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Show highlights include:

  • Ron Swanson’s advice for getting the fitness results you want (0:50)
  • Why training to gain muscle and lose weight at the same time backfires on you (1:56)
  • Avoid cardio at all costs unless you’re this type of person (4:24)
  • Listen to this before you consider training for a marathon… (4:44)
  • How your training program is causing hormonal imbalances, ruining your mood, and making you lethargic (9:57)
  • Make sure you have this much recovery time between your strength and cardio training sessions or you’ll destroy all your gains (12:36)

The most important thing you can do to amplify your competitive success is focus on your nutrition. I created the Competition Nutrition Guide to help you maximize your performance. Get your free copy at http://CompetitionNutritionGuide.com.

If you’re ready to become the best version of yourself, head over to https://RedHNutrition.com to find the best supplement solution for you. And you can save 20% with the coupon code PODCAST20 at checkout!

Read Full Transcript

Hey y'all and welcome to the everyday athlete podcast recorded live from Omaha, Nebraska and I'm your host, Katie danger U S army veteran and founder of Red H Nutrition providing everyday athletes just like you, clean, effective nutritional solutions, custom formulated to help you reach your absolute potential every single day.

Hello, hello again, athletes. How are y'all doing out there today? This week on the everyday athlete podcast, episode number 25 I'm going to share some great information on how training cardio affects your muscle gain goals. But first I've got to lay the groundwork for the episode and it starts with mentioning my favorite TV character mentor of all time, Ron Swanson. If you haven't seen or heard of the classic TV comedy parks and rec, then I highly suggest you pick up and binge-watch the series from start to finish. But my suggestions aside run in this particular scenario or this scene that I'm talking about, Ron is having a conversation with another main character about time management and how focusing on multiple things at once.

(01:00): Multitasking is not the way to get the best results and in the end you get a subpar result. However, Ron Swanson doesn't really say it in the most eloquent fashion and he sums it up like this. He says, don't have fast two things whole ass. One thing. Basically, if you want to get the best results, you've got to focus on one thing. Put all your effort into that one goal. And Steve Prefontaine is also a fantastic elite athlete. He had a little bit more eloquent way to say it and he says, never give anything less than your best. And our best comes from laser-focus. It comes from hyper awareness and it comes from a keen sense of how our efforts are shaping the results that we want to attain. And when you multitask, when you're scattered all over the place, you just can't be your best and you won't get the best results.

(01:49): So what does this have to do with today's episode? Aren't we supposed to be talking about how cardio affects your muscle gain and yes. Yes. All too often. The goal with athletes that I talk to is they want to put on muscle while losing weight or they want to lose fat while gaining muscle. Essentially they want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to gain all the muscle and they want to lose all the weight. And the ironic thing is depending on the level of your current training, like what your fitness level currently is, you'll probably gain some muscle if you're following a weight loss program and you're probably going to lose fat if you're following a strength program. But the key to the best results is focusing on one goal and then planning your training around that goal, playing your food plan, your training modalities, your sets, your reps, what exercises you're going to do, how many days a week you're going to train, how many days a week that you're going to rest.

(02:37): All of those are variables in reaching your goals. So when you have two goals, when you want to lose weight and gain muscle, there are so many variables to consider and they start to interfere with each other and you get subpar results. You reach your plateaus quicker, and this is just no blender, it's not fun. So that's why all of this leads me to the meat and potatoes. Of the episode and ultimately the entire summary of the episode, whatever your number one goal is, whether it's to lose fat or put on muscle mass, you need to eat, you need to train and you'd recover for that goal if you want the absolute best results from your train cycle and if your number one goal is gaining muscle cardio training, aerobic endurance hinders more than helps those muscle gain goals. So that's why you're here, right?

(03:23): That's why you're with me in episode number 25 you want to talk about how cardio affects your muscle gain goals. So let's talk about program design and whether you're creating your own training program for your own muscle gain goals or you happen to be looking at your current programming and assessing it or you're creating a program for a client you need to take into consideration these variables. Intensity, volume and frequency, type of aerobic, endurance, modality, cycling, running, swimming, kayaking, all those things, all of those variables, important intensity, volume, frequency and modality. Those are the important variables. Now research shows that very high intensities of aerobic train are needed if there is going to be any muscle growth response. The current science shows us that a heart rate of at least 80% is needed for a hypertrophic response and that hit sessions high intensity interval training sessions of heart rates of 85% or higher with rest periods in between is optimal for achieving that slight hypertrophic response.

