T Nation

Cardio and Bulking Up? Help!

 easy dudes i am bulking up but want to do some cardio to keep the fat levels down, any ideas on what is ok to do (e.g. swimming,bike,running), at the moment iam tryin to eat about 3500kcals a day about 250g protein a day and 20/40g fat, and a 3 times a week fullbody workout, is it possible to do this?, i want to do cardio to help my stamina levels and keep the fat% down will i just have to increase my calories?

bump

I wouldn’t even do the cardio if I were you. It will only slow down your gains.

what about with the warm up thats ok tho ye, help get the blood flowing?

Yeah, I doubt if a little bit at the beginning of the workout to warm up would hurt.

Yeah do 5-10 minutes of cardio at the beginning of the workout. Personally I wouldn’t ditch cardio, it’s good for your heart. Keep it to once or twice a week for 20 mins at a moderate pace and you should be fine. Any type of cardio is fine, biking, running, etc.

For all the people that always seem to get fat during their “bulk” you’d think more people would look into cardio as a possibility. I’m going against the grain here and saying 3 times a week, 30 minutes of low intensity on your off days. Whatever your training, add 100+ lbs to all your big lifts over the coming months, be religious about your cardio and eat to grow.

When you scan this board and everyone is bulking and cutting every 4-6 weeks because they get too fat during the bulk, then don’t have any size when they cut, you stay consistent and grow without putting on much fat because you didn’t OCD about this whole thing and think 30 minutes of a brisk walk with your dog in the morning is going to eat away all your muscle(watch it increase your appetite so you can grow more).

[quote]Scott M wrote:
For all the people that always seem to get fat during their “bulk” you’d think more people would look into cardio as a possibility. I’m going against the grain here and saying 3 times a week, 30 minutes of low intensity on your off days. Whatever your training, add 100+ lbs to all your big lifts over the coming months, be religious about your cardio and eat to grow.

When you scan this board and everyone is bulking and cutting every 4-6 weeks because they get too fat during the bulk, then don’t have any size when they cut, you stay consistent and grow without putting on much fat because you didn’t OCD about this whole thing and think 30 minutes of a brisk walk with your dog in the morning is going to eat away all your muscle(watch it increase your appetite so you can grow more). [/quote]

I absolutely agree 100%. I start to think that some people bash cardio during a ‘bulk’ are simply lazy. It just seems more natural to do cardio very consistently while training and eating to add muscle mass - it somehow makes me think that the human body is designed to work this way; to be active all the time. Like back in the days of hunter/gatherer societies, men were eating clean foods (no pastries lol) and running through the forests and fields getting ‘cardio’, and then wrestling with a wild beast for their ‘workouts’. Do you know what I mean?

Also I think this is a very good read (ok so it’s in reference to Rippetoes program, but it is a good read nonetheless)

[quote]Scott M wrote:
For all the people that always seem to get fat during their “bulk” you’d think more people would look into cardio as a possibility. I’m going against the grain here and saying 3 times a week, 30 minutes of low intensity on your off days. Whatever your training, add 100+ lbs to all your big lifts over the coming months, be religious about your cardio and eat to grow.

When you scan this board and everyone is bulking and cutting every 4-6 weeks because they get too fat during the bulk, then don’t have any size when they cut, you stay consistent and grow without putting on much fat because you didn’t OCD about this whole thing and think 30 minutes of a brisk walk with your dog in the morning is going to eat away all your muscle(watch it increase your appetite so you can grow more). [/quote]

I like what you have to say. I myself am trying to bulk up more but i still do cardio 3 times a week for around 25 minutes. I do my cardio not to burn calories, but to give me a heart a good workout.

[quote]strungoutboy21 wrote:
Scott M wrote:
For all the people that always seem to get fat during their “bulk” you’d think more people would look into cardio as a possibility. I’m going against the grain here and saying 3 times a week, 30 minutes of low intensity on your off days. Whatever your training, add 100+ lbs to all your big lifts over the coming months, be religious about your cardio and eat to grow.

When you scan this board and everyone is bulking and cutting every 4-6 weeks because they get too fat during the bulk, then don’t have any size when they cut, you stay consistent and grow without putting on much fat because you didn’t OCD about this whole thing and think 30 minutes of a brisk walk with your dog in the morning is going to eat away all your muscle(watch it increase your appetite so you can grow more).

I like what you have to say. I myself am trying to bulk up more but i still do cardio 3 times a week for around 25 minutes. I do my cardio not to burn calories, but to give me a heart a good workout. [/quote]

You may not do it to burn calories, but that is exactly what you are doing. Burning calories doing cardio is just taking away from the caloric surplus required to build muscle.

