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Old 07-13-2011, 09:01 AM   #2
BendtheBar
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Louisiana
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Training Exp: 20+ years
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Here is something I hear pretty commonly from new training clients. It goes along the lines of:

I want to run 3-5 days a week for 3-7 miles--I like to run.
I also want to do MMA (you can substitute basketball, baseball, soccer, mountain biking, whatever) 3-5 times a week.
I want to get as big and strong as possible as fast as possible.
I want to get and stay as lean as possible.

DAMN, you can't do that all at once--as simple as that. I never try and persuade someone to give up their sports. Lots of lifters use the weights to help their sport performance. And I do encourage all my clients do to both low intensity and high intensity (usually HIIT) cardio. But running 5 miles 3 times a week is a different thing altogether.

You need to figure out what you want most and make that your primary focus and other interests secondary. If a guy wants to do MMA 5 days a week he simply isn't going to be as massive as possible as if he just weight trained and did a reasonable amount of cardio. If a guy wants to run 5-7 miles 3-5 days a week he is likely going to find a very rough road ahead if he is trying to accrue muscle mass at a fast pace--running and mass accrual are NOT complimentary.

In other words, figure out what is most important to you and work on that with the understanding that your other interests and goals will be secondary. You can do MMA multiple days a week and gain size and strength. You will not however gain at anything near an optimal pace if your fight training is vigorous. If you want high endurance, by all means go for it with the understanding that you will be compromising your ability to gain size and strength at a fast pace. If you want to gain muscle at a fast pace 5 or so low intensity cardio days and 2-3 20 minute HIIT sessions is about the max for most lifters tolerate well in my experience.

You can gain muscle well at 10-12% bodyfat--you cannot in most cases do so at 6-8%

While you certainly can try and do it all at once, you will soon find that everything suffers with this approach.

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