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Strip Fat, Build Sleek Muscles with Cardio Training

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Strength training just builds bulky muscle mass -- but balanced with a cardio-heavy workout, you'll gain the sleek muscles you crave. Try our pro's cardio workout tips.
Question: "When I strength train, I tend to bulk up rather than slim down. Could I be overdoing it?"

Answer: Most likely it's because you're not getting enough cardio in your workouts, says Todd Durkin, owner of Fitness Quest 10 gym in San Diego and 2005 ACE personal trainer of the year. "Strength training will build lean body mass, but if your muscle is hidden underneath a layer of fat, you'll appear thicker rather than sleeker," says Durkin. "Cardio is the best way to strip off the fat."

In addition to your strength-training routine, Durkin suggests:

  • Four to five bouts of cardio a week
  • Working out at between 60 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate
  • Working out for a total of at least 30 to 45 minutes

Originally published in Fitness magazine, April 2006.


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