Should You Do Cardio If You're Trying To Build Your Glutes?
When you’re training to add size to your legs and glutes, the type and amount of cardio you do, along with what you eat, can affect the gains you’re trying to achieve. The best cardio to assist with this goal would include sprint training and lower body HIIT or met-con training. The worst type of cardio would include long-duration, over 60 minutes of steady-state cardio, for example, long-distance runs.
Watch my Youtube video below to take some of the guess-work out of choosing the best cardio for you! I am going to walk you through three of the WORST cardio options if trying to build your booty as well as the best cardio for legs and glutes!
What Cardio Is Not Good For Gaining Muscle?
LONG DURATION RUNNING
Long-duration running can generally be classified as over 60 minutes in a single session. Some examples include outdoor distance running or long runs on the treadmill. The issue with these marathon-like sessions is that they will likely cause you to deplete your glycogen stores. Glycogen is the sugar stored in your muscle and liver and is the preferred fuel source for your body. When this happens, your body can enter a catabolic state, where your body starts to burn protein. When this happens, it will make it harder to create or keep new muscle, and this is one reason this type of cardio is not a good choice if you are trying to increase muscle mass.
What Cardio Should You Do If You're Trying To Build Glutes
1. HIIT sprints
HIIT Sprints offer a multitude of benefits. One fantastic benefit that will go along with your goals is increased muscle mass in the legs.
Researchers in a study conducted at Taylor University, USA, Kinesiology Department led 12 college students through a series of HIIT-style sprint workouts over ten weeks. The workouts consisted of a 10-minute warm-up followed by four sets of running for four minutes at 90-95%HR Max followed by 3 minutes rest at 70% HR Max 3 days a week (non-consecutively). They also had a control group of 5 people that did not partake in the HIIT training. The study’s conclusion measured the level of hypertrophy (muscle gain) of the circumference of the vastus lateralis ( front of thigh). The result was a 10.6% increase in muscle fiber area in the HIIT group and a minor decrease in size in the control group. This study shows the ability to cause hypertrophy of the legs through HIIT training.
So, not only is HIIT great for your heart, you can gain some size doing it; this is a great reason to add this workout for your Booty Building Goals!
Below I take two of my Hourglass Workout members through an intense sprint workout. Check it out if you’d like to try the drill as well.
2. Bike Sprints
Another one of my faves! perhaps not overly popular but extremely effective! What I love about bike sprints is that you can adjust both the intensity or strength of the bike AND your speed … and go HAM! Both bike and running sprints are much more effective for fat loss than steady state cardio (more on this on my cardio post here!)
3. Stair Runs
For you, advanced girls, try strapping on a weighted vest and get to those stairs! I won’t lie this is an extremely challenging way of doing cardio… but again super effective at keeping those legs thick (in a good way) and for fat loss!
I hope you enjoyed this post! For more awesome training and glute subscribe to my Youtube channel!