Cardio Blueprints to BUILD Muscle, Not Lose It

After I train, this happens every time I’m in the locker room getting ready for a shower.I hear two scrawny, confused dudes (SCD’s) discussing the pro’s and con’s of doing cardio apart of their muscle program.The conversation usually goes like this:

SCD #1: I hate cardio. I don’t do any since I’m trying to bulk up.

SCD #2: Me too but you should do at least 20 minutes of HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio after your weights to keep the fat low.

SCD #1: But won’t that burn up my muscle? I heard long, slow cardio is better for preserving muscle…

SCD #2: Maybe you should do your cardio on your off days but I’m not sure if that’s good because it might effect your muscle gains too…


Another cardio debate that is making me lose IQ points by being in the same room as these guys.

I will admit, it’s a confusing subject so I’m proving a simple solution today.

Keep Your Cardio Protocol’s Simple

The reason this issue deserves attention is because I’m frustrated with seeing SCD’s who have great bodybuilding potential lose their waist line, get a double chin and get fatter instead of getting more muscular.

It’s a shame to see guys waste away great physiques because of not knowing how to incorporate cardio in conjunction to their weight training routine.

Look, it’s easy to bulk up when you’re not doing cardio. But if you want to gain weight while maintaining muscle definition then you need to sweat a little and stop seeing cardio as an enemy.

You have a few variables to manipulate when designing your cardio plan:

Cardio Protocol #1:
Volume Progression

Just like you increase your sets and reps, you can increase the total time like this. If you’re a skinny guy you won’t need to exceed the volume beyond weeks 4 and if you’re in need of losing 30 pounds or more then keep scaling the volume up to 120 and 150 minutes.

Weeks 1 and 2 — 60 total minutes
(4 x 15 minutes or 3 x 20 minutes or 2 x 30 minutes)

Weeks 3 and 4 — 90 total minutes
(2 x 45 minutes or 3 x 30 minutes or 4 x 22.5 minutes)

Cardio Protocol #2:Intensity Progression

This is a good one if you can’t afford the time above. Instead of increasing the number of minutes you can increase the average intensity of the same minutes.

You may be really comfortable running on the treadmill at 7.0 mph for 20 minutes three times a week but don’t want to run longer or more often than that so you need to start speeding things up. Here is an example below.

* Week 1 — 3 x 20 minutes at level 7

* Week 2 — 3 x 20 minutes at level 8

* Week 3 — 3 x 20 minutes at level 9

* Week 4 — 3 x 20 minutes at level 10

(This pic of Sly Stallone at 62 sealed the deal for me to see him in The Expendables.)

The Big Benefits Of DoingCardio While Bulking Up…

1. You’ll increase your appetite to consume more nutrients which in turns leads to muscle growth.

2. Better aerobic activity capacity leads to improving adaptations like increased cell “fat burning” capability (mitochondrial density) and vascularity (capillarization).

3. You’ll know longer look like a skinny dude with a pot belly.

4. Improved insulin sensitivity, allowing for more efficient utilization of dietary carbohydrates in restoring glycogen and stimulation of protein synthesis.

5. You’ll be able to handle great volumes with your weights as your work capacity increases.

6. Reduced delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Probably because you’re improving your nutrition delivery system and clearing out metabolic waste. no-nonsense-muscle-building

The most important question of today is what cardio protocol are YOU following?

As you can see, there is no doubt you need to do SOME KIND of cardio and that’s why I dedicated a complete chapter in my book, No Nonsense Muscle Building, to providing a variety of cardio combination’s and progressions to ensure you use cardio to build muscle, not lose it.

Click here to build a body like Sly’s: Muscle Gain Program

I want you to avoid the mistake of bulking up and only looking bigger instead of looking ripped and muscular. I don’t want you to ruin your health, elevate your fat cells and become a ‘skinny-fat guy.’

Life is too short to look average.

Vince DelMonte is the author of No Nonsense Muscle Building: Skinny Guy Secrets To Insane Muscle Gain foundat VinceDelMonteFitness.comHe specializes in teaching skinny guys how to build muscle and gain weight quickly without drugs, supplements and training less than before.

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