Building muscle mass is always a priority, but you shouldn’t discard cardio, if you want to be lean, and what’s more important – healthy. However, different people will need different amount of cardio.
Endomorphs (people with body type which is predisposed to store more fat than others) and people who are already overweight will obviously need more cardiovascular training than mesomorphs (people who tend to gain muscle easier than others and have wider shoulders/torso) and much more than ectomorphs (who are thin and not predisposed to build muscle or store fat. Note – that doesn’t mean you can’t become huge and muscular, it just means you need to put more work into it) or people who are really skinny at the moment.
Endomorphs could do up to 5 short cardio sessions per week, not more. As we explained in one of the previous articles, intense cardio session should last just 20 minutes or so. For Endomorphs it’s wise to do longer sessions, up to 30 minutes, but it’s important to limit it number of cardiovascular training to 4-5. More than that and you will lose a lot of muscle along with fat.
Mesomorphs will do fine with three 20-25 minute sessions per week. They don’t need excess cardio, but 3 sessions would drastically help with looks. And mesomorphs shouldn’t worry much about losing muscle from cardio.
Ectomorphs can do 2-3 sessions 15-20 minute long each, and if you are really skinny, we encourage you to skip all cardio altogether at start and focus on building muscle first. At least for few first months, after that you can integrate few short cardio trainings and slightly increase it when you get bigger.
If you have ultra-fast metabolism (you will discover this fast, when you start intense training) – keep cardio to a minimum, because it will burn your muscles quite fast. It’s both a blessing and a curse, because it’s so much easier to get cut, but it’s also so much easier to lose muscle if you skip training or two, slightly mess up your diet or do some cardio.
Adam Charlton is one of these guys. He says he doesn’t do any cardio at all, and he is ripped beyond belief. Of course he uses fat burners and maybe even some diuretics, but the fact that some people can achieve this look without cardio is astonishing. We wouldn’t recommend doing that though, because heavy, intense lifting without any cardiovascular activity will cause problems with your heart and your blood pressure (it will be heightened) in a long term. And that’s not just a theory, it’s a fact proven by medical research.
Determining your somatic body type should be quite easy. But if you need additional assistance just search Google and read more info about these 3 body types, or you can use this calculator to find it out easily – http://www.superskinnyme.com/body_type_calculator.html
It’s a rough method, but it should give you an idea of your body type. Based on that you will know how much cardio do you really need per week.