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  1. #1
    Registered User superbeeron's Avatar
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    Does cardio burn body fat while bulking?

    this question has been bothering me for a while. I am currently bulking and i do cardio 1-2 times a week on my non-lifting days for a little less than an hour. My understanding of cardio it burns calories and increases endurance. (Put aside its other benefits to general health for this question)

    If bulking = eating above maintain calories and cutting body fat = calorie deficit then what is the purpose for cardio while bulking?

    My maintainence level is 2500 calories. I take 300 calories to replace the calories used during a weight training session. I take another 500 calories to gain weight/build muscle. Therefore on weight days i take 3300 calories n rest days 3000 calories. Therefore if i burn 300 calories in a cardio session, that means i need to eat 3300 calories to gain weight on a cardio day. However we know cardio does not build muscle so what exactly was my purpose in doing an hour of cardio? Wouldnt it be exactly the same if I stayed at home n cut my calories down to 3000?

    I might be making some seriously wrong assumptions here, but this question has been puzzling me ever since i started weight training.
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  2. #2
    Registered User Birddog6424's Avatar
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    The body gets it's energy from several sources. If you can manipulate your cardio to oxidize fat, then you are burning fat while bulking without muscle loss.
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  3. #3
    Registered User superbeeron's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Birddog6424 View Post
    The body gets it's energy from several sources. If you can manipulate your cardio to oxidize fat, then you are burning fat while bulking without muscle loss.
    n how can i do my cardio this way? losing fat on a bulk would be a dream come true! altho i have many characteristics of an ectomorph, small frame, small bones etc, ive always had a weird relationship with bodyfat. i have never had proper defined abs even when i was 115lbs at 5'8
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  4. #4
    Registered User Birddog6424's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by superbeeron View Post
    n how can i do my cardio this way?
    Now that's the question, isn't it

    The simplest method is probably to do 20 to 30 minute moderate or LISS cardio after weightlifting. The body has already dug deep into glycogen stores and is more likely to burn fat. It's a pretty common method.

    I'm not much of a "supp kiddie" but I do like using BCAAs for a little added insurance before hopping on the treadmill. Seems to work.
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  5. #5
    Registered User superbeeron's Avatar
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    okay ill give it a go! altho I am a bit tight budget wise. Would the bcaa's in a whey shake suffice? I usually take a whey/dextrose shake after i work out, so i should just save the dextrose until after I finish the cardio to prevent from replenishing the gylcogen stores?
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  6. #6
    Registered User Birddog6424's Avatar
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    Hold off on the dextrose. All carbs for that matter till after the cardio.

    The BCAAs aren't a necessity. The nice thing about them is they have been shown to be in the bloodstream within 15 minutes of consumption. Whey, though still pretty fast, isn't as fast as that.

    I would just usually chug some Purple Wrath or Xtend with about 15 to 20 minutes left in my lifting routine, then hop on the treadmill.

    If you are on a good high protein diet you will be fine.
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  7. #7
    Minister for Propoganda gomez26's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by superbeeron View Post
    n how can i do my cardio this way? losing fat on a bulk would be a dream come true!
    'burning fat' means losing fat (from under ur skin) only if u are in calorie deficit. otherwise burning fat just means burning fat molecules floating around in ur blood for energy from ur diet intake. ur not gonna lose fat from under ur skin on a bulk, doing cardio perhaps prevents the extent of storing some of it.

    i believe that doing some cardio during bulking is a good idea because it boosts overall metabolism. there is no hard science behind this, but the additional benefits to heart & cardio health are well worth the assumption as long as it doesnt cut into ur resources too much.

    the body uses all fuel systems at all times, u dont just burn carbs during weights & just burn fat during cardio. no such hard switch exists - carbs are simply favored during weights while fat is favored during cardio. and like i said this refers to fat & carb molecules floating around in the blood, the 'cardio for fat burn' doesnt apply to fat under ur skin unless u are in deficit, which u arent if ur bulking. perhaps this is where the confusion comes from.
    "Though the concept is not scientifically validated in detail (it should be considered as a hypothesis rather than a scientific theory), it is useful from a practical standpoint. When training athletes, it is impossible to wait until scientific research provides all of the necessary knowledge." Vladmir M. Zatsiorsky, Ph.D.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Birddog6424's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gomez26 View Post
    'burning fat' means losing fat (from under ur skin) only if u are in calorie deficit. otherwise burning fat just means burning fat molecules floating around in ur blood for energy from ur diet intake. ur not gonna lose fat from under ur skin on a bulk, doing cardio perhaps prevents the extent of storing some of it.

