Can Cardio Exercises Build Muscle?

Just what is cardio? Cardio is any low-intensity activity that is done for a prolonged period of time, such as:

  1. Jogging
  2. Skipping
  3. Swimming
  4. Rowing
  5. Cycling

All of these are aerobic activities that primarily engage the heart and the lungs, leading to more efficient energy transportation. This then leads to increased levels of endurance, where the individual can eventually sustain the activity for hours on end. However, prolonged low-intensity activities only engage slow-twitch muscle fibres which do not have large potential for growth.

Nevertheless, there are ways to use cardio exercises AND build muscle. SPRINTS!! By definition, sprints have all the characteristics of a muscle building exercise, because they involve short, power bursts that engage the fast-twitch muscle fibres – they are applicable to any cardio exercise, whether it’s swimming, cycling, running or skipping.

Sprints should be in the training arsenal of every self-respecting trainee, who is looking to maximize the aesthetic development and strength of their lower body.