Here’s the thing. I walk on a treadmill for 45 minutes at a 3.5 mph pace first thing out of bed after some green tea and BCAAs and it says I burn about 275 calories(who knows where that comes from). I would be willing to bet that A) I am able to eat back those 275 calories AND MORE as a direct result of increased appetite from the fasted cardio and B) that the food I’m ingesting post cardio is going to be used more efficiently than had it not been a post cardio meal.

[quote]IronWarrior24 wrote:
strungoutboy21 wrote:
Scott M wrote:
For all the people that always seem to get fat during their “bulk” you’d think more people would look into cardio as a possibility. I’m going against the grain here and saying 3 times a week, 30 minutes of low intensity on your off days. Whatever your training, add 100+ lbs to all your big lifts over the coming months, be religious about your cardio and eat to grow.

When you scan this board and everyone is bulking and cutting every 4-6 weeks because they get too fat during the bulk, then don’t have any size when they cut, you stay consistent and grow without putting on much fat because you didn’t OCD about this whole thing and think 30 minutes of a brisk walk with your dog in the morning is going to eat away all your muscle(watch it increase your appetite so you can grow more).

I like what you have to say. I myself am trying to bulk up more but i still do cardio 3 times a week for around 25 minutes. I do my cardio not to burn calories, but to give me a heart a good workout.

You may not do it to burn calories, but that is exactly what you are doing. Burning calories doing cardio is just taking away from the caloric surplus required to build muscle.[/quote]

Doesn’t matter if you account for it in your eating. Personally, I think high intensity cardio [HIT, intervals, sprints-call it what you will] can be GREAT when adding mass. The only thing is that leg recovery can be an issue depending on how your workouts are structured and how many times a week you work leg. But it’s a good tool.

Improves insulin sensitivy which can actually improve gains and can certainly help with body composition when adding mass. Great for your fitness and keeps it from being a limiting factor in your lifting. Just make sure you are eating enough to account for extra calories burned. Shouldn’t really be a problem though. We’re not talking about marathons or training for them. No 60 mile weeks here.

http://www.T-Nation.com/article/diet_and_nutrition/100_workouts_from_ripped_city

The article above provides great information. I’m also working towards gaining more size and I’ve been applying Dr. Lowery’s approach to fasted morning cardio and it’s going really well.

Also, CT says the following:

Morning cardio could potentially increase the amount of free fatty acids (FFA) used up as fuel. This is not due to performing cardio in a glycogen depleted state though, since this isn’t happening here. Unless you go to sleep in an already depleted state, you won’t wake up in such a state.

During sleep almost 100% of the energy expended comes from fatty acids because of the extremely low intensity of the activity and because of the natural hGH burst which occurs 30 minutes or so after you enter the deep sleep phase (hGH increases fatty acid mobilization).

So you really aren’t depleting your intramuscular glycogen stores during the night. You might be tapping your hepatic glycogen stores slightly, but even then that can’t account for much since at best this contains maybe 200-300kcals
of stored energy. So it’s a fallacy to believe that when you wake up your muscles are emptied of their glycogen.

However, since fat is the primary energy source during your sleeping period, chances are that upon waking you have a greater amount of free fatty acids available. Since you don’t have to mobilize them (they’re already freed up) they become easier to oxidize for fuel and are thus more readily used up during morning cardio.

Fasted morning cardio could also potentially be glycogen-sparing for the same reason as stated above: the greater availability of FFAs reduces the reliance of glycogen for fuel during low-intensity energy systems work.

Fasted morning cardio could lead to an improved fatty acid mobilization during exercise and increase insulin sensitivity afterwards. This might be true of exercise at a low level of intensity (50-75% of max VO2) since this decreases insulin levels via the stimulation of adrenergic receptors. A lower insulin level can increase fatty acid mobilization.

However, a higher intensity of work (above 75% of max VO2) can actually have the opposite effect. So in that regard a moderate or even low intensity of work would seem to be superior in the morning as far as fat mobilization goes. (Galbo, 1983, Poortmans et Boiseau, 2003)

To counterbalance the reduction in insulin production during exercise at a moderate intensity, insulin sensitivity is increased, especially in the muscle. Since insulin sensitivity is already high in the fasted state, morning cardio could allow you to significantly increase glycogen storage and reduce the storage of carbohydrates as body fat.

So in that regard, morning cardio in a fasted state could increase fat loss during a cutting period and allow a bodybuilder in a bulking phase to significantly increase his carb intake without gaining more fat.

