T Nation

About to Bulk

Hey guys, I’m going to start bulking next week and was wondering whether or not i should include cardio 3 times a week aswell.


I guess my main question is, if you guys can still gain just as much muscle while incorporating cardio into a bulking phase as you would with weights alone?


Will it help me keep fat minimal? I also feel a lot better when i do cardio but i dont want to miss out on any gains. Hope you guys can help me out.

You should be fine doing 20-30 minutes of cardio 3X per week. I like keeping some cardio in the routine when bulking because if nothing else maintaining some conditioning helps me recover between sets…especially when doing high volume leg training. This coupled with a very high calorie diet can be very nauseating if you are out of shape and I find doing some cardio helps make the weight training more productive.

Read the “Essential Berardi” articles at T-mag. They sum up his ideas on cardio when bulking and offer some practical advice.

If you have not already, read the Cardio is Anabolic posts here in the forum. You’ll have to search for them, but they were full of great discussions on the pros/cons of doing cardio while bulking. Your amount sounds great, just make sure to account for it calorically in your diet.

Recent research published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise studied this very phenomenon and found that 3, 20-min sessions of intense cardiovascular exercise had NO adverse effects on both strength and hypertrophy.

A great way to add your cardio on a bulking cycle is to bump up the intensity of the session. I 've had great results with my clients by incorperating sprints on the treadmill or stair stepper. We would do this for twelve min. 10 sec. sprint, 15 sec. rest. The great thing about this is you do not have to worry about losing muscle do to the short time period, in fact you are more likly to gain a little muscle because it keeps you in the anaerobic threshhold.Remember cardio means getting the heart rate up and keeping it up, an nothing will do that like sprints will. Give it a try, you will be glad you did if you can hang.