Sure, in the colder months of the year we cannot enjoy the sunshine so much but at the same time we don’t have to bother with so much cardio, or any at all in some people’s cases. As soon as it begins to get just a little darker in the evenings, like an instinctive animal going into hibernation many guys will knock their cardio on the head. Many will claim the reason behind this is that it equates to calories being used and as they are aiming to build muscle mass, they don’t want to waste calories. Today we are going to put to you 3 good reasons why you should keep a certain level of cardio in this winter, and how to utilise it without making problems for yourself come the summertime.
To gain muscle mass you really need to take your muscles to a place they have never been before. This requires an immense level of intensity. As you gain weight in the colder months of the year you will notice you may be more short of breath in the gym than usual. Of course this will have an effect on your intensity levels because your muscles will fatigue faster due to a lack of oxygenated blood. However, by maintaining a steady level of cardio throughout the autumn and winter you can help keep your aerobic capacity at a reasonable level. Intensity is everything in the gym, and if your muscles are failing because you are out of breath then you will struggle to make gains!
Sounds gory but in fact it is quite the opposite. To promote maximum muscle recovery and growth it is imperative you are forcing as many anabolic nutrients into the muscle cell as humanly possible. What does this? Your blood! What directs blood into the muscle? Your cardiac system! So it is logical that by keeping your cardiac system healthy and stimulated you should be able to increase the volume of nutrient rich blood into the muscle. As a result your rate of nutrient assimilation within the muscle should increase, leading faster recovery and growth!
Performing aerobic exercise in the morning can help stimulate your metabolism. Why is this beneficial when you are mass gaining? Well if your metabolism is running at a high rate of knots then you should be able to eat more food without gaining excess body fat. Nobody wants to gain body fat; therefore by keeping in a degree of low impact cardio you should afford yourself room to eat a few muscle fuelled meals!
It all comes down to the individual and your goals! What you don’t want to do is go over the top because next summer when you begin dieting it then becomes problematic. For example, if you do 40 minutes every day now, how much are you going to have to do 8 weeks into your diet? A LOT is the answer, too much! Therefore doing around 20 minutes 4 times a week is absolutely adequate just to get the blood flowing through the muscles and to keep your cardiac system stimulate.