I’m often asked what the best way to decrease body fat while maintaining muscle mass – diet or cardiovascular exercise (low intensity steady state).
Below are a few articles which show if you do low intensity steady state cardiovascular exercise and strength training at the same time, you lose the benefits of both! Training for strength and cardiovascular endurance (via low intensity steady state cardiovascular exercise) concurrently decreases gains in:
- Cardiovascular fitness,
- strength and
- muscle mass. 1,2,3,4
So, if you have a desire to lean out and shred while maintaining your hard earned muscle mass, do so without low intensity steady state cardiovascular exercise, and focus on an impeccable diet.
- Neuromuscular adaptations during concurrent strength and endurance training versus strength training. Häkkinen K, Alen M, Kraemer WJ, Gorostiaga E, Izquierdo M, Rusko H, Mikkola J, Häkkinen A, Valkeinen H, Kaarakainen E, Romu S, Erola V, Ahtiainen J, Paavolainen L. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2003 Mar;89(1):42-52.
- Comparison of two lower-body modes of endurance training on lower-body strength development while concurrently training. Gergley JC. J Strength Cond Res. 2009 May;23(3):979-87.
- Concurrent resistance and endurance training influence basal metabolic rate in nondieting individuals. Dolezal BA, Potteiger JA. J Appl Physiol. 1998 Aug;85(2):695-700.
- Effect of concurrent endurance and circuit resistance training sequence on muscular strength and power development. Chtara M, Chaouachi A, Levin GT, Chaouachi M, Chamari K, Amri M, Laursen PB. J Strength Cond Res. 2008 Jul;22(4):1037-45.
From an article on humanengine.com (May 2012)