T Nation

3 Day Split, Cardio On Off Days


#1

I'm keen to try a 3 day split, aiming for lean gains i.e.

M- chest/triceps
T- back/biceps
W- legs/shoulders
Th- REST
F- repeat...

My question is though, I've never bulked without cardio before, and I suspect this is why I've never made significant gains. I've played around with weights and cardio in approx equal ratios, and made slow gains, but being a FFB i'm typically scared about abandoning cardio entirely.

Would it therefore harm my gains to do say 30 mins of steady state on OFF days? I'm a little concered that this leaves me with 0 'total' rest days, but I'm not sure what the alternative is. I guess I could do some cardio on weights days, but would this not take from gains?

Feeling a little lost, any guidance?


#2

I have been doing something similar. Actually its DeFranco's Built Like A Badass routine. M-W-F with cardio 2-3 days a week. My cardio is more for general fitness and not aimed at fat loss in the a.m. fasted. It definitely helps me to eat more which allows me to gain, slowly. Bulking, IMO, done quickly is worthless, unhealthy, and emotionally draining.

Whats wrong with making lean gains slowly where you more apt to keep those gains, maintain a healthier lifestyle, and feel better about yourself. It's not about winning the battle, it's about winning the war. And btw, cardio on an off day is still an off day to me.....keep it.


#3

You could always consider LISS in the morning and then lifting in the evening to get in a few cardios per week while maintianing one total rest day. I like one total rest day personally or at least only leiser/fun type of cardio something random like rollerskating or sex.

I just did a completely cardio free bulk (also former fattie) and I don't think I would do it again. I overshot the mark by AT LEAST five pounds and I think leaving in two or three LISS per week could have landed the bulk exactly where I wanted at the end.


#4

+1 on the am cardio, pm lift. unless you lift am, then reverse. as long as you got some kinda day job that requires some sitting- you'll have plenty of rest. at most, liss cardio for 20 mins might burn 250 kcals? MAYbe 300? thats like two extra glasses of juice or handfull of nuts or something..easily replaced. then your true 'off' day, do fun stuff. another +1 on sex ha


#5

+1 on the am cardio, pm lift. unless you lift am, then reverse. as long as you got some kinda day job that requires some sitting- you'll have plenty of rest. at most, liss cardio for 20 mins might burn 250 kcals? MAYbe 300? thats like two extra glasses of juice or handfull of nuts or something..easily replaced. then your true 'off' day, do fun stuff. another +1 on sex ha


#6

I will never bulk without cardio ever again. Last time I did it, My fitness went straight to hell. Walking up a hill was a chore like no other. I also stay alot leaner when doing cardio on a regular basis, so for me its a no brainer.


#7

x2 My cardio fitness is officially non existent. I typically could do 45-60minutes on the stairmill or 10+incline treadmill. Post bulk cardio layoff I'm at an 8 incline for 30 minutes and scared to even LOOK AT the stairmill. Never again.


#8

Not my favorite split to be honest, but if you insist, i would do your Monday then your Wednesday on tues, rest (cardio) wednesday, then you Tuesday on thurs, rest (optional cardio) fri, restart split. I think a rest day is a good idea between two upper body workouts. Although i follow Joe DeFranco's WSBB4SB, and my upper days are a combination of back/chest. And i've removed any shoulder/arm workouts and given them there\ir own day, however i do train 5-days a week.


#9

So what would you do differently next time... how would you fit cardio in around your split? Same question applies to you Hallowed


#10

I will keep four a.m. fasted LISS per week.


#11

We talking treadmill incline walking, stationary bike? How long?


#12

There's no way that would be too much (unless you've gone from arm-chair slob straight to that). Maybe if dieting and doing high intensity cardio, but not while gaining (eating enough). If it was too much, people with manual labor jobs would never be able to workout.

If a person is looking for optimal fat:muscle gains during their gaining phase, the more time in the gym (and recover from), the better. As a general rule, 5 days per week should be the minimum and you may as well lift on most, if not all of those days (it all counts towards better nutrient partioning even if it's not cardio as such).

Also, take into account that the "bulk" doesn't have to be slow (on a week to week basis), it may be that you break it up (e.g. consistently gain pounds for a few months, then eat a little under maintenance for a while to "tighten up"/recomp, and then resume gaining again).


#13

I was taught roll out of bead completely fasted and hit the sidewalk for 30min.
Muscle sparing and hella easy.
Pop some HOT-ROX first you'll enjoy the walk.