Does Cardio Prevent You From Gaining Muscle?

If you have a desire to gain muscle but stay lean, then you could be at a loss with how to achieve these results. Many of us associate cardio as a way to stay slim or slim down, which makes us wonder if it will prevent us from gaining muscle. According to Men's Health, there is no black or white answer. If you engage in cardio workouts for too long, or too intensely for long periods of time, then yes it can block your ability to put on muscle.

Though cardio shouldn't be feared. Ngo Okafor, a celebrity personal trainer, tells Insider that, "Doing cardio, HIIT classes, or running does not necessarily hinder muscle-building." Okafor goes on to say that strength training and cardio affect us all in different ways. And that there is a chance cardio could interfere with you gaining muscle if you are too fatigued from exercises like running or HIIT classes to do strength training.

Find your balance

Body Building also recommends that you find out what body type you are in order to find out what percentage of cardio versus strength training you need. Ask yourself questions like, am I naturally slim? Do I gain muscle easily? Or, am I doing high-intensity or low-intensity cardio? The main thing you need to keep into consideration is an effective balance between both cardio and strength training.

If you are unsure if cardio workouts are the reason to blame for your lack of gained muscle, then let's look into what else you could be missing. Men's Health claims that good nutrition, which includes enough protein, carbohydrates, and fats in your diet, is key to building muscle. You also need to allow for enough time in between workouts to let your body rest and build muscle mass. Many of us assume that it is during a workout that we build muscle. It's an understandable assumption since that is often the time our muscles feel most jacked. But it is actually after the workout when muscles have been broken down and start to build up again that true muscle mass is gained.

We're rooting for you to achieve your desired results. And perhaps the best way to do this is find a balance between the two types of workouts that don't exhaust you, and take rest days in between.