It doesn’t seem fair that some guys are naturally leaner than others. They can eat whatever they want and they still maintain that lean appearance. It will probably make you feel better to know that most men aren’t like this. Most men have to integrate some form of cardio into our workouts in order to maintain a lean body. The level of cardio will vary depending on depending on many different factors such as: physical health, age, body type, diet, and activity level.
For many bodybuilders, cardio is an annoyance. You work so hard to gain muscle mass and then you end up losing this muscle in your cardio workouts. Are you willing to make that sacrifice? Some people are content to just be big, but what if you want to be big and lean? It can be very frustrating to watch your muscle melt away as you start incorporating cardio into your routine.
Cardio workouts are great for your mind, body, and spirit but they typically burn calories very slowly. Even after a 30 minute cardio session you may have only burned about 200-300 calories.
Is that even worth your time?
For a man who weighs 190 pound, here are some different activities and the calories that are burned for each:
- Stationary bike (light): 474 calories/hour
- Walking uphill (3.5 miles per hour): 518 calories/hour
- High impact aerobics: 604 calories/hour
- Stationary bike (moderate): 604 calories/hour
- Jogging (light pace): 604 calories/hour
- Running (5 miles per hour): 690 calories/hour
- Stationary bike (vigorous): 906 calories/hour
In order to lose one pound you have to burn about 3,000 calories. From the chart above you can see how difficult that would be with this type of exercise.
Another annoying element of cardio is that it forces your body into survival mode. When you first start adding an aerobic routine into your workout your body reverts to survival mode. This means that initially your body will be trying to hold onto fat, not lose it. Your body thinks that it will need those fat stores in an emergency for survival.
Fortunately there is an alternative to traditional cardio that doesn’t have these negative factors. Resistance cardio helps to boost calorie burning without the loss of muscle mass that bodybuilders worry about. You could burn up to 44% more calories if you choose to go with resistance cardio over traditional cardio. Scientific studies have shown that resistance cardio burns more fat calories than traditional cardio, but it doesn’t cause a loss in muscle mass. Sounds like the perfect solution for bodybuilders, right?
It is simple to turn a traditional cardio exercise into a resistance cardio exercise. If you are walking or jogging just add some dumbbells, ankle weights, or a weight vest. If you like to bike then just add more resistance. You can add resistance to almost any cardio activity to make it into resistance cardio. This will help you burn more fat without losing that muscle mass.
Maybe there are a few guys out there that don’t need to do cardio to stay lean, but there aren’t very many. Doing cardio doesn’t have to mean that you sacrifice all your hard work. You can do cardio exercised that will keep you lean and maintain your muscle mass. There are too many bodybuilders that are just content to be big and don’t care about being lean. You can be big and lean. Go ahead and try adding resistance cardio to your regular routine. You will find that you will be very pleased with the results.