Do Body Builders Need to do Cardio?
Should body builders include some cardio training to their workout sessions, or is it fine to skip it and focus only on lifting weights? There is a common misconception among body builders that cardio is not an essential part of their workouts since it is possible to reduce their food intake and burn more calories at the same time.
However, there is more to cardio than simply boost your body’s natural ability to burn more calories. This type of workout is responsible for excreting certain hormones that do not only metabolize fat efficiently, but these also minimize the risk of generating more body fat from the food you eat.
What Cardio Does
When you perform cardio exercises, growth hormones are secreted by your body. Aside from this important hormone, the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone or TSH is released, and this makes it easier for you to overcome physical stress. Moreover, the hormone optimizes metabolism, which is necessary to prevent food you take in from accumulating as body fat.
Hence, intense cardio that lasts for even up to 15 minutes is just what you need to get the most out of your workouts. The main idea is to incorporate cardio to your body building workouts at least thrice a week for about 15 to 30 minutes of intense sessions, so you can get your fat-burning hormones working efficiently.
Basically, longer and moderate-intensity cardio exercises stimulate the production of several hormones needed for building muscles, burning fat and improving overall strength. These hormones include the GH, T3, cortisol and T3.
In particular, cortisol and T3 are essential for burning fat and growing muscles. On the other hand, shorter but high-intensity cardio workouts generate the release of TSH, T2, GH and small amounts of T3. The primary function of T2 is to preserve a greater amount of muscle, as compared to what T3 can do.
With these things in mind, it is important that you combine intense cardio with the right amount of calories during your workouts. This is the way for you to boost metabolism, lose fat and achieve a leaner look as you build stronger and bigger muscles. Just be sure to stick to high intensity cardio whether for a longer or shorter amount of time to achieve these benefits.
Cardio Workout Tips
Ideally, you are better off with intense and shorter cardio, although you can also shake things up a bit and combine your cardio workouts with interval training. It is also not necessary for you to do your cardio exercises every single day.
In fact, you can do it thrice or even twice a week just to allow your hormones to flow. Some body builders only do one cardio exercise per weeks, although beginners may go for 3 to 4 cardio weekly to achieve hormonal benefits of exercise on a long-term basis.
However, if your main intention is to gain more muscle, then you are better off with a maximum of 2 cardio per week such as two or four sprints that last for up to 30 seconds. If your metabolism is already fast enough, though, just 1 cardio workout a week should suffice. The idea is to keep it short and intense, and you can reap benefits from cardio for a longer time.