Do High Heart Rate Exercises Help Or Hurt Muscle Growth?

Written by
Brian Leddy
Strong sportsman exercising with skipping rope 2024 01 05 21 03 21 utc

While the bulk of muscle growth occurs during focused strength training, there's an intriguing connection between high heart rate exercises and enhancing hypertrophy. 

Research suggests that pushing your heart rate to its limits at the end of a workout may create a hormonal environment conducive to muscle growth, potentially through increased blood flow and the release of growth factors. 

In our previous article, we shared some tips from Peter Attia's chat with Andy Galpin chat related to isometrics. Now let's see how high intensity bursts, if strategically integrated, can get your heart rate pumping AND support muscle growth.

High Heart Rate Exercises and Muscle Growth:

You may have heard in the past that high heart rate exercises would be detrimental to your muscle gains, or at the very least, a waste of time.

New research is showing that due to increased blood flow and hormonal responses triggered by intense exercise, it might create a good environment for muscle growth after all.

Potential Benefits: In Peter Attia's interview with Andy Galpin they talk about how high heart rate exercises at the end of a workout may have a positive impact on muscle growth, potentially through increased blood flow and hormonal responses.

Types of Exercises: Examples of high heart rate exercises include sprints, Tabata intervals (20 seconds of intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated for 4 minutes), and other activities that elevate your heart rate to near maximum.

Timing: Perform high heart rate exercises at the end of your workout, after your strength training is completed.

Duration: Aim for a few minutes of high-intensity exercise to elevate your heart rate.

Frequency: Start with 1-2 sessions per week and gradually increase frequency based on your fitness level and recovery.

Additional Tips for Getting High Heart Rate Exercise:

To get the most out of this add-on approach, here are some extra considerations:

Variety: Experiment with different activities like running, cycling, jumping rope, or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to keep your workouts engaging.

Intensity: Push yourself to a level of exertion that feels challenging but sustainable.

Consult a Professional: If you have any underlying health conditions, consult with a doctor or qualified trainer before starting a high-intensity exercise program.

Remember, these are just general guidelines. For personalized advice and a tailored workout plan, consider consulting with a certified trainer or fitness professional.

Brian Leddy Profile Image
Brian Leddy CEO & Co-Founder, BodyStack (FDN-P)
Certified Functional Diagnostic Practitioner (FDN-P) and owner of Leddy Functional Wellness. Formerly an Adweek Executive and Media Entreprenuer, Brian pivoted his career to focus on inspiring and coaching people from all walks of life to make positive strides in their respective health journeys. Brian is a Co-Founder, and now serves as the CEO of BodyStack.
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