Milos Sarcev breaks down the most effective ways to burn fat from cardio… and how to avoid losing too much muscle.
For bodybuilders, cardio can often be the least favorite aspect of training. This is for two reasons. Running with so much weight on your body can be unpleasant. Secondly, while cardio helps shred off fat it can also cannibalize muscle. It’s a delicate balance that many bodybuilders hate figuring out – but it’s essential to creating the perfect physique. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Milos Sarcev breaks down the most important info on how bodybuilders can burn fat without losing too much muscle during cardio.
Bodybuilders spend their entire lives building up muscle mass. It’s one of the most vital aspects of living the bodybuilding lifestyle. So when it comes to prepping for a competition, to lose that hard earned muscle due to cardio is devastating. If not balanced correctly, it can lead to a lacking physique and lower placing.
That’s why bodybuilders have a reluctant relationship with cardio. Not only can running simply suck – but it can also destroy muscle. That being said, cardio is still an essential part of bodybuilding training. It plays a big part in creating a well conditioned and perfectly shredded physique.
That’s why we spoke in detail with Milos Sarcev about the most important tactics bodybuilders should apply during cardio. What is the best way to burn the most fat? And how do you avoid losing too much muscle in the process?
While it’s impossible to guarantee zero muscle loss, there are tips that bodybuilders can follow to prevent catastrophic muscle loss. They key is about when you run, how long you run, and how intense your period of running is.
Milos Sarcev starts out by saying that running in the morning is the best time to burn fat. Specifically, running before you eat anything after waking up. This means you are running in a fasted state. You haven’t been eating all night while asleep and haven’t loaded up via breakfast in the morning. Milos states that studies have shown this can lead up to a 30% increase in fat loss. This is also a sentiment shared by King Kamali in one of our past interviews.
That’s all well and good – but how does that help if it also cuts into your muscle? That’s where the length of running and the intensity comes in. For “normal” folk not worried about muscle mass – the rule is simple. The longer you run and the more intensely you run will lead to more fat loss.
But this can be risky for a bodybuilder, especially while fasted, as this can start utilizing glucose as an energy source which will slowly burn off muscle. To avoid this, Milos Sarcev recommends that bodybuilders don’t engage in HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio. They also shouldn’t run for an extremely long period of time.
Of course, that’s not a hard and fast rule for everyone. Milos actually believes that losing some muscle is okay if it comes at the result of a more shredded physique. HIIT can be an effective way to lose weight – which can then lead to an extremely lean physique. The cost might come at some muscle loss but Milos thinks that is less important than conditioning.
Again, it’s all a balance and each body will react different. It also goes without saying that none of this will be effective without the right kind of diet supporting the cardio. But hopefully these key insights can help create a foundation for bodybuilders who have been cutting out cardio completely.
Cardio can be a powerful tool for bodybuilders to showcase an impressive conditioned physique. It shouldn’t be overlooked but it shouldn’t be overused either. You can watch Milos Sarcev break it down in extreme detail in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.