However there aren’t just bright aspects to fasted morning cardio. If fasted state cardio could potentially increase fat mobilization, it’s also potentially more catabolic to muscle tissue. This is due to an increase in cortisol
production during fasted exercise. Since cortisol levels are already high in the morning, this could lead to more muscle wasting than during non-fasted cardio.

In fact, cortisol levels could increase muscle breakdown and the use of amino acids as an energy source. This is especially true if high-intensity energy systems work is performed. If an individual uses lower intensity (around 60-65% of maximum heart rate), the need for glucose and cortisol release are both reduced and thus the situation becomes less catabolic.

I personally do believe in the efficacy of morning cardio, but not in a completely fasted state. For optimal results I prefer to ingest a small amount of amino acids approximately 15-30 minutes before the cardio session. A mix of 5g of BCAA, 5g of glutamine, and 5g of essential amino acids would do the trick in preventing any unwanted muscle breakdown.

However, I’ll also play devil’s advocate and say that morning cardio won’t be drastically more effective than post-workout or afternoon cardio work when it comes to fat loss.

[quote]IronWarrior24 wrote:
strungoutboy21 wrote:
Scott M wrote:
For all the people that always seem to get fat during their “bulk” you’d think more people would look into cardio as a possibility. I’m going against the grain here and saying 3 times a week, 30 minutes of low intensity on your off days. Whatever your training, add 100+ lbs to all your big lifts over the coming months, be religious about your cardio and eat to grow.

When you scan this board and everyone is bulking and cutting every 4-6 weeks because they get too fat during the bulk, then don’t have any size when they cut, you stay consistent and grow without putting on much fat because you didn’t OCD about this whole thing and think 30 minutes of a brisk walk with your dog in the morning is going to eat away all your muscle(watch it increase your appetite so you can grow more).

I like what you have to say. I myself am trying to bulk up more but i still do cardio 3 times a week for around 25 minutes. I do my cardio not to burn calories, but to give me a heart a good workout.

You may not do it to burn calories, but that is exactly what you are doing. Burning calories doing cardio is just taking away from the caloric surplus required to build muscle.[/quote]

Of course. Thats basic logic. What youre missing here is the part where Scott is saying that by doing some cardio (not over doing it, just doing it), you are going to allow yourself to eat more.

More calories in, and more calories out. If you eat 3500 calories and burn 3200, youre +300 for the day. If you eat 3800 calories and burn 3500, you are still +300 for the day. Go read up on G-flux by Berardi. Its an interesting idea and it most definitely works.

[quote]Stronghold wrote:
IronWarrior24 wrote:
strungoutboy21 wrote:
Scott M wrote:
For all the people that always seem to get fat during their “bulk” you’d think more people would look into cardio as a possibility. I’m going against the grain here and saying 3 times a week, 30 minutes of low intensity on your off days. Whatever your training, add 100+ lbs to all your big lifts over the coming months, be religious about your cardio and eat to grow.

When you scan this board and everyone is bulking and cutting every 4-6 weeks because they get too fat during the bulk, then don’t have any size when they cut, you stay consistent and grow without putting on much fat because you didn’t OCD about this whole thing and think 30 minutes of a brisk walk with your dog in the morning is going to eat away all your muscle(watch it increase your appetite so you can grow more).

I like what you have to say. I myself am trying to bulk up more but i still do cardio 3 times a week for around 25 minutes. I do my cardio not to burn calories, but to give me a heart a good workout.

You may not do it to burn calories, but that is exactly what you are doing. Burning calories doing cardio is just taking away from the caloric surplus required to build muscle.

Of course. Thats basic logic. What youre missing here is the part where Scott is saying that by doing some cardio (not over doing it, just doing it), you are going to allow yourself to eat more.[/quote]

Then what’s the point of doing the cardio? Let’s assume that doing the cardio will allow you to eat more. However, doing the cardio is going to burn calories. What makes you think that doing cardio will enable you to eat more calories than you burned? It’s pointless in that regard.

You can eat a little more, but you sacrifice calories just to be able to do that. Most people don’t have that much trouble eating enough anyway, and anybody who does would not benefit from doing cardio as they would need to preserve every calorie possible.

Another thing you have to remember is that the calorie burning effects of cardio do not end with the completion of the cardio regimen. The effects of cardio, namely an increased stimulation of the body’s metabolism, continue for quite some time after the completion of the cardio.

