When it’s all said and done, for the average amateur bodybuilder it’s all about the hobby and it’s all about the fitness. You build your muscles up big and strong, get the blood pumping around your body – it’s good for you. But, aerobic exercise – which is also fundamental to good health – and bodybuilding to gain muscle mass don’t tend to mix simultaneously. And in just a moment I’ll explain why…
I’ve met many people who wanted to be big. They’d go to the gym week in week out, train hard as hell with the weights, and then they’d get on the exercise bikes or running machines for 30 minutes. And that is always their routine.
They we’re in great shape and fitness by most peoples standards, how could they not be? But, those who do this kind of routine usually don’t tend to be very big – yet many of them want to be big above all else, and, in this short article I’d like to explain just why many of them are failing to reach their potential.
Let’s assume Joe Bloggs wants to be big. He eats like a champion bodybuilder and works out like one, but, his routine contains a heck of a lot of aerobic exercise. Now, any caloric surplus Joe may be eating to make his muscles grow bigger is now being burned by doing cardio… which leads to either calorie deficit, or calorie maintenance. When all is said and done, each and every day absolutely must be a substantial calorie surplus to put muscle on.
Another reason why aerobic exercise interferes with muscle building is, many perform rigorous cardio BEFORE they work out. What this does is deplete the muscles of glycogen so when it comes time to lift, they are lifting way below what they would’ve been capable of normally – so the muscles, again, don’t grow.
There certainly is a place for aerobic exercise in bodybuilding when you are trying to cut and maintain an extremely low body fat, but, don’t expect to put on much muscle while you are bulking if you are performing aerobic – unless you eat enough calories to cover what you’ve burned through it.