Reduce the Catabolic Effects of Cardiovascular Exercise

Reduce the Catabolic Effects of Cardiovascular Exercise

K-6To lose weight and decrease body fat, cardiovascular exercise is an imperative aspect of any fitness program-however, I emphasize to my personal training clients that your workouts should be tailored to meet your personal goals. For instance, if you’re close to your ideal body weight and primarily want to build strength and lean body mass, you will reap greater results if a greater portion of your workout is devoted to resistance training. In fact, too much cardio can actually work against you and impede your progress if muscle hypertrophy is your goal. Hours of cardio as well as high intensity cardio may have a catabolic effect on muscle tissue, making it difficult to develop the strength and muscle definition you are aiming for. Resistance and cardiovascular training adaptations to exercise differ and when you “overdo” the cardio, you’re sending your body mixed messages-one catabolic and one anabolic. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to reduce the catabolic effects of cardio when your goal is to build muscle and lean body mass.

  • Limit the duration of your cardio sessions.

Cortisol levels rise significantly after an hour or more of endurance exercise. Thus resulting in muscle breakdown, especially if you glycogen levels are low.

  • Strength-train before your cardio session.

If you are strength training and doing cardio on the same day, do your strength training before your cardio session. If your personal goal is to build muscle and lean body mass, you need to maximize the effort you put into lifting. Doing cardio first may limit the amount you’re able to lift due to fatigue. Begin with strength training and give it your full effort before focusing on cardio.

  • Optimize Nutrition

A well-balanced meal plan is essential to an ideal fitness program. A balance of protein and fiber-rich carbohydrates are needed to provide a continual supply of amino acids and maintain adequate liver and glycogen levels for your workouts. Supply your muscles with the nutrients they need to repair and build muscle mass by consuming a good dietary macronutrient ratio that is designed to meet your fitness goals. Without adequate calories and nutrition, your body will enter a catabolic state.

  • Get Adequate Sleep

Even one night of inadequate sleep elevates ones cortisol levels tipping you over into a catabolic state. In addition, appetite hormones such as ghrelin are elevated due to lack of sleep. Therefore, you should aim for at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Not to mention you won’t be able to give strength training your best effort when you are sleep deprived.

For an individualized fitness program that will ensure your fitness goals are met or for more information on nutrition, health and fitness, or if you’re frustrated with your current level of fitness and have been thinking about hiring a personal trainer, contact us.

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Training Innovations
2420 Midtown Pl NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107
(505) 349-4725


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