T Nation

Cardio and Mass Gain

What’s everyones intake on cardio when trying to gain mass? I do it not to burn calories, but because I love it. I am addicted to the endorphins. I love to do it first thing in the morning becuz thats how i love to start my day… I feel so good after. I get up, take some bcaa’s and walk on my treadmill at an incline (about 60-70% max heart rate) for 30 minutes while reading magazines and listening to music.

I then eat a good b-fast and train about 2-2.5 hours later. Is this hampering my mass gains?

It depends on your body. A very ectomorphic person likely would need to cut down cardio to gain significant size, where an endomorphic person would benefit greatly from this. Are you gaining size? If yes stay with it, if not first eat more then cut back on the cardio.

I like cardio A LOT for people trying to gain size, but not everyone needs it.

I use to post on a concept2 message board and it seems like alot of rowers consider rowing a total body workout ranther than cardio. Would rowing during a bulk be the best answear?

I think that would hamper your back recovery too much to be effective. When I’m thinking cardio I’m thinking like 30-60 minutes on a slight incline treadmill for maybe 3.5 mph, or a brisk walk around the neighborhood.

I/we work too hard for our muscle so anything that might sacrifice it(rowing 3+times a week in addition to back work) is not worth it to me.

I have a question about this. How do football players(linebackers especially) stay huge (around 230+ lbs.), yet still run a 4-3 40? What kind of cardio would allow that? I want mass, but keep my speed which is currently a 4-4 40.

[quote]sed26 wrote:
I have a question about this. How do football players(linebackers especially) stay huge (around 230+ lbs.), yet still run a 4-3 40? What kind of cardio would allow that? I want mass, but keep my speed which is currently a 4-4 40.[/quote]

Football is an anaerobic sport by nature. Really when you think about it, there really isn’t any aerobic component of football. If you want to be able to sprint fast, then…sprint. It’s really that simple.

If you want to do “cardio” that will maximize anaerobic performance, then do anaerobic “cardio” (HIIT, Tabatas, etc…).

As far as the original topic, I personally don’t need much cardio (I’m fairly ectomorphic by nature and stay fairly lean even while gaining muscle). Every once in a while I’ll throw some in if I feel like my bf is getting a little high, but I don’t do it on a regular basis.

Like Scott said though, it really is an individual thing. If you’re gaining weight while doing your cardio, no need to stop doing it. If not, either eat more or do less cardio (or do both).

I like cardio too. Besides, your heart is a very important muscle; neglect it at your own risk.

Thanks for the replies. I understand how important cardio is for general overall health, but I am still unclear as to whether it impedes mass gain. For example say you have two people:
-Person A: does 20-30 min daily cardio at 70% max heart rate and expends approx 250 cals doing so. Eats 3250 calories/day.
-Person B: no cardio. Eats 3000 calories/day.

Will person B gain more mass/strength than person A? I have read articles that say that cardiovascular training (because of the types of muscle fibers) limits stength and mass gains. Is this not true, I mean as long as u eat enough to make up for it? I’m talking 20-30 minutes walking at a high incline… but my heart rate sometimes reaches 150. (140-150). If I took this out for a week, would I gain a lot more strength?

Cardio makes you hungrier, so do cardio when gaining. Not HIT stuff, of course, but a 20 minute jog a couple of times a week will help. I wouldn’t worry about heart rate or anything like that. Just go enjoy a run/walk/swim/bike ride. Don’t try to quantify it unless you’re trying to improve it.

doggcrapp program recomends morning cardio because its followers & creator believe that the cardio will help:

  1. keep you leaner
  2. increase apppetite throughout the day

[quote]skinnymuscles wrote:
Thanks for the replies. I understand how important cardio is for general overall health, but I am still unclear as to whether it impedes mass gain. For example say you have two people:
-Person A: does 20-30 min daily cardio at 70% max heart rate and expends approx 250 cals doing so. Eats 3250 calories/day.
-Person B: no cardio. Eats 3000 calories/day.

Will person B gain more mass/strength than person A?[/quote]

I think the only answer that’s definitely true is “it depends.” It depends on how much of a constellation of different hormones your endocrine system produces in response to the cardio, and on the sensitivity of your various tissues (muscle, fat) to those hormones. These factors are different for different people, and probably the best way to determine what works best for you is to experiment on yourself: If you’ve been doing cardio for a while, try dropping it for a month (or cutting it in half), while keeping your training & diet the same, and see how your lifts/LBM/body comp change.

For more information (but no definitive answers) read these:


[quote]skinnymuscles wrote:
I feel so good after. I get up, take some bcaa’s and walk on my treadmill at an incline (about 60-70% max heart rate) for 30 minutes while reading magazines and listening to music. [/quote]

I run nearly every morning. But I am more into martial arts than bb. But I prefer to feel good and dont look like arnold than looking like arnold and have all the stress hormones etc in my body. If it feels good for you - do it. period.

[quote]ZYL281 wrote:
doggcrapp program recomends morning cardio because its followers & creator believe that the cardio will help:

  1. keep you leaner
  2. increase apppetite throughout the day[/quote]

Enter one DC follower haha.

[quote]skinnymuscles wrote:
Thanks for the replies. I understand how important cardio is for general overall health, but I am still unclear as to whether it impedes mass gain. For example say you have two people:
-Person A: does 20-30 min daily cardio at 70% max heart rate and expends approx 250 cals doing so. Eats 3250 calories/day.
-Person B: no cardio. Eats 3000 calories/day.

[/quote]

To me, assuming both are serious hard training big eating people person A would be slightly bigger and slightly leaner in the long run. I take every avenue possible to get me where I want to go, this is an important one to me.

i want to gain mass which food i prefer?

[quote]shefinsbaker wrote:
i want to gain mass which food i prefer?[/quote]

I like running, and I’m all for it. In fact, before becoming a T Nationer, I ran a half marathon. I decided to take up BBing, and may ONE DAY decide to hit the trails again, but until then…
If you want to compete one day, you gotta think long haul. For example, if I were to do incline walking every day, or even a few times a week while gaining, then what tricks would I have up my “weightloss” sleeve when cutting? Like some experienced members that HAVE competed…don’t pull out the big guns until you need to. Granted I do HIIT treadmill work once a week and a light jog once a week, but I’m prone to fat gain. I just think that it would be prudent to save fasted cardio, and every other advanced technique, until you’re stalling during a cut when you’re eating below maintenance. Just my two cents

[quote]shefinsbaker wrote:
i want to gain mass which food i prefer?[/quote]
I’m guessing that english isn’t your first language. read the stickies and eat everything

^ Especially cockmeat sandwiches

Well if you love cardio more than weight training bad for you. It’s been said, if you’re gaining there’s no reason to stop doing it, but if it’s hindering your gains change things up for good.

Cardio can make you down more food and keep you leaner (as DC guidelines say), which to certain extent are 2 positive things for muscular anabolism.

I wouldn’t advice to focus or to even think a lot about cardio for people who is just starting out. Huge gains can be made the first years of training, and the goal of maximum added size should be prioritized before anything. Whether you wanna be bodybuilder huge, or just a ripped guy, a muscular base is needed to start with.