T Nation

Cardio Catabolism


I was wondering if anyone has had success keeping LBM up while participating in intense cardio activities? I am in my mid/late 30's and have played hockey my whole life. It is one of life's enjoyments for me. I have also had a goal to weigh 225lbs(I am currently 210). I lean towards the ectomorphic side and have struggled to put weight on my whole life. Each winter the lake and some good hockey come calling.

This leads me to the same scenario every year: skip the good times and use the winter to pack on this mass I have been after or go and play (usually one 2-hour session per weekend)? I don't know if weight loss from these intense skating sessions is inevitable or if there is something more I can do to prevent this from happening. I pack myself full of carbs etc. beforehand, but it doesn't seem to help.

Makes me wonder how the NHL atheletes keep there size during their grueling seasons. I feel I may just not be able to genetically handle both and with my hormones heading in the wrong direction at my age, i'm thinking I may have to choose quickly if i'm ever to realize this 225lb. goal. Any comments are much appreciated.


I row competitively (I do a lot of cardio) and I've yet to have trouble pushing my weight up

I don't see how a single session a week would halt your progress. It could slow your progress, but a little bit of catabolism once a week would easily be overshadowed by eating a significant caloric surplus over the week as a whole IMO.

Basically, if you eat enough (accounting for exercise) your weight will go up



Eat every hour on the hour until you're at the weight you want. Just eat good things, like natural PB on a whole grain English muffin, stuff like that. Drink a gallon of whole milk per day. Blend in some protein powder.

Warning: your metabolism slows dramatically once you get into your 40s. If you get in the habit of eating a lot, you'll have trouble. Once you hit the mid-40s, you seriously have to cut the Kals.


I think "catabolism" is something worried about way too much. Your body isn't going to chew up muscle just because you are active. Cardio in moderation can help put on LBM and is good for you.


Thanks for the responses. Have you employed any specific pre-cardio nutrition that has helped reduce the catabolic effect? I just load up on liquid carbs and usually take a handful of aminos beforehand.


Just make sure to keep up your Surge and BCAAs around that cardio timeframe, that should negate most of the negative effects, then just like these guys said EAT EAT EAT!!


just hit the carbs hard.


BCAAs and carbs