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To Build Muscle Fastest Should I Avoid Cardio Workouts?

September 30, 2009

A typical dilemma for any active sportsmen who lifts weights and wants to gain muscle mass is that they know there goal to build muscle up conflicts with the fact that they do a lot of cardio-vascular work. How can someone like this build muscle fastest whilst still doing cardio, indeed is it even possible?

Quite often it is suggested that in order to build muscles fastest you have to keep cardio training down to as limited an amount as possible. This is often stated due to the fact that aerobic training sessions do two particular things that may restrict muscle building, namely: 1) burn an abundance of calories 2) speed up your metabolism. These two things both add weight to the problem of consuming enough calories. This takes us to the question of exactly what amount of calories should I therefore be taking on?

Well, to maintain weight each day you must eat enough calories to cover the energy expenditures of your body as if it were at rest (this is known as the basal metabolic rate), then consume enough extra calories to cover the exercise that you will do. Each day you need to eat a further 500 calories if you wish to build muscle mass.

Is it possible to work this number out?

Yes, there definitely is and one way of finding this total is by following the Katch-McArdle formula (BMR based on lean body weight). Here it is:

Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 X wght in kg) + (5 X hght in cm) – (6.8 X age in years)

Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 X wt in kg) + (1.8 X hght in cm) – (4.7 X age in years)

Once you have gotten this figure you should then multiply it by one of the following to allow for your daily activity levels:

Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)
Lightly active equals BMR X 1.375 (sports/light exercise 1-3 days/wk)
Mod. active = BMR X 1.55 (sports 3-5 days/wk/moderate exercise)
Very active equals BMR X 1.725 (sports 6-7 days/hard exercise/wk)
Extr. active equals BMR X 1.{9 (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X day training, i}.e marathon, contest etc

So, should you be doing cardio and weights frequently then you should multiply this by at least 1.725. This will cover the amount of energy for your daily needs. To suit your specific goals you should then adjust this total. Assuming your goal is muscle building a further 500 calories each day need to be added to this amount.

So, let’s say your final number is 3000 calories then you ought to be trying to eat 6 meals/day of 500 calories. the constituents of every meal would therefore be protein: 37 grams, carbohydrate 62 grams and 11 grams would come from fat. This is due to the fact that a gram of protein or carbohydrate equals 4 calories where as a gram of fat equals 9 calories.

Correct muscle building nutrition and working out your calorie needs like this is what is going to ensure you build muscles fastest, not any miracle new exercise!

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