In last week’s post we looked at a question raised by recent research: “Cardio or No Cardio?” And it seems that the answer may be “No Cardio” for those looking for weight loss and/or athletic advancement.

Recent research suggests that endurance exercise has the potential to inhibit strength and power gains by reducing the ability of muscle tissue hypertrophy. In addition, increased cortisol levels after endurance training when followed with strength training decreases muscle repair. This is also the proper environment for producing scar tissue, which can alter biomechanics of a joint.

Altered biomechanics and a reduced ability for muscles to repair is the perfect storm to cause injury and reduce performance. These types of changes to the muscle can have devastating effects on the goals set forth by the patient. No amount of stretching or yoga can rid the body of this type of scar tissue. Generally, deep bodywork or Active Release Technique has to be manually performed on the affected tissues to restore the muscle to health.

Instead of cardio, anyone trying to lose fat and/or build muscle should perform weight training. Athletes trying to build muscle should cycle their workouts based upon their current goals. If muscle hypertrophy is the current goal, endurance training should be eliminated or delayed until the next training cycle. Non-athletes trying to lose weight should also not do cardio at the onset of their weight-loss journey. Emphasis should be placed on strength training or high-intensity sprint training to maximize muscle composition. This will ensure increased future fat burning and overall greatly improve body-to-fat ratios.

Post-workout meals with at least 25g of whey protein and 10g of L-glutamine can further improve fat burning and muscle building. Like always a diet high in refined sugar and processed foods can destroy any gains in your workout. Remember, you cannot out exercise a bad diet. Set goals, write down your plan, work your plan, and enjoy the results!

Of course any weight-loss or muscle building plan can be greatly enhanced by chiropractic care. To schedule a consultation and exam at our Downtown Roanoke office, call us today at 540.344.1055.



Daryl C. Rich, D.C., C.S.C.S.