    i believe that doing some cardio during bulking is a good idea because it boosts overall metabolism. there is no hard science behind this, but the additional benefits to heart & cardio health are well worth the assumption as long as it doesnt cut into ur resources too much.

    the body uses all fuel systems at all times, u dont just burn carbs during weights & just burn fat during cardio. no such hard switch exists - carbs are simply favored during weights while fat is favored during cardio. and like i said this refers to fat & carb molecules floating around in the blood, the 'cardio for fat burn' doesnt apply to fat under ur skin unless u are in deficit, which u arent if ur bulking. perhaps this is where the confusion comes from.
    That's a good point.

    Trying to burn fat while bulking doesn't really allow you to go both ways. As in lose fat, gain muscle. We all know that does happen for some folks depending on their level of experience, but it's pretty difficult to maintain muscle gains and fat loss at the same time.

    Doing cardio on a bulk can reduce the amount of fat stored/gained while bulking.
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  9. #9
    Registered User GodfreyW777's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gomez26 View Post
    'burning fat' means losing fat (from under ur skin) only if u are in calorie deficit. otherwise burning fat just means burning fat molecules floating around in ur blood for energy from ur diet intake. ur not gonna lose fat from under ur skin on a bulk, doing cardio perhaps prevents the extent of storing some of it.

    i believe that doing some cardio during bulking is a good idea because it boosts overall metabolism. there is no hard science behind this, but the additional benefits to heart & cardio health are well worth the assumption as long as it doesnt cut into ur resources too much.

    the body uses all fuel systems at all times, u dont just burn carbs during weights & just burn fat during cardio. no such hard switch exists - carbs are simply favored during weights while fat is favored during cardio. and like i said this refers to fat & carb molecules floating around in the blood, the 'cardio for fat burn' doesnt apply to fat under ur skin unless u are in deficit, which u arent if ur bulking. perhaps this is where the confusion comes from.
    But if there are no fats in the diet, then it must come out of the body storage.
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  10. #10
    Minister for Propoganda gomez26's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GodfreyW777 View Post
    But if there are no fats in the diet, then it must come out of the body storage.
    there is absolutely no way that someone who is eating a calorie surplus will cut into their subcutaneous fat storage for energy requirements. cannot happen.

    like i said, the body burns both fat & sugars all the time while doing everything, it simply favors sugars during weight training while it favors fat during cardio.

    in ur hypothetical situation of someone not eating any fats at all in the diet (which is a stupid idea anyway because u need them for a proper hormone development) the body will simply use sugars instead, or, given that a surplus is being eaten, some of the surplus calories that are converted to fat may be used for energy before being added to existing subcutaneous storage levels. but there is no way existing subcutaneous fat storage will be cut into to be used for energy requirements if a surplus is being eaten, this is simply impossible.

    this has nothing to do with recomp, recomp involves eating at maintenance & reducing existing body fat levels while gaining muscle. op is suggesting eating a surplus & somehow targeting & reducing existing body fat levels.
    Last edited by gomez26; 04-08-2011 at 04:35 AM.
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  11. #11
    Doesn't Eat Wheaties MWheatley's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gomez26 View Post
    there is absolutely no way that someone who is eating a calorie surplus will cut into their subcutaneous fat storage for energy requirements. cannot happen.

    like i said, the body burns both fat & sugars all the time while doing everything, it simply favors sugars during weight training while it favors fat during cardio.

    in ur hypothetical situation of someone not eating any fats at all in the diet (which is a stupid idea anyway because u need them for a proper hormone development) the body will simply use sugars instead, or, given that a surplus is being eaten, some of the surplus calories that are converted to fat may be used for energy before being added to existing subcutaneous storage levels. but there is no way existing subcutaneous fat storage will be cut into to be used for energy requirements if a surplus is being eaten, this is simply impossible.

    this has nothing to do with recomp, recomp involves eating at maintenance & reducing existing body fat levels while gaining muscle. op is suggesting eating a surplus & somehow targeting & reducing existing body fat levels.
    You definitely can. I dont know the science mumbo-jumbo behind it but ive seen it first hand.
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    Originally Posted by MWheatley View Post
    You definitely can. I dont know the science mumbo-jumbo behind it but ive seen it first hand.
    u can lose and gain at the same time?



    mind = blown
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  13. #13
    The Wrong Advices. delineator's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MWheatley View Post
    You definitely can. I dont know the science mumbo-jumbo behind it but ive seen it first hand.
    This is the science mumbo-jumbo behind reducing bodyfat levels while eating a calorie surplus.



