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  1. #1
    Registered User FitCop's Avatar
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    Cardio while bulking

    I need some advice from some of the more experienced lifters. I have read articles on this website that say if you are "bulking up" you should avoid cardio because it will burn up hard earned muscle. Is this true and what has worked for you? Is cardio needed to burn fat.

    Right now my body weight is between 235-240lbs. on a 6'1" frame. I want a physique similar to LL Cool J, muscular with cuts and symmetry. My body is not bad but I have those effin love handles. My diet is pretty clean with carbs coming from veggies and whole wheat breads. Thanks in advance.
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    The 'no cardio' rule when bulking I think applies to really skinny ectomorphs who struggle to gain weight, hence cutting the cardio to make it easier to create a calorie surplus. For most normal guys some form of cardio should always be there; if you're looking to gain weight just do your cardio and then eat a little more to make up the calorie difference. Better nutrient partitioning, better CV health, less fat gain...definately do some form of cardio.
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    2 victor goes spoils THe WeapoN's Avatar
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    i do cardio on my off days when i bulking and replace the cals burnt with a protein shake, i do cardio just to maintain my overall fitness, but when bulking it is suggest that u keep cardio to a ver y minium due to eating in to your gains
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    Originally Posted by James.Unit
    The 'no cardio' rule when bulking I think applies to really skinny ectomorphs who struggle to gain weight, hence cutting the cardio to make it easier to create a calorie surplus. For most normal guys some form of cardio should always be there; if you're looking to gain weight just do your cardio and then eat a little more to make up the calorie difference. Better nutrient partitioning, better CV health, less fat gain...definately do some form of cardio.

    ^^^^^^

    This is the so correct!!! Lots of people who are reallly scared of cardio use bulking as an excuse not to do cardio. I just find it wrong when i see people who consider themselves fit shy away from cardio. Like you siad eat that extra bit if you do cardio. There is absolutely no excuse for not doing cardio!!
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    Originally Posted by Shylock
    ^^^^^^

    This is the so correct!!! Lots of people who are reallly scared of cardio use bulking as an excuse not to do cardio. I just find it wrong when i see people who consider themselves fit shy away from cardio. Like you siad eat that extra bit if you do cardio. There is absolutely no excuse for not doing cardio!!
    This has to be the first smart thing I've ever heard you say Shylock. Congrats!
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    15~20 minutes light jog should be done once or two times a week even if your ecto. i mean that is if you want to minumize the fat gains while your bulking.
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    i believe that people who ignore cardio when they're bulking tend to grow oversized not just with muscle mass but loads of body fat due to the high calorie intake. but also cardio should not be done excessively if you decide you want to bulk up.
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    Thanks guys for the advice. I am taking the week off from the gym because my joints are hurting but I will start my cardio on my first day back.
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by James.Unit
    The 'no cardio' rule when bulking I think applies to really skinny ectomorphs who struggle to gain weight, hence cutting the cardio to make it easier to create a calorie surplus. For most normal guys some form of cardio should always be there; if you're looking to gain weight just do your cardio and then eat a little more to make up the calorie difference. Better nutrient partitioning, better CV health, less fat gain...definately do some form of cardio.
    Bump. Cardio does burn up calories and can be detrimental in that sense when bulking. But you should still do it for the aforementioned benefits.
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  10. #10
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    I don't know if you guys experience this too, but another bebfit of cardio is that for some reason it keeps me more hungry for the rest of the day compared to no cardio days
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    According to Tom Venuto you can do cardio even 5 times a week without having to fear muscle loss.
    Last edited by Merkava; 10-08-2006 at 12:10 AM.
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    Has anyone noticed how many different opinions there are on this? I have seen all kinds of different answers to this question. How about personal experience? Who has done it?
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    Originally Posted by GoodToGo
    Has anyone noticed how many different opinions there are on this? I have seen all kinds of different answers to this question. How about personal experience? Who has done it?
    I used to do cardio 4/5 times a week for half an hour, no problem at all. Only excessive amounts of cardio could lead to muscle loss.
    Last edited by Merkava; 10-08-2006 at 12:13 AM.
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    cardio while bulking sounds like one step forward, two steps back to me.. unless your bf levels are out of control id avoid it.
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    Originally Posted by ugamelb
    cardio while bulking sounds like one step forward, two steps back to me.. unless your bf levels are out of control id avoid it.
    Cardio while bulking is fine, just as long as it isn't done in excessive amounts to which it starts to catabolize muscle. There are plenty of benefits of regular cardio including maintaining/loss of bf, improvement of cardiovascular system (obviously), etc. Iron Addicts has a great article on the benefits of cardio, so you shouldn't try to avoid it.
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    Originally Posted by THe WeapoN
    i do cardio on my off days when i bulking and replace the cals burnt with a protein shake, i do cardio just to maintain my overall fitness, but when bulking it is suggest that u keep cardio to a ver y minium due to eating in to your gains
    yeah I do the same thing, there are so many benefits to cardio that I just think its a good idea to do it whether bulking or cutting
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  17. #17
    Registered User Nailimixam3's Avatar
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    cardio while bulking

