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Alright so I've been lifting and I keep having people tell me cardio will drain your muscles after a workout but is this really true? I wanna burn off some fat on my chest and stomach but I don't wanna lose muscle gain so what is an ideal time for running?
 

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My understanding is that the cardio v muscle controversy is a wives tale. I see the same message in various articles.

Combine weight training, intense cardio intervals and recovery. Contrary to popular belief, small doses of cardio is not going to keep you from building muscle or getting strong. A healthy way to get big can be three full body weight training sessions per week, combined with 2-3 days of high intensity cardio interval workouts and 2-3 days of active rest and recovery.
But remember, you cannot spot reduce. You will reduce fat percentage where your body wants to. You cannot target loss from your chest or stomach. All you can do is reduce your overall bodyfat percentage until those areas react accordingly.
 

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Running is healthy for you, in combination with muscle building. I once heard, to pack on weight, do not do any cardio, and my muscles did get big, but stiff as hell. I think you are less likely to get injured, and what not if you run.

I would run in the morning, before your workout. That's what I typically do, run in the morning loosen things up, and then work out shortly after that, or later in the evening.
 

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At one time, when I was a complete gym rat, I used to run a mile to start, do heavy weights and than a bit of running again.
Didn't hurt me when getting ripped.
All ik is, I was fine.
 

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So you're looking for the best of both worlds. You want to gain muscle from lifting weights while keeping fat to a minimum from running, but also with the ability to run without taking away the gains from lifting? Sounds a bit too ideal doesn't it?

But it's not!

HIIT training and Tabata workouts are really what you're looking for. You will look SHREDDED after you do these 3 times a week for a couple weeks. You increase testosterone a lot from these workouts which will help you with your overall gains in muscle. It also burns fat like crazy. It also increases your VO2 max significantly through the addition of more mitochondria. 4-6 weeks of HIIT is equivalent to 3 months of aerobic exercise in terms of aerobic capacity.

Do 30 seconds of all out (giving everything you have) on a cycling/spin bike with the intensity high enough that you will fail at 30 seconds. Or you can sprint on a track for 30 seconds, roughly 200m.
Take a 1 minute and 30 second break of slow pedaling or walking to recover.
Repeat x 6.

That's a 12 minute workout that will do wonders for the goal you are trying to obtain.

Google whatever terms you need to, HIIT, HIIE, Tabata, and add pubmed, nih etc for reference articles. EDIT: You will feel like you want to throw up if you aren't conditioned. If you aren't conditioned, maybe do 2-3 sets to start and 20 seconds each and then work your way up.
 

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My understanding is that the cardio v muscle controversy is a wives tale. I see the same message in various articles.



But remember, you cannot spot reduce. You will reduce fat percentage where your body wants to. You cannot target loss from your chest or stomach. All you can do is reduce your overall bodyfat percentage until those areas react accordingly.
This is very simple and crucial advice, I recommend you take it.

When it comes to muscle building vs lowering body fat, you have to pick one. You can not add inches to your body in muscle and cut fat, our bodies do not work that way. You need to either pick adding mass (building muscle) or reducing mass (cutting bodyfat). Every professional body builder will recommend cutting first, maybe 3-6 months or a year depending on high you are now and how low you need to get, then switch to a building phase. If you build first, reducing weight will be harder than the other way around.

If you're really serious about it I recommend looking up Robb Wolf's website and he'll have a series of eating plans --you'll have to accommodate the oz of meat and protein grams to meet your needs which is usually 1gm per body weight while cutting and 1.5gm + when building-- that if followed to the letter will get you to where you need to be.
 
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20 minutes is fine IMO and won't cause you to lose muscle mass. I regularly run between 30mins to an hour, 3-4 times a week in addition to strength training and it's worked well for me. Although if you can incorporate HIIT that's even better.

As long as you have a well balanced cardio/strength routine and solid nutrition then you should see results.
 

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Personally I only do sprint intervals once a week on a non-lifting day as a cardio/ab workout, and maybe go rock climbing or mountain biking another day. That is ALL the cardio I do, and I lift heavy 3x a week. I have cut significant amounts of fat while maintaining any initial strength gains. I follow the LeanGains system of eating in an 8-hour window, high protein, more carbs on workout days (rice, oatmeal and potatoes, nothing processed), low fat levels, and full-body lifts 3x a week (deadlift, bench, overhead press, back squat, chins, dips, weighted lunges, and leg extensions are the main ones).

Here's some progress photos... I'm 5'4", used to only do cardio and was vegan. 150 lbs down to 135. Deadlift 1RM went from 200 to 245lbs. Back squat 1RM went from 150lbs to 225lbs (also due to form). Bench 1RM went from 105 lbs to 125 lbs.

progress1_zps42ea90e7.jpg progress2_zpsb6511a5f.jpg progress3_zps942dfa97.jpg
 

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If you run before you lift then your cardio burn will extend into your lifting session. So, I suggest switching the order to get the greatest benefit.
 
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Alright so I've been lifting and I keep having people tell me cardio will drain your muscles after a workout but is this really true? I wanna burn off some fat on my chest and stomach but I don't wanna lose muscle gain so what is an ideal time for running?
You won't lose muscle if you provide enough nutrients for your body to build and maintain them after you break them down, and the only issue with doing extra cardio is that it takes away energy that you could be using on doing weights, however, it is pretty commonly agreed upon that for people looking to cut down, some cardio, 15-20 minutes is certainly acceptable.

After the workout is a great idea, because it takes less focus than free weights do. There is always the way of doing it though, that just entails lowering rest times and getting cardio in the weight training session, which is the same thing.

It just comes down to burning energy which often comes from fat and rarely comes from muscle, and tearing down the muscle then providing nutrients, in any way you like.

The exact numbers, you can create yourself via experience of how much energy you have and how long you are sore for, noting your progress, or you can follow someone else's numbers, it doesn't really matter.

It's all good

PS: Energy comes from sugar (glycogen in cells) and fat, and the percentage changes based on how hard you are going. If you are going really hard, 90% comes from sugar, but if you go 55%, more or equal amounts come from fat (but you dont have 4 hours just to fast walk everyday haha), and it rarely comes from protein. We don't lose muscle usually due to what they are telling you, but more so from not eating enough to maintain muscle.
 
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