    Where you are getting confused is bodyfat levels vs bodyfat%. They are not the same. Its ok, I'll explain it for you.

    What g26 was referring to is cutting into your bodyfat levels to use for energy requirements. He is correct 100% that you cant do this while eating a surplus (unless for above LOL). However you can reduce your bodyfat% while not losing any fat. In fact (sit own for this one dude) - you can actually reduce your bodyfat% while gaining bodyfat levels.
    Originally Posted by joebrosef View Post
    mind = blown
    Its actually simple maths, not deep mind fukk science.

    To maintain the same bodyfat% you need to gain both fat & muscle in a ratio that is the same as your current %. So if someone is 10% bodyfat, they gain 9lbs of muscle and 1lb of fat & they remain at 10%. If this person was to gain less than 1lb of fat (say only 0.5lb of fat) with the 10lbs of muscle their bodyfat% actually drops. WOW you say (I know, right ).
    Dont think. Just do it.
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  14. #14
    That proves nothing. Gxp23's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by delineator View Post
    This is the science mumbo-jumbo behind reducing bodyfat levels while eating a calorie surplus.



    Where you are getting confused is bodyfat levels vs bodyfat%. They are not the same. Its ok, I'll explain it for you.

    What g26 was referring to is cutting into your bodyfat levels to use for energy requirements. He is correct 100% that you cant do this while eating a surplus (unless for above LOL). However you can reduce your bodyfat% while not losing any fat. In fact (sit own for this one dude) - you can actually reduce your bodyfat% while gaining bodyfat levels.

    Its actually simple maths, not deep mind fukk science.

    To maintain the same bodyfat% you need to gain both fat & muscle in a ratio that is the same as your current %. So if someone is 10% bodyfat, they gain 9lbs of muscle and 1lb of fat & they remain at 10%. If this person was to gain less than 1lb of fat (say only 0.5lb of fat) with the 10lbs of muscle their bodyfat% actually drops. WOW you say (I know, right ).
    So how would you change your diet to make sure that you take on alot more muslce than fat as a % ofc, without dropping too much of those precious fats you need for a good hormone production etc? im not saying your wrong im genuinley intrueged to how you can do this lol,
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    Originally Posted by MWheatley View Post
    You definitely can. I dont know the science mumbo-jumbo behind it but ive seen it first hand.
    Its illusion.

    Adding muscle will give the appearance of being leaner.

    So someone who is 10% with muscle will look a lot leaner than someone who is 10% with little muscle





    Here is the article where it came from:
    http://www.leighpeele.com/body-fat-p...nd-percentages

    Note that the muscular people above actually carry more fat mass levels, they need it to maintain the percentage given that they carry more muscle mass. If the muscular guy is 200lbs, he carries 20lbs of fat. If the skinny guy is 150lbs he carries only 15lbs of fat.

    I agree you can't reduce your body fat mass while on a surplus, pretty much as was explained above. You can't cut into this resource if you are eating above maintenance.

    But you can gain muscle thus reducing your body-fat percentage as deltinator said, or even just the appearance of it like this article shows.
    Last edited by perpendicularis; 04-08-2011 at 05:54 AM.
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    The Wrong Advices. delineator's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Gxp23 View Post
    So how would you change your diet to make sure that you take on alot more muslce than fat as a % ofc, without dropping too much of those precious fats you need for a good hormone production etc? im not saying your wrong im genuinley intrueged to how you can do this lol,
    Not sure what you're asking, my main point was to prove what was already stated that its impossible to reduce your bodyfat stores while on a surplus. So if you carry 20lbs of fat, you cant drop it down to 19lbs if you eat a surplus. The way you look leaner is by adding muscle which reduces your fat% or even keep it the same as perpendicularis posted above, further strengthening my point.

    In reality you cant control things that precisely down to the exact percentage. The hypothetical situation was just to point what is possible, and what is not. That's where the confusion started.