    I agree with the comment that people with very low body fat usually should stay away from cardio while trying to put on muscle mass. But only to a certain degree. However, if you have some storage then you have excess to be burned up. I have found that cardio is best performed in the morning before eating. I believe this is because your body is already in a state of utilizing your fat storage to sustain its self throughout the night......wake up and do cardio on an empty stomach, get the blood pumping while your body is already feeding off storage weight and it will excellerate the effect. Then eat a good healthy meal and your metabolism will be in freight train mode right at the start of the day. I dont believe you necessarily have to bulk up your calories just because you are doing cardio...like i said before if you have excess storage to burn then you will have to shed that before worrying about cardio feeding into your muscle mass. Your diet still has to maintain a quality calorie,carb,protein ratio to continue gaining strength and muscle. I have also found that by doin my cardio at 5:30 in the morning then gettin the majority of my meals in me throughout the day before I am back in the gym to lift allows me to maintain my lifting energy. spicy Egg whites and grits at 6:30 right after cardio, protein shake and oatmeal at 9 am, spicy chicken and oatmeal at 12pm, protein shake and oatmeal at 3pm, protein shake at 5 pm then lifting. A buffer zone so to speak. Cardio has always drained me of my lifting energy. Now cardio is at 5:30 a.m. and lifting is at 5:00 p.m. after work. Even on days I am not at work I maintain this routine to keep gains constant. I do cardio mon-fri and lift mon-sat. 1 cheat meal a month..but a cheat meal to me is adding a little peanut butter to my oatmeal or cream of wheat. Utilizing actual cheat meals loaded with fat and calories will just make you stray farther from your plan then you have to work to get back on track. Thats like using the "im bulking" phrase to explain not doing cardio. Cardio speads the metabolism same as multiple healthy meals throughout the day does. Everyones body responds differently so experiment with what works for you but I have been seeing great results with this.
    Last edited by Nailimixam3; 10-24-2006 at 04:52 AM.
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    This's also something that puts me in a embarrassed situation. I have been fat since I was young. From this Jun, I spent 3 month losing 24 lbs weight in order to see my abs. But it seems I was only half way there even I was satified with my weight. There's still a lot of fat on my waist, but I was told I looked so skinny. I began to worry, and then I added more protein and carbs to my diet to gain lean muscle and I did gain about 4 lbs in more than a month. I began to worry again if I would gain more fat than lean muscle. I hate it that way, but most of the articles here tell me if I want to gain muscle, I need to avoid or minimize cardio. Is it possible for me to lose those fat on my waist while gaining moderate muscle (maybe 5 or 6 lbs in 3 or 4 months)
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    Originally Posted by niebomin
    This's also something that puts me in a embarrassed situation. I have been fat since I was young. From this Jun, I spent 3 month losing 24 lbs weight in order to see my abs. But it seems I was only half way there even I was satified with my weight. There's still a lot of fat on my waist, but I was told I looked so skinny. I began to worry, and then I added more protein and carbs to my diet to gain lean muscle and I did gain about 4 lbs in more than a month. I began to worry again if I would gain more fat than lean muscle. I hate it that way, but most of the articles here tell me if I want to gain muscle, I need to avoid or minimize cardio. Is it possible for me to lose those fat on my waist while gaining moderate muscle (maybe 5 or 6 lbs in 3 or 4 months)
    eat clean and do hiit cardio 2 times a week is prob ur best bet
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    Originally Posted by niebomin
    I began to worry again if I would gain more fat than lean muscle. I hate it that way, but most of the articles here tell me if I want to gain muscle, I need to avoid or minimize cardio. Is it possible for me to lose those fat on my waist while gaining moderate muscle (maybe 5 or 6 lbs in 3 or 4 months)
    It's definately possible, especially if you do cardio. You have three options:

    1 - go all out on a cut until your bodyfat is low (around 10%), then bulk up from there

    2 - bulk (muscle + fat) until you're happy with your size, then cut down

    3 - do both. eat at around maintenance and do cardio 3 times a week while lifting heavy and focusing on getting stronger.

