Health And Wellness

Muscles Under Threat: Will Cardio Destroy your Gains?

will cardio destroy my gains

“Will cardio destroy my gains?” A question asked a million times, and you get a million different answers every time. (Good news is, you’ll get a single answer by the end of this article).

Why a plethora of answers?

One reason is that you are either looking for yes or no, but it isn’t as simple. You see, your body works in mysterious ways ✨.

Cardio, in theory, DOES NOT destroy your gains. I mean, you’re just running it off, using your calories, you go home, you consume more calories, everything’s running smoothly, there seems to be no problem here. 

But the problem is your timing, your workout plans, and your diet. 

Let’s break it down, so you get the one answer you need. It’s a lil’ bit complicated so bear with me. 

Nutrition and Weight-Loss

Let’s start with the most basic problem. 

One day you notice that you have a tummy like Basheer uncle, and you want to get rid of it.

You immediately get up and decide on a lifestyle change, restrict your diet, ward off fats, ward off food, and start running for long hours to lose the tummy. 

And you might actually lose the fat this way, BUT you will also lose your muscles. 


Because you didn’t need to be so extreme, you needed the calories to maintain this cardio. 

Cardio did do away with your tummy because it needed to burn some calories to energize the exercise. 

But after the tummy is gone, your exercise needs calories to burn and since you’re on a strict diet, your body starts to break down your muscles!

If you do need to do that much cardio, it’s simple: Your nutrition should be on point. You need to be getting enough protein and enough macros to maintain your muscles and keep burning away your energy. 

So basically, don’t starve your body to get slim, do the opposite, eat a lot, then exercise a lot. And eating a lot doesn’t mean your parathas and oily salans 🙂.

It means a calculated diet plan that will support your exercises, and complement your workout plans.

Training Plan

Now let’s move on to bigger issues here. 

One of the biggest reasons for this conundrum is that you may be doing your training in the wrong order. 

Sounds like a small problem, but it isn’t.

The order in which you’re doing your workout depends upon your aspirations. 

For example, if you want to gain some muscle mass, you’ll need to be doing your weight lifting before cardio.

But why? 

will cardio destroy my gains

Well, it’s as simple as not tiring yourself out with excessive cardio like long-distance running and high-intensity interval training. 

Cardio tends to take up a lot of energy, leaving you not at your best potential for weight lifting. 

And when you don’t have that potential and energy, you won’t be able to build the muscles. 

What you ought to be doing is, weight lifting first, and then ending your day with some light cardio.

Similarly, if your workout goal is to lose weight and just stay fit, without getting that bulk. You’ll want to do your cardio first, burn some calories, and then end it off with weight lifting. 

It’s as we say, Exercise smart, not hard

Well, hard too, but also yk, housla 🙂. 

Why is cardio so important though?

You might just be thinking, this is a hassle just for burning calories, why even do it?

Well, cardio is always good for maintaining your cardiovascular health 🫀, it gets your heart pumping and helps you stay healthy. 

In a country where every other person is a patient with diabetes and high blood pressure, this is important. 

(Plus, as we said, you don’t want to end up with a tummy).

Secondly, cardio helps you with bulking too 💪. When you burn enough calories, it helps you maintain a calorie deficit, leaving room for your supplements (Like our very own HyperWhey😉). 

Take-Away Message 

So, what have we learned today?

YES, Cardio will destroy your gains. 

BUT only if you’re doing too much cardio, not maintaining your diet, or you’re doing the exercises in the wrong way or in the wrong order. 

See, instead of a million answers, here’s a single-liner for you 😇.  

And one last thing, there’s this thing called “too much cardio,” it’s harmful, so stay away from it. 

How to know that you’re doing too much cardio though? I mean there’s not a beeper that’ll go off if you run an extra mile. 

You just need to keep a check on the following.

  • You’re feeling sore: I mean yeah, you can feel sore, but after hitting the routine, you shouldn’t be feeling sore after 3 or 4 days. 
  • You’re feeling too much tired: Cardio can tend to place too much stress on you, so if the fatigue is getting too much, it’s a red flag. 
  • Not getting the gains: If you’re getting enough nutrition and following your muscle-gaining routine, and still not getting the gains. Maybe you’re just pushing too hard. 

If you’re experiencing this stuff, maybe ease up on your exercises, and reevaluate your routine. Limit your resistance training or other intense workouts.

Make a new plan. Keep innovating the plan, that’s how you perfect your routine. 

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