Bodybuilding is notorious for utilizing explosive anaerobic exercises. Most people and many professionals feel that cardio does not go with putting on size or bodybuilding.
The truth is, while they are both quite opposites, yet they also need each other. In order to be a true bodybuilder, you must involve enough anaerobic exercise to gain size and put on significant muscle. At the same time, however, you must burn enough calories to stay lean with a low fat percentage. This is where cardio comes into play.
Cardio is arguably the most effective calorie burner. If you need to burn a lot of calories either over time, or in a quick time slot, then cardio is your best option. You can use an elliptical machine (a great low impact option for bad joints), spin bike, or simply walk at an incline on a treadmill (many bodybuilders prefer this method as it limits muscle atrophy), the mode does not matter much.
If you are a bodybuilder, then you are purely looking to burn calories in bulk, with limited muscle loss. High intensity interval training is also a good method of burning calories, as is cross training. These methods are ways of accomplishing your calorie burning tasks while keeping the mind interested and focused on the exercise you are doing. Cross training is crucial for fighting off a fitness plateau.
Once you have hit a plateau in your training (and subsequently with your results) it can feel like failure. It can feel like it is time to give up. There is certainly a time to rest, recharge, reevaluate your training and eventually get back to your exercise, but never a time to give up.
The aforementioned steps are a great way to gather your thoughts, get back to training and launch off the exercise plateau that you are on. Once you are back in the gym (or wherever you exercise), then you can try on different modes and techniques like cross training, plyometrics, or heavier lifting.
Bodybuilding is more about consistency then worrying about plateaus. Everyone gets stuck in a rut sooner or later, but more often than not, consistency is the thing that keeps you moving forward.
Sure, you should keep pushing yourself to new levels of fitness and mass building (if you are a bodybuilder), but if you stay consistent and don’t give in to those negative thoughts — you will realize just how far you have come. Stay consistent, push your limits, but also make sure to stop and smell the roses (had to end with a cliché).
- Danielle blogs on behalf of Sears and other prestigious brands she trusts. She’s found a happy balance between running distance and lifting at the gym. She also enjoys wilderness hikes and Laffy Taffy. Read her work at eatbreatheblog.com.