(04:24): So there's not going to be a massive response in muscle growth from aerobic training. But if you happen to be an untrained individual and you train at a high heart rate, specifically hit type training where you have work and rest sessions, that's the best opportunity to use aerobic endurance for hypertrophic response. In fact, there's a 13 week study on marathoners that concluded that there was, it was a slight decrease in type one and two muscle fibers after the train program. What this means is that with that decrease, it illustrates that low intensity aerobic endurance over a long period of time is actually detrimental to weight gain. So I just mentioned that there was the opportunity for hypertrophic effects with high intensity heart rate interval training in aerobic endurance capacity, but then I mentioned over the long haul it's actually detrimental to muscle gain and this is very important.

(05:23): Here's the caveat of all of this, although there is some research that suggests aerobic endurance at high heart rates could lead to some muscle game. Those studies were carried out on untrained subjects. They had low levels of muscle mass to begin with. This is like a couch to five K people, right? This isn't for highly trained people who've been in the game for a while and although this information is fairly discouraging for those of us who were trained and now you know that aerobic endurance can actually hinder your gains goals, you can use this information for your clients and you can create smarter programs for them. That's where I see a big opportunity for all of my athletes out there who are currently trained. You can use this information to look at your client's current programs or future programs and assess if you are on the right track with them based on their goals.

(06:11): Now, the point of all of this is this aerobic exercise can increase muscle gain in sedentary people primarily in type one slow Twitch muscle fibers. The extent of those muscle gains is dependent on how trained or untrained that person is. Intensities of at least 80% are needed to elicit muscular growth. When it comes to what modality is best. All of the research points to cycling is having the greatest effect on any muscle gain possible. It is important to know here that these muscular gains that are being found in research, they're only seen in the beginning early stages of a training program and research suggests that there's going to be quick plateaus and the results are going to happen in a short period of time, but there's going to be a very quick plateau. So like I stated earlier, persistent aerobic training actually has a detrimental effect on type two muscle fiber hypertrophy. And even when research has found that there are improvements in type one muscle fiber. So type two is the fast Twitch and then type one as a slow Twitch. When we do see improvements in type one, like the muscles actually did get bigger. Those adaptations didn't even lead to functional performance improvements. Like there wasn't an increase in power spear force so it was just merely the enlargement of the muscle tissue, but there wasn't any functional improvement performance with this. Interesting, right?

(07:34): Yeah.

(07:36): Ever heard the same? Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. A major component to your competitive success will be your nutrition prep and I created a competition nutrition guide to help you utilize pre intra and post-competition nutrition protocols, boost your confidence heading into a competition, recover quicker postcard so you get right back to training and increase your power output and max capacity so you can own that podium. I created this guide just for the everyday athlete and you can get your free copy at competition, nutrition guide.com I'll say again, competition, nutrition guide. Dot. So now let's talk about that age old question. When you're training, do you do cardio? And then do you do strength training, do strength training, and then cardio. Now if I've got an athlete and if they are hell bent on gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time, and that's just the way they want to do their training program, they're going to end up pairing their, their strength and their cardio in the same day.

(08:34): And although this strategy, this concurrent training, you know, doing strength and cardio at the same time, it does have a positive effect on weight loss, but it doesn't lead to optimal muscle and strength gain. Remember, remember you guys, were you talking about the number one goal here is being muscle gain and how you can not have your cake, you need it to, you got to choose one. So concurrent training is great if you want to lose weight, but it doesn't lead to that optimal muscle and strength gain goal. There's a phenomenon, it's called chronic interference. And this is a hypothesis that States we cannot simultaneously adapt optimally, both metabolically and morphologically to both strength and aerobic endurance training. So when the body sends these two signals out, those cellular responses create confusion and ultimately mitigate any muscular gains. Now it is also possible that concur training affects muscular gain in other ways too, so it's not just that we have this interference effect going on, but we've got things like additional central nervous system fatigue and when you add aerobic training into a strength program, you get that additional fatigue.

