While diet is very important when trying to attain your best physique there is another factor that you just can’t ignore. Of course, lifting weights is vital to putting on size and also for achieving cuts but you probably already do a prescribed amount of pushing weights around. Quite simply, you don’t ignore that part of your training.
Cardio, however, is likely either forgotten or low on your bucket list when you get to the gym. In some way this is a good thing. Lifting is your main priority so you want to make sure you’re at 100% and have all your energy when pushing your body with heavy weights. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do cardio though. In fact, it is very important. If you don’t do it you will never be what you want to be physically.
That is where the cardio questions come in. Many people, in an effort not to do the work, question how much of a benefit it has. This is especially true when compared and weighted against the effort needed to do it.
That leads to an interesting question: How much cardio is really needed? You’ll see all different answers through numerous publications. Heck, even among bodybuilders, athletes, and other people who earn money with their superior bodies the answers vary greatly. This has different effects on the general population and neither one of those is especially motivating to those readers. For one, if the average person sees that an athlete doesn’t do much cardio, they will take that as a hint that they don’t need to push themselves on the treadmill. On the other side, if somebody sees that a professional bodybuilder does many hours on the treadmill, they will think that they don’t have enough time to get to that level. They would much rather hit the weights and since they don’t have much time even for that, the cardio gets cut out.
Even if you have the time and believe that you do need to do cardio there are still other obstacles. As said, nobody ever tells you how much cardio you should actually do. How much should you really aim for? This is a very important question because you don’t want to hinder your muscle growth by doing too much.
The answer is actually going to vary from person to person. You just have to find the right amount for you. However, to answer that previous concern about doing too much, you probably shouldn’t worry about it too much.
Some local bodybuilders are proof of this. Trainer PJ Braun (from Danbury) told me about the fact that he had Marc-Antoine Andrade (from Manchester) do two hours of cardio a day when he was trying to get weight off of him. Braun is doing the same thing with Stephen Fogel (from Worcester) now. Fogel is coming up on a competition and Braun has him doing sixty minutes of cardio in the morning and the same amount at night. Even Anthony Sniadach (from Vernon), who is at a much lighter weight than Andrade or Fogel, was doing thirty minutes of cardio in the morning and another thirty at night when he was training for his competition. Andrade, who is a good number of weeks out from his competition in June, is currently doing that amount as well.
Obviously if you just want to put on muscle, cardio is probably not a big concern of yours. However, if you want others to actually see your muscles, you probably should up your time on the treadmill. You can increase your total cardio time in a bunch of ways. First, a good idea is to rotate machines. Do the treadmill one day, the bike the next, and the stairclimber the time after that. You can even do a day where you do, say, twenty minutes of each. In addition, you can also imitate the bodybuilders discussed here and break up your cardio into different sessions. For example, do thirty minutes in the morning and thirty minutes at night. You can also incorporate a break in your one workout of the day by doing other exercises in between your bouts of cardio.
Most importantly, you should know what your goals are. After that try doing a planned amount of cardio. If it is not enough, increase it. If it is too much, decrease it. Do this until you have the right amount that helps you to achieve your goals. Don’t just focus on the amount of time you’ll be doing the exercise. You’ll also have to decide when you want to do it. The time of day is important but also where it comes in within your workout. This leaves you with a lot of decisions to be made. Just don’t decide not to do it.