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Can Cardio Build Muscle?

Posted on September 30, 2015 by BBWarehouse There have been 0 comments

There seems to be a constant debate flying around the fitness world, whether it is in gyms, on forums and various websites and magazines. Everyone has their own opinion and it’s no secret that what may work for one person doesn't always work for another. There is somewhat of a love hate relationship that people often have with cardio. Before I start I would advise that you always ensure you have a good Whey Protein Powder when doing Cardio as it helps your body to recover after the intense exercise and always make sure that you are reaching your protein goals throughout your diet.



Use cardiovascular exercise to build muscle:

Many people avoid certain methods of cardio because of other peoples opinion, for example bodybuilders only walk as part of their cardio programme due to the fear that it can prevent muscle growth and some people don’t do sprints because “they have nowhere to sprint” or it “might look silly”. What I find alarming is that people are building these excuses even before they have tried it. Now don’t get me wrong, personally, I can see where some people are coming from but I also see that a lot of people are somewhat misguided and often caught up in what other people think before attempting to try it for themselves and building their own opinion based on their personal experience and preferences.

There are plenty of reasons why Cardio is important and it certainly serves a purpose in a workout regime, just some of these are;

  • - Fat burning qualities
  • - Health benefits
  • - Improved sporting or athletic performance
  • - Stress relief
  • - Enjoyment


Now the trick is to pick a cardio method which works for you and something that you can enjoy and doesn't become mundane. Let’s take a quick look at research that has been done in the past, the research suggests that lifting weights burns fat; we already do that but we still have stubborn fat that we don’t want (potentially diet related). We have established it is well known that short bursts of intense cardio is an effective way of burning fat (i.e. hill sprints, sprinting, rowing sprints). So what we have now is two methods known for burning fat - why not combine the two together and do cross fit…

Whey Protein Powder Photo credit Hillary Froning

So does this mean that Crossfit is the best method to get in shape? Well it’s certainly a great way to get in shape but if it isn't for you then there are definitely other options. Crossfit combines Olympic style lifts with cardio and various other exercises such as chin ups, med ball throws, hand stand push ups just to name a few. Crossfit is high intensity and is very hard, the duration of cross fit is short and intense and a session very rarely lasts more than 45mins. The workouts combine lifting with cardio and test a variety of different attributes such as your stamina, strength and resilience. The high intensity workouts not only builds your muscle but will also support fat loss. Rich Froning, a professional cross fit athlete, is one of the fittest men on the planet. His physique is extremely muscular, well balanced and his body fat is very low. All he does is train Crossfit; in fact he is the world champion. My first point proved to show that high intensity cardio combined with weights can build muscle and produced a physique that most men would dream of. However it’s not just a man’s physique that can be improved from the intense workout of cross fit, a woman’s physique can also be dramatically enhanced through this training method. A great example of this is Samantha Briggs, the female counterpart of Froning, shows that it is one of the most effective ways to burn fat and build muscle as her physique could easily rival that of a fitness model.

Everyone has in their head their ideal physique, some people want to be really muscular and others want less body fat. I would highlight the training that athletes use within American football. Their physiques are extremely muscular, low body fat, fast, powerful and extremely athletic.  Their training combines heavy weight training, with power (Olympic lifting) training and speed. Because their sport is very stop start they concentrate more on short bursts of cardio like hill sprints as most plays in American football last seconds. Again the physiques that the athlete’s possess are incredible and are attained through combining weights with shorts burst of cardio.

My point and whole topic of this article is that you can combine a strength drill with shortWhey Protein Powder bursts of cardio to increase muscle and strength whilst cutting body fat. If you are looking to increase strength and muscle mass as well as cut body fat then implementing some sort of drills into your programme must be more appealing than the cross trainer for 45mins or the treadmill. Let’s take a look at the top MMA fighters of the world. The conditioning that the athletes go through is tough, very tough. Their bodies have to be conditioned to last 15-20 minutes. They combine strength training with bursts of high intensity cardio like sprints and use more conditioning drills like prowlers, tractor tyres and sledgehammers etc. All of the drills that they do combine short bursts of activity combined with a strength exercise. Obviously these guys have a strict diet but their training which combines strength drills with short bursts of cardio is proven to get these fighters strong as well as their body fat percentage low.

Put a 10-15 minute block aside at the end of your workout to try this. There are endless drills both with weights and cardio equipment that can achieve this for you. Things like flipping tyres not only strengthens the lower body, back and arms it also provides a lung busting workout as do things like the prowler, battling rope, kettlebells, sledgehammers, atlas stone and many more. Cardio doesn't have to be boring or mundane and it can help build muscle and burn fat.


If you are performing an intense workout then you need to be fuelling your body correctly in order for it to cope with the high intensity. The majority of people know how important it is for your body to get enough protein in order to cope with physical activity and help you recover and one way that this can be done with a good quality Whey Protein Powder.  It can be tough choosing the right protein for you but a good one to look at is the Pure Whey 80; it's a pure whey protein supplement and is ideal for anyone looking for a quick, easy way to boost their daily protein intake. It has an incredible 19g of Protein per 25g servings and helps your body in a variety of different ways, such as:

  • Whey Protein Powder- Contributes to the maintenance of Muscle Mass,
  • - Contributes to the maintenance of normal bones,
  • - Contributes to the growth of muscle mass.


Pure Whey 80 is simple and easy to take and can be consumed in a variety of different ways such as in a shake, in Oats as part of a healthy breakfast and it’s also ideal for cooking with to mix up your Protein Snack ideas. There are many whey protein powder benefits and It’s a simple effective way to give your body the protein it needs without much effort at all. If you are unsure how to use whey protein powder we have details listed on site or contact the BBWarehouse team.

Here are an example of a few workouts that I like to do. They are short in length but the burns you will get off them are immense.


Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Treadmill Hill Sprints s/s 5 Burpees 6 30 sec 1 min


Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Renegade Row,
Clean & Press,
Jump Squats
5 45 sec 30 min


Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Tyre Flip & Jump Through s/s SH Hits 6 1 min 30 sec

Play around with different combinations link big lift or multi joint exercise with shorts burst of intensity and see the fat melt away.

By Bodybuilding Warehouse

This post was posted in News and was tagged with muscle, fitness, Build Muscle, Cardio, Training

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