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Does High-Frequency Cardio Really Hurt Muscle-Building If You Eat Enough?

Hey CT,

hope you and your family are fine besides the actual situation. I have a question regarding sport-specific cardio as Im playing basketball and have 1-2 shooting workouts per day lasting about 60-90min each (at around 100-120 HR so low intensity). Does it really kill my gains or does it only slow me down by like 10-15% percent?(Of course I still have a calorie surplus)

Always difficult to connect different goals in sports.

Why would it kill your gain ? Your not doing marathon everyday

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Do you really think he has a specific percentage avalable about the effects of whatever cardio on muscle hypertrophy?

Your cardio is low intensity so it should be fine really

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No didnt expect an exact number or anything, only wanted to ask if it hurts significantly or only a little bit.

Thanks for both of your answers, seems like I overworried big time.

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Unless you’re on the far end, pushing the envelope of both lifting and endurance, it’s nothing but good.

A couple hundred cals of cardio can be recovered from literally with a bag of potato chips and a glass of water (salt, potassium, carbohydrate, H2O), and it’s cardio/pulmonary benefits well outweigh a very temporary and easily remedied deficit.


How many days? -if its mon-fri/10 sessions per week then yeah that will start to have a bit of an impact.
What is your main goal? …If basketball your no1 priority you prob want to cut back to like 2 hard lift sessions a week and the rest focus on agility, shoulder prehab, core work etc


Mostly everyday, some weeks only six times.

I have 3 heavy sessions per week, 2 recovery/prehab/mobility based circuit stuff and one sprint session.

But Im not pushing anything in the shooting sessions, its mostly low intensity and no maximal efforts whatsoever. Other people ride the bike a few hours a day to work and back home, still making great gains. In that contect Im not really worrying about it anymore.

Thanks again to both of you for your input

I would not count a shooting session as cardio, certainly not as hard cardio. The heart rate will not only get elevated because of the “cardiovascular demands” but also because of the need for an increase in brain activity due to the shooting.

“Cardio” can limit gains two ways:

  1. Putting you in a caloric deficit, which won’t happen if you consume enough food

  2. Increasing AMPK an enzyme that can counteract the increase in mTOR activity from the listing sessions and which can decrease protein synthesis.

In the later case, the amount o AMPK is highly correlated with the need for fat oxidation. I doubt that it will be very high from a shooting session.

I personally would not think that if you eat enough these sessions would interfere much, if at all, with muscle growth.

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