You’ve probably heard the claim made by some that cardio kills muscle gains while weight lifting causes bulking in women. Recent information has begun to debunk these myths. As long as proper nutrition and caloric intake are maintained, both men and women can reach their desired goals. In fact, each body type maintains different levels of hormones that regulate muscle gains. A fitness regimen comprised of cardio and weight lifting is typically the best way to build your body.
Many women are concerned that stepping into the weight room will cause excessive “bulking” or large muscles. In reality,
women and men produce much different levels of testosterone, a male hormone. In fact, men produce 15 times the amount of testosterone as women. This results in men building a larger mass of muscles than women in general. Without supplements, it would be impossible for a woman to acquire as much muscle mass as a man of similar height. Weight workouts can be very beneficial to women.1
Conversely, men are often concerned that cardio workouts will “kill” their muscle mass. By stepping into the land of ellipticals and stationary bikes, men fear that their muscles will shrink. This myth couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, cardio workouts can supplement a healthy weight training routine. Regardless of your workout plan, it’s important to consume enough protein and healthy nutrients.
Any healthy diet should include sufficient essential nutrients. When working out though, protein intake should be increased to maintain and increase muscle mass. Great protein supplements are available, however all protein requirements can be filled through wholesome foods like chicken breast and turkey. In fact, traditional foods may satiate your hunger for a longer period of time.2 Many experts recommend between .5 and .8 grams of protein per pound of body weight for a non-sedentary man.
A reasonable amount of cardio and weight training should benefit your physique, regardless of your gender. Whatever your fitness goals, consider leaving some of these common myths at the door. You may be leaving precious strength, musculature, and endurance at the door as well unless you do!