Aerobics or bodybuilding: which one to choose?

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Aerobics or bodybuilding: which one to choose?
Aerobics or bodybuilding: which one to choose?

Does a bodybuilder need to do aerobics? If you are tormented by such questions, then find out the answer from a scientific point of view. Muscles should be voluminous and functional. For effective fat burning, the main recommendation is to create a calorie deficit. This can be achieved by reducing calorie intake and exercising to increase energy expenditure. This will allow the body to switch to using fat as an energy source. It should be remembered that an overly rigid dietary nutrition program will contribute not only to the loss of fat reserves, but also to a decrease in muscle mass.

As you know, muscle mass directly affects the rate of metabolic processes: the smaller the muscles, the more the metabolism slows down. This fact indicates that the moment you are at rest, the body will burn fewer calories. As a result, you will need to consume less and less food, which is very difficult and more than 90 percent of people cannot follow the conditions of the dietary nutrition program for a long time. Sports can help in this, but there is only one question: what to choose - aerobics or bodybuilding?

Which type of training is more effective?

Man and woman holding dumbbells

Most bodybuilders avoid aerobic exercise because they believe it will lead to muscle loss. This fact is confirmed by a large number of scientific experiments that have proven that with frequent use of cardio loads or at their high intensity, weight gain stops.

The best option in this situation is a combination of low-calorie nutrition programs and strength training. At the same time, cardio loads should be included in the training program within reasonable limits.

For a very long time, scientists were convinced that cardio exercise perfectly stimulates the lipolysis process. First of all, this assumption was based on the fact that cardio exercise more effectively increases metabolism compared to strength training. Strength training uses anaerobic processes to provide the body with energy, which primarily include glycogen. This substance accumulates in muscle tissue. Oxygen is needed to burn fat, since lipolysis is based on oxidative reactions, the flow of which is not possible without oxygen. Cardio exercises can provide such an opportunity.

But since at rest the mass of muscles affects the rate of metabolic processes, it is still strength training that looks more effective in the fight against fats. The fact that strength training is more effective for gaining mass compared to cardio exercises is not in question.

The indicators of muscle mass gain directly depend on the intensity of training, i.e. the higher the intensity, the greater the gain. Therefore, strength training must be hard, and only in this case can you achieve the desired result.

Why does cardio destroy muscle?

A guy and a girl are training on ellipsoids

In the course of scientific research, it was found that cardio exercise is very effective in normalizing the functioning of the heart and vascular system. In turn, this leads to an increase in the general endurance of a person. This fact suggests that you need to train often, but not get too tired. Since heart disease is the cause of a large number of deaths, the benefits of cardio training are not questioned.

But bodybuilders do not like aerobic exercise and use this type of training only in preparation for a competition in order to get rid of excess fat accumulations.This is completely justified, since we have already said above that cardio loads contribute to the acceleration of lipolysis processes.

However, excessive enthusiasm for the fight against fat leads athletes to a state of overtraining. For the body, cardio loads represent one of the forms of stress, and in response to it, it triggers various defense mechanisms. One of them is to accelerate the production of cortisol, which scientists have found to destroy muscle tissue.

Simultaneously with an increase in the level of cortisol in the body, the concentration of anabolic hormones, including male, decreases. For bodybuilders, this kind of balance bodes very badly. This not only leads to muscle atrophy, but also contributes to the accumulation of body fat.

Also, in the course of one of the recent studies, scientists have established another factor that, when using cardio loads, contributes to a decrease in testosterone levels. The test animals were exposed to three hours of cardio for five days over a week, which resulted in a significant drop in testosterone concentration.

This fact is due to the production of a large amount of free radicals, which is associated with high oxygen consumption during aerobic exercise. With normal functioning, the body is able to fight free radicals on its own. But with a cardio load, he is no longer able to do this.

Also, in the course of this study, damage to the cells of the testicles was also noted, also caused by high levels of free radicals. Of course, not everything that happens to animals will happen in the human body. However, a drop in the level of the male hormone with high cardio loads was observed in humans. It was found that after an hour of active aerobic exercise, the level of cortisol rises significantly.

Thus, we can say that an hour of cardio training is quite enough for bodybuilders. This will make it possible to accelerate the lipolysis process and at the same time avoid the destruction of muscle mass during catabolic reactions.

When talking about what to choose - aerobics or bodybuilding, the choice is quite obvious. To effectively fight fat, it is necessary to use strength training, introducing a moderate amount of aerobic activity into the training program.

For combining cardio training and bodybuilding, see this video:

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