However, whether or not you are going to "burn muscle" is going to be dependent on your NUTRITION, and if your nutrition is set up for you re fat loss and is good throughout the day (post-training nutrition the MOST important meal of the day), then there is no reason why you should lose any muscle mass.
I definitely recommend high intensity over low intensity cardio for fat loss. However, post-weights, it's up to the individual, because they need to take into account how their body is feeling and what they can handle, etc.
I think doing cardio post workout is the worst thing you can do. If you want to do cardio, do it on a separate day. Doing it post workout is only going to put you in a more catabolic state. Low intensity cardio has been proven more effective at fat loss. Sure you may lose at little muscle but you have to take the good with the bad. Thats life.
The thing is with this subject your going to get a lot of different opinions. I actually enjoy cardio, don't know why some people don't. If it wasn't for the muscle loss I would do low intensity cardio daily. I always get upset when I lose even a little bit of strength and that is why I end up quiting doing cardio. I plan on starting up again though and will do low intensity for 1 hour 3 times a week. This time I'll be adding Xtend intra and beta alanine pre cardio though to hopefully cut down on muscle loss. I hate sprints and interval type cardio, just not enjoyable to me. I find something thats bearable and that I enjoy and usually stick to it till I get upset about losing maybe 2-3 reps on any of my weight training exercises. I don't know maybe thats just me because I get upset easily. This time I won't stop though!. I promise myself that!.
I started out decades ago lifting and then running, then when my knees gave out - tried the treadmill ... when ellipticals came along - did those. Usually always for 40 - 50 mins at a good intensity. It was great for getting into shape and staying lean - but I could only build so much muscle.
Then ... I started ROWING.
I don't know - but for me - rowing seems to be a lot less catabolic. I can't justify that all except by saying that it works for me and I can still gain weight. I've recently cut down from the 40 min workouts and I'm now experimenting with Tabata protocol ... 10 mins at mod intensity - then 8 intervals (20 secs "on" and 10 secs "off"). I'm still playing with it to get something I am happy with but it may hold some promise.
I also LOVE the physiqe that rowing produces combined with my weight training. My delts have blown up along with my lats and the lat spread is awesome. I'm a tall guy ... and the trimming on my waist has made my torso look elongated. Rowing also involves a lot of "core" muscles - so my abs and obliques get cut nicely. I really like rowing - but you have to do it with proper form.
Fat loss isn't the only good thing about Cardio. Its absolutely great for lowering blood pressure.
Schools gonna be in the way when i start my cut so i can either do cardio in the morn and weight lifting in the afternoon or weight lifting and cardio together in the afternoon which ones is the least catabolic combination? BTW weight lifting in the morn is an option but i prefer not having to wake up at 5 am!
Have you thought about HIIT? As your form of cardio. works better for fat loss while retaining muscle.
Basically, the type you do is FAR less important than you actually DOING IT ON A CONSISTANT basis.
For instance, someone who can sustain 30 min of low intensity every day for a month straight, is going to IMO experience better results than someone who does high intensity but only sticks to it 2 or 3 times a week.
You need to pick something that you are going to be able sustain on a consistant basis, as consistancy is the key with cardio, not the type you do.
As far as fat loss, one does not even have to do cardio to lose fat effectively and successfully - as long as they are resistance training.
That is so true Rosie. I was worried I wasn't losing any fat on my high volume training routine I recently started. I mean I was but thought I was at a sticking point. My wife was telling me I was looking skinnier and what do you know for the last two weeks I have been losing 2 pounds a week. Thats the perfect amount to me. Anything over that and you start to lose muscle. So I think I may hold off on the cardio and little while longer. My strength has even gone up in the gym on some exercises and at least maintained on others. Of course I believe diet has a lot to do with it.
Well, for instance I do both. weights 5 days a week, cardio all 7 days a week....without fail, I haven't missed a day of either in about 6 years probably. But I know this sounds somewhat weird, but when I get a bit heavier and my bf is up around 17-18 percent, I can keep my cals REALLLY low, like just over 2k and do weights and cardio just fine and lose weight at a 2lbs a week rate, everything is just great. And then everytime without fail, when I get down to around the 10-11 percent bf mark, everything changes. I have to keep my cals at around 3k (my bodyweight is around 185-190) if I'm going to be doing weights plus cardio every day just to keep my metabolism going, and keep my body from shutting down my metabolism. Which I'm sure you know you can tell when that happens. Just seems odd to me because at 3k cals, that's basically not even really a calorie deficit for me. That's about maintenance.
I guess I just attribute it to the fact that now that my body does not have so much extra bf to use up, it needs to be fed more for the amount of training I do to keep itself going and keep from going catabolic.
It somewhat throws me for a loop because I was always led to believe that as you cut down in weight your maintenance calorie level also drops, you need less to maintain your current weight, so when i'm 185-190 i SHOULD need LESS calories to keep losing weight than I did when I am at 205-210. But it seems to be the opposite for me.
Is that possible?