles and burn extra bodyfat. Cardio should be done just 3–4 times per week on non-resistance training days for the greatest results. Increase the length of your cardio workout by 5 minutes every week until you reach 30-35 minutes.

What kind of cardio do bodybuilders perform?

Most bodybuilders discover that 30-40 minutes of exercise per day, four to five days per week, is about the maximum for burning calories and developing definition while maintaining size. Figure fitness athletes often work out three days a week, but they perform more high-intensity interval training (HIIT cardio).

Do bodybuilders run for cardio purposes?

Yes, Heath and almost all bodybuilders utilize cardio to lose fat and get ripped, but it's generally an hour of low-heart-rate, low-impact exercises on the bike or elliptical and walking at 3.2 to 3.5 mph on a treadmill with a three-degree slope. Heath, like every other man his size competing at his level, can barely run a mile.

Can I exercise and grow muscle at the same time?

Cardio activities on a regular basis might really help you grow muscle. The circulatory system is more efficient and effective, with a rise in capillary development in the muscles. This helps to increase muscular circulation.

Why do bodybuilders engage in sluggish cardio?

Dorian Yates, Olympia, suggests that all bodybuilders undertake cardio throughout the year to enhance cardiovascular (heart) health, metabolism, and endurance to prepare you for fat loss cycles where you are weight training with shorter rest times.

How can I exercise without losing muscle mass?

Plan your workout. Do two cardio sessions each week, no more than three, if you want to keep as much muscle as possible. Excessive low-intensity exercise (three or more days per week) usually does not include any strength routines that protect existing muscle and encourage muscular growth.

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