This means that not only are you burning calories during the cardio, but doing the cardio in the first place increases your metabolism, thereby making mass gains even more difficult to attain throughout the day, despite a slight increase in the person’s ability to eat. So any benefit that cardio might have on a person’s ability to eat more is outweighed by the body’s inability to gain mass due to an increased metabolism.

[quote]IronWarrior24 wrote:
Stronghold wrote:
IronWarrior24 wrote:
strungoutboy21 wrote:
Scott M wrote:
For all the people that always seem to get fat during their “bulk” you’d think more people would look into cardio as a possibility. I’m going against the grain here and saying 3 times a week, 30 minutes of low intensity on your off days. Whatever your training, add 100+ lbs to all your big lifts over the coming months, be religious about your cardio and eat to grow.

When you scan this board and everyone is bulking and cutting every 4-6 weeks because they get too fat during the bulk, then don’t have any size when they cut, you stay consistent and grow without putting on much fat because you didn’t OCD about this whole thing and think 30 minutes of a brisk walk with your dog in the morning is going to eat away all your muscle(watch it increase your appetite so you can grow more).

I like what you have to say. I myself am trying to bulk up more but i still do cardio 3 times a week for around 25 minutes. I do my cardio not to burn calories, but to give me a heart a good workout.

You may not do it to burn calories, but that is exactly what you are doing. Burning calories doing cardio is just taking away from the caloric surplus required to build muscle.

Of course. Thats basic logic. What youre missing here is the part where Scott is saying that by doing some cardio (not over doing it, just doing it), you are going to allow yourself to eat more.

Then what’s the point of doing the cardio? Let’s assume that doing the cardio will allow you to eat more. However, doing the cardio is going to burn calories. What makes you think that doing cardio will enable you to eat more calories than you burned? It’s pointless in that regard.

You can eat a little more, but you sacrifice calories just to be able to do that. Most people don’t have that much trouble eating enough anyway, and anybody who does would not benefit from doing cardio as they would need to preserve every calorie possible.

Another thing you have to remember is that the calorie burning effects of cardio do not end with the completion of the cardio regimen. The effects of cardio, namely an increased stimulation of the body’s metabolism, continue for quite some time after the completion of the cardio.

This means that not only are you burning calories during the cardio, but doing the cardio in the first place increases your metabolism, thereby making mass gains even more difficult to attain throughout the day, despite a slight increase in the person’s ability to eat. So any benefit that cardio might have on a person’s ability to eat more is outweighed by the body’s inability to gain mass due to an increased metabolism.

[/quote]

I explained some of the benefits above. At least to HIT cardio. Improved insulin sensitivty which can improve gains and aid body composition when adding mass. Also maintaining a high level of fitness which can help in your lifting workouts as well.

If someone is naturally skinny, doesn’t have a great appetite, and has trouble eating enough to gain mass, cardio is probably not for them. They have enough trouble gaining mass without needing to account for additional calories. However, some of us have prodigious appetities, don’t find it difficult to eat enough to add mass, and add mass reasonably easily. But have a harder time getting lean and a harder preventing too much fat gain when adding mass. For us, cardio-namely high intensity cardio-is a good idea.

Do you really think that most people don’t have trouble eating enough? I’m not seeing a bunch of powerfully built but soft people on this site or in the gym. I see a lot of skinny guys who are under muscled. When guys first try to eat the way I do(because they asked me what the hell I’m doing to grow so consistently) they feel bloated as shit all day and complain about the food all the damn time. Those that stick with it long enough(and do their cardio) have their metabolism catch up eventually and turn into a food processing machine and start flying up the scale weight, the ones that quit because “it’s too hard to eat like that” are still the exact same size and using the same weights I saw them last.

Except for extremely ectomorphic people when has an increased metabolism ever been a problem? The appetite increase is a small part of the picture to me as the appetite follows the food intake(progressive eating, metabolism will catch up). I’d rather have all my bases covered with the eating to grow every darn ounce of muscle I killed myself in the gym for(enough food that I would get fat on it’s own) and do enough cardio to leave me in a satisfactory leanness. For young trainees or ectomorphic people that might be 0 times, maybe twice. Middle of the road 2-4 times, very endomorphic or the over 35 crowd maybe 4-6. The point is the person has to figure out how much THEY need for themselves.

Justin Harris 05 nationals

Justin Harris 07 nationals 2 weeks out

Good thing he never did any of that nasty cardio during his off season and blew up like a pig to maximize his gains.

This just in(no pun intended) Justin does cardio during his off season. Did it hurt his muscular gains much?


And just for fun, this is how you bring up a weak bodypart and make everyone gasp from the last time they saw you…