T Nation

Bulking and Shortness of Breath


Is it just me, or when you bulk up do you notice a much heavier need for oxygen?

I'm approaching the 230lb mark, not that I'm overly lean, and I find that simply standing up and walking to the kitchen has me breathing more than I used to (I am kidding a bit here).

Admittedly, I'm not doing a lot of cardio these days either.

However, has anyone else noticed this feeling? Is there a lag between the addition of mass and our ability to feel normal in terms of exertion and breathing?


The only time I get that is if I go a very long time with no cardio (as in 3-4 months or more) or I am eating so often (something that truly becomes a job the bigger you get) that my diaphragm is lifted due to an increased overall food intake. It usually doesn't take long for my body to adjust however. For instance, I am currently about 260lbs.

The first time a couple of years ago that I hit 260, my lower back would sometimes hurt if I stood for too long. Now, 260 feels comfortable to me as I have been heavier than this and I am carrying less body fat than I was the first time I hit this weight. Forcing your body to accept greater weights isn't something your body always accepts easily. If your stomach is empty and you still feel out of breath, you need more cardio.


Thanks Prof, that's as good an answer as I could expect to get.

I'll consider adding in a bit more cardio... in a few weeks.


I was just thinking about this today. Glad to see I'm not the only one who feels like this. I haven't done cardio in a couple of years since I've been so focused on gaining mass, but I think I'll have to start including some.


Ohh absolutely. I weighed in at 155 pounds with little muscle left and no fat when I graduated boot camp a little over a year ago. I now weigh 208 while sitting at around 15% bodyfat or so (I'm only 5' 7"). I can sure as hell feel the difference between the two weigh differences. I was about 175 when I graduated tech school, and I feel this was the best overall weight for me as far as the strength I needed to complete combat training and having good endurance.

Now that thats all over with, it's back to bodybuilding again. At 208 and at 15% BF, this is the highest I have ever weighed and had bodyfat on me. I can feel myself tiring out faster and having to catch my breath all the time. It would be very difficult to complete bootcamp again and impossible to complete techschool combat/tachtical training at this weight.


You need some GPP ASAP or at least go for a few long walks a week.


Agreed. I don;t know about "a few", but I am learning that even once a week cardio may be a good thing for those gaining if they already have a foundation of size. I am not talking about guys who are 150lbs who have fast metabolism who need to save every ounce of energy just to gain a pound. I doubt I will go another 6 months without any cardio again.