    Btw, the pic is of an anabolic steroid in case you didn't realize, my point was that this is the only way you can do what MWheatly is technically suggesting.
    Dont think. Just do it.
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    I read an article once if you are trying to lose weight do cardio first and if you are trying to bulk do a light cardio after your workout.
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    Originally Posted by SuperCK View Post
    I read an article once if you are trying to lose weight do cardio first and if you are trying to bulk do a light cardio after your workout.
    I would ignore that article if I were you.

    Save your cardio for after your weight lifting. If you are trying to lose weight, work hard at weightlifting to burn calories, retain muscle and strength. Cardio afterwards.

    If you are bulking, lift hard and heavy, light cardio afterward if you choose to try to keep down fat levels.

    Cardio on non-lifting days you can do as you please.
    Semper Fidelis
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    All exercise burns fat, fat is always being burned by the body to various degrees. It's just an insignificant amount/ratio when you're in storage mode because your body is making fatty acids to put in your lipid cells rather than freeing them.

    Originally Posted by superbeeron View Post
    My understanding of cardio it burns calories and increases endurance.
    Cardio means working the heart and increasing its endurance. It does burn calories, as does lifting weights, as does staying alive. It can increase the endurance of your heart for pumping blood, and there's also a benefit to your lungs and general circulatory system. More specific benefits depend on which muscles are working.

    Originally Posted by superbeeron View Post
    If bulking = eating above maintain calories and cutting body fat = calorie deficit then what is the purpose for cardio while bulking?
    Maintaining heart health, potentially enhancing recovery, freeing up some glycogen space so your body will store sugar there instead of making it into fat.

    Originally Posted by perpendicularis View Post
    Its illusion. Adding muscle will give the appearance of being leaner. So someone who is 10% with muscle will look a lot leaner than someone who is 10% with little muscle

    These pictures are a horrible example because people are tanned and have cut off body hair and are posing and flexiing their muscles versus being relaxed. It's not an apt comparison in the slightest.

    Originally Posted by gomez26 View Post
    'burning fat' means losing fat (from under ur skin) only if u are in calorie deficit. otherwise burning fat just means burning fat molecules floating around in ur blood for energy from ur diet intake. ur not gonna lose fat from under ur skin on a bulk, doing cardio perhaps prevents the extent of storing some of it.
    The whole bulk/cut dichotomy is an oversimplified one. You can be eating above maintenance calories at the end of the day while still being in a deficit at a given moment of intense training.

    Originally Posted by gomez26 View Post
    carbs are simply favored during weights while fat is favored during cardio.
    This depends. Long-term steady state cardio yes. HIT-type cardio (or the cardio benefits we get from weight lifting) would still favour carbs. Much like doing 5000 push ups probably favours fats too =P Basically it's like, we get fast energy from glycolysis, and ongoing restoration from oxygen-based calorie burning (krebs for pyruvate or lipolysis with both use oxygen). But at some point we don't get oxygen fast enough (or can't react with it fast enough) so our pyruvate becomes lactate and we lose out the potential to burn that with oxygen in the short term (gets sent to liver to rebuild) which can rapidly deplete glycogen, leaving fat to react with oxygen until the liver regenerates our sugar.
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    Originally Posted by Tyciol View Post
    These pictures are a horrible example because people are tanned and have cut off body hair and are posing and flexiing their muscles versus being relaxed. It's not an apt comparison in the slightest.
    You have sunk to a new all-time low if you think the main difference in those pictures is tan and hair. The people on the right hand side have nothing to flex. If you can't see this you should quit the boards right now.

    Originally Posted by Tyciol View Post
    The whole bulk/cut dichotomy is an oversimplified one. You can be eating above maintenance calories at the end of the day while still being in a deficit at a given moment of intense training..
    I seriously doubt the OP gives a crap about losing a few grams of body fat for a few hrs only to gain it back a few hours later which he will since he is eating a calorie surplus. The question was obviously aimed at something sustainable for long-term meaningful results, not some babble bullcrap for the sake of the argument. If I was hired to kill you & you were dead for only a few minutes before being revived by paramedics, I guess I could tell my boss the whole succeed/fail dickotomy regarding my job is an oversimplified one .
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    Originally Posted by perpendicularis View Post
    You have sunk to a new all-time low if you think the main difference in those pictures is tan and hair. The people on the right hand side have nothing to flex. If you can't see this you should quit the boards right now.
    I'm not saying it's the main difference, I'm saying they're a factor which should be absent. Reliable comparisons should be done between the same people with the same skin tone and same posture. I can't assess how heavily these factors skew our perceptions but they are significant.
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