(09:39): You're going to limit the power, the force and the output of the muscle, and then the stimulus that you receive in return, it's going to lead to macronutrient depletion in the body and not having enough of the macronutrients you need the fat, the carbs or protein. It hinders the body's ability to produce maximum force and then get that stimulus back in training. Chronic concurrent training often leads to heavy bouts of over-training. This leads to hormonal imbalance, mood and focus issues and lethargy, and that is obviously a lethal cocktail if you are on the path on this long journey for strength gain. So this idea that you need to be doing both strength and cardio in the same training session, it is actually probably hindering your progress more than anything you guys. The bottom line is this evidence shows that over time aerobic exercise blunts the ability of the body to respond and recover optimally to strength training programs.

(10:33): I'll tell you right now, after doing the research for this episode, not a single study that I read could conclude that aerobic training helps muscle gain goals. So not a single thing that I read said that yes you should train aerobically because it could help your muscle Gingles. In fact, there is not a single study I found that said that, but there's plenty of evidence that tells me that it does hinder your goals, especially if that aerobic training is frequent and lengthy in session. So I was sharing this information with an athlete of mine and he was just, like I said before, hell bent in his position that he had to do cardio if you wanted to maintain his weight. So he says his number one goal is to strength, train and gain muscle mass. But here he is during cardio in the mix because in quote, he wants to maintain his weight.

(11:22): And my argument back to him was that if he's trying to use cardio to burn off excess calories, that he's got to tweak his nutrition. So that was my suggestion. If you are an athlete out there and you're thinking, well, I got to add cardio because I've got to make sure that I get my weight, I'm going to maintain my weight and my calories for the day, then you need to adjust your nutrition instead of putting yourself in a state of excess fatigue over and over again, just because you haven't found what works best to put in your mouth for your energy goals and strength for the day. So look at your nutrition first instead of adding cardio into the mix. If you're looking at your weight goals as well, look you guys out there, I know that you're going to do things the way you want to do them.

(12:02): So if you're going to do cardio and strength, follow these two steps. Okay, train strength first. Then do cardio. Do your strength first. Then do your cardio. This is going to help you prevent fatigue and then still keep up your maximum strength for your strength. Session number two, keep your cardio at a very low intensity, less than 70% of your heart rate, and keep a lengthy recovery period between these training programs. So if you're going to do so, you're going to do strength and cardio on the same day. Keep your cardio low intensity and make sure you're recovering between your sessions, so at least six hours between your strength and your cardio. All right, there you have it. Now you know how aerobic train affects your strength training program and the progress you'll make. You need to use this information to review your current plan, plan something in the future, or even assess a client's current training plan.

(12:56): If your number one goal is to gain muscle, then this podcast is really, really important information for you and being disciplined, being smart and being focused on one goal at a time is going to help you get the results you want faster and it's going to help you get the best results you want faster. This is it for this week's episode next week. Oh man, you guys, you're going to love this one. You're just gonna love it. I'm going to be sharing the number one supplement, the number one supplement for basically everything, performance recovery, boosting your cardio, improving your strength, everything. The supplement I'm talking about is found naturally in food. It's considered a safer sport and it is the most researched supplement available. It has been around for a really long time in the sports performance supplement world. It's trusted and it's used by soccer moms to Olympians, to professional athletes to you.

(13:43): To me, you might have already guessed what it is, but it's Creatine and next week I'm going to be sharing all the magic of creatine and how it's perfect for everyone to use and how bro science has kind of twisted some of the myths around us. I'm going to set the record straight on creatine and why everybody should be taking creatine for their fitness goals. So you guys stay tuned next week, learn more about creatine and how it helped take your fitness to the next level. Also, if you haven't already, I really want you to check out our newly redesigned website@redhnutrition.com I built this website from the ground up from feedback from our athletes and I'm very, very proud of it. So check it out. Ready to nutrition.com and remember listeners of the podcast, you guys always get 20% off with code podcast 20 just use that code at checkout and you'll save 20% on every single purchase until next week. Athletes, this is Katie D over and out.

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