Cardio burns muscle: true or false

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 03, 2008 2:15 PM GMT
    i'm considering trying the EAS Body for Life workout regimen - 6 days, alternating weight lifting and cardio. unless i'm misunderstanding it says that doing more than 20 minutes of cardio at any time will burn muscle. is that really true? it makes sense that if there's no to little fat, it's gotta burn something so it gets muscle. i'd hate to bust my ass trying this just to lose muscle that i've worked hard to build. my body fat is at 8%, and getting lower so am i at risk at losing muscle now or do i have a ways to go before that happens? thx for any and all replies.
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    Nov 03, 2008 2:37 PM GMT
    The first fuel source is blood sugar. Next up is glycogen...or carbohydrates stored in the muscle and liver. Then fat will be used in conjunction with stored carbohydrates. On average, we have an abundance of these stored carbohydrates at any one time. As long as you are taking in enough carbohydrates and (good) fats...muscle can be spared as a fuel source. It would only be under extreme conditions (marathons and Ironman racing, etc.) that muscle might be used. Hope this helps!
  • Timbales

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    Nov 03, 2008 2:42 PM GMT
    My trainer has me taking liquid L-Carnatine prior to my cardio workout to help my body use fat as an energy source, and L-Glutamine after to help preserve muscle.
  • MuslDrew

    Posts: 463

    Nov 03, 2008 3:52 PM GMT
    robGen saidi'm considering trying the EAS Body for Life workout regimen - 6 days, alternating weight lifting and cardio. unless i'm misunderstanding it says that doing more than 20 minutes of cardio at any time will burn muscle. is that really true? it makes sense that if there's no to little fat, it's gotta burn something so it gets muscle. i'd hate to bust my ass trying this just to lose muscle that i've worked hard to build. my body fat is at 8%, and getting lower so am i at risk at losing muscle now or do i have a ways to go before that happens? thx for any and all replies.


    20 minutes or less is pretty common with guys workking on increasing muscle mass. After lifting, I do 15 minutes of cardio, once a week I do 30 mins on a non-lifting day, usually the day after a cheat meal.
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    Nov 03, 2008 4:20 PM GMT
    I just split cardio / lifting 4 days lifting 3 days cardio. I do run over an hour though in combination with HIIT. I always eat something before I do sport. Fat as an energy source gets split into 3 major components that will only burn efficiently with the chemical sideproduct of burning carbs.If you give your body some energy 30 min before a training I do not think you need to be afraid of loosing mass.
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    Nov 03, 2008 4:30 PM GMT
    I don't think it's debatable whether or not too much cardio burns muscle but I think the problem comes in trying to pin it down to a certain time limit like 20 minutes. Everybody's body is different. You just have to experiment with different workout routines and see what's best for you. Realizing that that too will probably change as you age.
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    Nov 03, 2008 4:54 PM GMT
    All cardio is not equal, right? When I was working on strengthening a damaged knee before/after surgery, my orthopod told me to get off the ellipse, as it was "wasting" mymuscle, and to get on the bike to strengthen tendons etc.

    Some cardio work also incorporates muscle-building, doesn't it? Depending on the resistance involved?
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    Nov 03, 2008 5:49 PM GMT
    Purely false and fictional. There are so many fitness myths out there that we can keep a discussion going on for years. Exercise science is still new to society and they are still figuring out what exercise will do for our bodies and what we are capable of doing per our genetics.

    Muscle is not destroyed or damaged when ou do cardio. The only time you loose muscle is when you stop working out completely and within 3 months you will see the effects of that. So if you don't use it, you loose it. That is why a broken arm or leg that is in a cast looks smaller after 6-8 weeks.

    Do your heart and body good by doing at least 20-30 mins of cardio while at the gym. Good cardio is when you can barely can carry a conversation, but work up slowly to that point if you are new to doing cardio. Work up a sweat. I get annoyed by people at the gym that can talk up a storm while doing their cardio. They may as well just go home since they are hardly doing any work and a waste of their time at the gym.

  • vindog

    Posts: 1440

    Nov 03, 2008 7:44 PM GMT
    Timberoo saidMy trainer has me taking liquid L-Carnatine prior to my cardio workout to help my body use fat as an energy source, and L-Glutamine after to help preserve muscle.


    This has not been proven to work, it's only theoretical. If you eat well you are probably wasting your money.

    BUT its not necessarily proven NOT to work either, there is just no replicatable scientific studies that supports it.





  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 03, 2008 8:00 PM GMT
    RobGen -

    If you're already 8% BF, you don't have much if any left to cut... anything less than 5% BF isn't healthy, period.

    That said...

    I've been told my trainers and dietitians that if you're trying to lean out, if you have any weight loss, it's basically 80% fat, 20% muscle. So yes, you'd lose some lean mass potentially. However, 80/20 guideline doesn't factor in raising your intensity with lifting/weights.

    What could happen, in your case, your actual weight might stay the same or slightly increase, while you're actually dropping a couple of points in fat, and adding in lean mass.

    Best 'o luck.


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    Nov 03, 2008 8:05 PM GMT
    I don't know the answer to that question But i notice that the people (especially women) who do intense cardio and little resistance training usually look the same, year after year, and they don't look toned or healthy for that matter.

    The ones who do mostly resistance training seem to be the ones who look better after time.
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    Nov 05, 2008 1:19 PM GMT
    hey thanks guys for the comments and suggestions. i think what i'm gonna do is try 20 mins of cardio on lift days and 30 mins on non-lift days. i'll do that for a while and see what happens.