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Bodybuilding and Cardio

The Benefits of Cardiovascular Training for Bodybuilders

Cardiovascular training helps you to burn excess calories and fat. This allows your muscularity to become more visible over time. Since your goal is to be as buffed as possible, aerobic exercise is an important part of your workout program.

Aerobics also help with your muscle-building efforts. By increasing blood circulation, aerobic exercise promotes more effective recovery by assisting in the elimination of wastes. Other significant benefits include lower blood pressure, decreased cholesterol levels and improved heart function.

Your choice of cardiovascular exercises can include group aerobics classes; jogging, in-line skating, running or bicycling outdoors; or using the stationary bikes, treadmills and stair steppers offered at most gyms. When selecting an aerobic activity, make sure that it includes continuous motion, works the larger muscles and is enjoyable.

Begin by doing three cardio sessions per week on alternate days for 30 to 45 minutes. Do your aerobic training on nonlifting days if you can, but if you need to do both on the same day, weight train first and then do your aerobic conditioning. If you're 10 lb overweight, three workouts per week are adequate. If you're more than 10 lb overweight, perform four or five workouts per week. If you're underweight, cut out aerobics so you can focus on muscle building. You must be the judge of how much fat you have to lose.

Make sure that you do your aerobics at the correct level of intensity. The talk-test method is the easiest way to evaluate cardiovascular-exercise intensity. This means training at a level that allows you to speak clearly and breathe comfortably throughout all phases of your workout. If you find yourself out of breath and puffing erratically, slow your pace. The talk-test level of training allows you to exercise at 70 to 80% of your aerobic capacity, which is the best range for burning body fat.

When selecting an aerobic activity, make sure that it includes continuous motion, works the larger muscles and is enjoyable.

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