Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Muscle Building Cardio

Many people live in constant fear that too much cardio will cause them to lose muscular size and strength. Their fears are not unfounded; too much cardio will, indeed, eat away muscle tissue and cause strength losses. There are a few types of cardio, however that will actually do the opposite. Instead of cardio that just burns fat or just improves your cardiovascular system or, worse yet, does neither of those but just causes muscle loss, there is actually such a thing as muscle building cardio.

Unfortunately most people don't do it. They waste all their time on the stair climber or eliptical machine when they could actually be doing something that will burn fat and build muscle at the same time.

My favorite types of muscle building cardio are sprints, hill sprints, sled sprints and Prowler sprints. These workouts should be be performed in the following manner:

-- Warm up thoroughly.

-- Sprint for 5-20 seconds straight as hard and as fast as you can.

-- Rest for 1-3 minutes or as long as needed to catch your breath, bring your heart rate down a bit, and prevent yourself from throwing up.

-- Repeat for 15-20 minutes 2-3 days per week.

This type of cardio training is what produces the incredible physiques you see on sprinters and NFL wide receivers. Technically it's not traditional, old school cardio, but it works to get you big and lean.

The most dangerous form of muscle building cardio is plain old sprints. If you are not accustomed to sprinting regularly you are at great risk for a hamstring, hip flexor or knee injury. Hill sprints slow you down, especially if the hill is fairly steep and for that reason are much safer. Sprinting with a sled attached to your waist does the same thing and is very effective and very safe. Pushing the Prowler is an incredibly demanding but result producing workout. For those who are unfamiliar with the Prowler, it is pictured above and can be purchased at It is worth every penny and will get you in great shape in a hurry.

There you have; the most effective forms of muscle building cardio. Get off the Nordic Track and give these workouts a try today. You won't be disappointed.