A large number of bodybuilders are perplexed regarding the role of aerobic activity, with some feeling that such effort is necessary to control body fat levels, while others embracing the idea that cardiovascular exercise will in effect either burn away muscle mass, or limit future muscle building dramatically. The latter group's fear has caused many bodybuilders to avoid aerobic activity during muscle building periods, and even shy away from cardiovascular exercise when fat loss is the primary goal, but for many, the question remains as to whether the aerobic activity hysteria is well founded, or if this idea is instead a part of bodybuilding mythology.

Most bodybuilders do realize the value of aerobic activity in fat burning, but the worry begins when they consider the impact to muscle mass, and this idea has forced certain bodybuilders to replace their moderately intense aerobic routines with power walking, feeling that this is sufficiently intense to burn fat, but below the threshold for muscle loss. I often try to determine in my mind where exactly these ideas originate, and a group may have possibly felt so attracted to the idea of putting forth less effort (which is the case when comparing power walking to jogging), that they began promoting this rather foolish concept, or a group of marketers felt that they could design a particular program filled with propaganda, namely a simple to follow routine that will convince readers to sign up due to the magnificent effortless promises. Of course, such routines have repeatedly proven themselves to be abysmal failures, with horrid results. Yet, what bodybuilder does not enjoy the thought of reducing effort and achieving superior progress? Taking this idea one step further, do you know of any bodybuilder who would reject an excuse to abandon aerobic exercise completely if he or she were convinced that doing so was helpful to muscle gains?

Yes, the idea of evil aerobics sounds very attractive to those who wish to reduce effort, and marketing is an industry where the senses are tickled to the point of emotional purchase, but the virtues taught decades ago, such as "hard work pays dividends" are never replaced by marketing slogans, despite the effort of many physical fitness entrepreneurs to do so. The truth is, making aerobics seem wasteful is an excellent method at encouraging a bodybuilder to invest financially in a particular muscle building and fat loss system, because every one of us feels a sense of intrigue at the idea of more couch time producing superior results, but this particular gimmick does not translate into real world progress. Wherever the idea originated, marketers have used the "aerobics burns muscle" idea to market their own products, despite the fact that aerobic activity is not only effective in burning body fat when performed correctly and consistently, but is not a hindrance to muscle building.

All bodybuilders realize that his or her physique will deteriorate in overall aesthetic beauty as body fat begins to climb, and conversely, will improve extraordinarily as body fat declines. Therefore, prudence suggests that any body fat control technique should be employed at all times in order for the best possible bodybuilding results, and if aerobic activity is in fact an effective fat control mechanism, then it behooves all who seek the best possible bodybuilding progress to integrate aerobic activity into their regular workout plan.

The only exception to this rule is if a bodybuilder aims for muscle building, and due to time constraints or emotional inability to accept additional workout time, he or she feels simply unable to maintain maximum intensity during weight lifting workouts when aerobic activity is an additional burden; in such a scenario, aerobics can be saved for fat loss periods only, when weight lifting workout volume declines. But for those who have the time and wherewithal to perform consistent aerobic activity, integrating aerobics several days per week is prudent, even during muscle building phases, as the less body fat that is accumulated during muscle gain, the more focus can be maintained on achieving new muscle growth, and the more definition a bodybuilder will experience throughout the year.

Therefore, despite the skeptics and marketing experts who may claim otherwise, aerobic activity is helpful in fat loss, will not risk muscle when following an effective diet plan and weight training routine, and will improve metabolism so that body fat levels can remain acceptable at all times. If you are seeking maximum bodybuilding results, and wish to avoid extended fat loss periods, then consider aerobics to be your trusted fat burning ally.

Author's Bio: 

Francesco Castano is the owner of IncrediBody, a physical fitness company dedicated to helping others learn exactly how to gain muscle mass and lose weight without supplements or drugs. He authors two programs, one called MuscleNOW, teaching the correct bodybuilding diet and weight training program for muscle gain at MuscleNOW.com, and Fat Vanish, which teaches how to lose weight & burn fat for natural weight loss, at FatVanish.com. He includes lifetime email personal training with both programs, where he personally assists all of his clients with training and diet questions, and has hundreds of testimonials validating the effectiveness of his techniques. He also offers weight training equipment, protein powder and fitness accessories at IncrediBody.com. Please visit his web sites, and feel free to contact Francesco at any time with your muscle building or weight loss questions!