    A lot of guys will say that 3 just isn't possible, but I think there enough real life examples to prove it is, especially if you're relatively new to lifting. The whole bulk- like-crazy then cut attitude is great for some people, but for guys starting out with a little more bodyfat than they'd like it's often not a great choice. As long as you're pushing yourself in the weight room, eating properly/cleanly and doing cardio, you should be able to do it.
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    Cardio while bulking is fine, and in fact, should be encouraged. One must simply replace the calories lost through caridovascular exercise, and the problem is solved.
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    Registered User MrScotlander's Avatar
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    Should the cardio be done pre or post workout, or between days?

    I can imagine it might be a good way to raise the temperature before you start a workout
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    I think a little cardio on off days and keeping calories the same every day...the calories burnt on the light cardio on off days would probably equal the calories burnt lifting. Just dont double up.

    Then adjust your calorie intake if you are not gaining or u are getting too fat.
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    I need to start doing Cardio again then. I somewhat enjoy running but I was suffering from ITB (or that's what I think it is) and I could hardly run. So I decided to stop for awhile and let it heal and start seriously considering bodybuilding. I'm sort of on a bulk and want to do cardio but don't want ITB screwing me up again while I'm building my legs. I think maybe i'll just try walking on the treadmill or around the neighborhood for a start.
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    I don't totally get the no cardio when bulking mentality. Say you're lifting weights all week and eating a calorie surpluss, and you do one HIIT session per week. I can't see that being detrimental to your gains. Surely it will just burn off the fat you put on that week.

    I've managed to put on quite a bit of muscle and drop fat levels the past 7 months. Whether that will continue I don't know, but I'm still doing one cardio session a week.
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    Registered User BlinkzeR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nailimixam3 View Post
    I agree with the comment that people with very low body fat usually should stay away from cardio while trying to put on muscle mass. But only to a certain degree. However, if you have some storage then you have excess to be burned up. I have found that cardio is best performed in the morning before eating. I believe this is because your body is already in a state of utilizing your fat storage to sustain its self throughout the night......wake up and do cardio on an empty stomach, get the blood pumping while your body is already feeding off storage weight and it will excellerate the effect. Then eat a good healthy meal and your metabolism will be in freight train mode right at the start of the day. I dont believe you necessarily have to bulk up your calories just because you are doing cardio...like i said before if you have excess storage to burn then you will have to shed that before worrying about cardio feeding into your muscle mass. Your diet still has to maintain a quality calorie,carb,protein ratio to continue gaining strength and muscle. I have also found that by doin my cardio at 5:30 in the morning then gettin the majority of my meals in me throughout the day before I am back in the gym to lift allows me to maintain my lifting energy. spicy Egg whites and grits at 6:30 right after cardio, protein shake and oatmeal at 9 am, spicy chicken and oatmeal at 12pm, protein shake and oatmeal at 3pm, protein shake at 5 pm then lifting. A buffer zone so to speak. Cardio has always drained me of my lifting energy. Now cardio is at 5:30 a.m. and lifting is at 5:00 p.m. after work. Even on days I am not at work I maintain this routine to keep gains constant. I do cardio mon-fri and lift mon-sat. 1 cheat meal a month..but a cheat meal to me is adding a little peanut butter to my oatmeal or cream of wheat. Utilizing actual cheat meals loaded with fat and calories will just make you stray farther from your plan then you have to work to get back on track. Thats like using the "im bulking" phrase to explain not doing cardio. Cardio speads the metabolism same as multiple healthy meals throughout the day does. Everyones body responds differently so experiment with what works for you but I have been seeing great results with this.
    Easily the best reply to the question ive seen on this whole forum
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