Cardio has become synonymous with burning fat and losing weight, and strength training has become synonymous with building muscle and getting lean. If you’re trying to build muscle, you may be wondering if you should cut out cardio for good. The simple answer is you don’t have to cut out all cardio to build muscle, but it’s more complicated than that.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend adults do 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity a week for overall health. They also suggest people strength train two or more days a week to improve their health (here’s a four-week workout plan to get you started).
Because these are general recommendations, we wanted to know if the same guidelines apply when you’re trying to build muscle. To find out if cardio is counterproductive to building muscle, POPSUGAR spoke to Rondel King, MS, CSCS, an exercise physiologist at NYU Langone’s Sports Performance Centre in New York City.