T Nation

Muscles without Cardio?


I'm a former cardio queen who has a hard time gaining muscle. Over the years I've gone from 2 hours of cardio a day to 30 minutes 5-6x/week in addition to weight training. A trainer at the gym told me I should concentrate on weights and forgo cardio or, if I have to do it, then only 2x week, 30 minutes max, at 70% of my max heart rate.
Has anyone tried this with success? I'm a little anxious about forgoing cardio - even tho I'm thin I have visions of gaining weight in all the places I don't want it (butt/legs). However, if it does work then it will be worth it. Any experiences you want to share or advice to give, I'd appreciate it.


A lot of women in PW focus on strenght without cardio, myself included and with good results. I add cardio and complexes 4-6 weeks prior to bikini type vacations.

You never know what works for you until you try, and all depending on your goals. If those are increase muscle mass and strength I would say give it an honest 3 months try. If you don't like the results you can start adding the cardio slowly.

good luck.


I think everyone is different, but I absolutely increased body fat when I ceased cardio, while continuing to lift regularly. But I agree with main, why not try to get stronger and add a few pounds and cut later. A side benefit is that quite a few people actually like a stronger curvier body, but it really depends on what your self-image will tolerate.

Good luck!


its mostly diet unfortunately or fortunately however you look at it! Protein intake and just proper nutrition,not over doing the calories to keep the badness form happening to legs and buts and stuff.

I have cardio queen-itis in my genes as well. and was an addict..and can get hooked now and then..but it leads nowhere really special...just sweaty.

BUT as a general rule if you are doing pushing yourself enough with wt's you can ditch conventional cardio, just watch your food. I have trouble not doing SOMETHING that makes my heart rate up. Complexes, reps, things that make you have your arms over your head seem to work for me.


cdf - I'm a long time runner. I finally stopped a year ago, to focus on body comp change and try to gain muscle. I was having a hard time putting on and keeping any muscle with all the running. You can see some of my progress pics in my log. I still love to run, and am toying with trying to do it a couple of times a week, just because it's something I love to do.

Several of the women who log here also run. You might want to see what Nadia is doing. For me, it was worth it to just focus on the weights. Nothing will change the way your body looks like lifting. Look at all the athletic looking women in Oxygen. They are lifting heavy.