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Cardio Conditioning when Bulking Up?

I cycle to work, and since it’s a good 5 hours on the bike a week, I have to eat a bit more everyday to make sure I’m still in a caloric surplus - I’ve only been on the bike for about 2½ months now.

I try keeping the resistance and intensity medium to high, and vary to pace on the road to avoid getting too much of a steady-state ride and burning up muscle (as well as having some carbs+protein before and after cycling).

My question is, hypothetically, would someone who has been cycling for 10hours a week, moderate-high intensity for 2 years, be more resistant to the effects of 30 minutes of cardio than the average trainee? That is, in regards to calories burned and muscle burning.

Since the more cardio you do, the easier it gets, but is a trained individual going to burn less calories - and possibly spare more muscle - doing the same amount of work as someone who is new to cardio?

I’m thinking yes, but just wondering if there are any factors I’m overlooking - and perhaps a bit more insight if anyone can offer some.

This is just my opinion so take it for what its worth.

I think the worry about losing muscle from cardio is highly overblown unless you are already pretty lean, say sub- 10%bf.

You are almost certainly not going to burn the same amount of calories from a 30 min. cardio session as a cardio newbie.

Given the amount of hours you spend on the bike I would think you probably don’t need additional cardio amusing you’ve got your diet dialed in.

But you know your needs better than I.

[quote]JoeGood wrote:
This is just my opinion so take it for what its worth.

I think the worry about losing muscle from cardio is highly overblown unless you are already pretty lean, say sub- 10%bf.

You are almost certainly not going to burn the same amount of calories from a 30 min. cardio session as a cardio newbie.

Given the amount of hours you spend on the bike I would think you probably don’t need additional cardio amusing you’ve got your diet dialed in.

But you know your needs better than I.[/quote]

I absolutely do not include any more cardio than this - I think 10-12 hours a week of pysical activity is plenty (5-6 from cycling, the rest from weight sessions) for most people.

I was merely curious on what my calories should be doing once I’ve been cycling for a long time (if I continue), and how it all affects building muscle.

So far I’ve managed to add 7lbs in the past 2 months, so I don’t think I’m too far off track.

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Thanks for the detailed response AS.

Anybody got anything to add, perhaps some real world experiences?

Cardio can be as low as 2 times a week for “bulking” purposes and 30 minutes of cardio, even if it’s 5 times per week, won’t compromise your muscle mass.

What visual changes have you seen on that 7 lb gain? that could help to determine if you can decrease cardio or add more calories to boost your muscle mass gain.

not that I know much, but I felt like the more I would ride the stationary bike, or go biking outside, the less progress my legs saw size wise, but I was doing it on a high interval, the day of and after a leg workout so idk.

[quote]MEYMZ wrote:
Cardio can be as low as 2 times a week for “bulking” purposes and 30 minutes of cardio, even if it’s 5 times per week, won’t compromise your muscle mass.

What visual changes have you seen on that 7 lb gain? that could help to determine if you can decrease cardio or add more calories to boost your muscle mass gain.[/quote]

I’m a little soft all round with some fat, but trained guys at the gym say I’ve gained noticable size recently.

As for the frequency, it’s not something I can control and the 5 hours a week is pretty much a non-option for the moment. It seems from what’s been said, since I am not sitting at a very lean BF%, I don’t need to worry about losing muscle mass which was one of my concerns.

Slash, my legs have grown since I started cycling, but like I said I usually have a high resistance setting and try to push it up hills and such.

[quote]JoeGood wrote:

You are almost certainly not going to burn the same amount of calories from a 30 min. cardio session as a cardio newbie.

[/quote]

I don’t understand that at all. If a trainee has been doing cardio a lot they will therefor get better at it. But since you are better at it you can then do it with more intensity.
I mean… clearly if you start out and you are jogging at a very slow pace with very small steps you will eventually have to progress to doing it fast to achieve more results.

[quote]RSGZ wrote:
MEYMZ wrote:
Cardio can be as low as 2 times a week for “bulking” purposes and 30 minutes of cardio, even if it’s 5 times per week, won’t compromise your muscle mass.

What visual changes have you seen on that 7 lb gain? that could help to determine if you can decrease cardio or add more calories to boost your muscle mass gain.

I’m a little soft all round with some fat, but trained guys at the gym say I’ve gained noticable size recently.

As for the frequency, it’s not something I can control and the 5 hours a week is pretty much a non-option for the moment. It seems from what’s been said, since I am not sitting at a very lean BF%, I don’t need to worry about losing muscle mass which was one of my concerns.

Slash, my legs have grown since I started cycling, but like I said I usually have a high resistance setting and try to push it up hills and such.[/quote]

If you look softer it’s ok, that’s almost always necessary while bulking; real bulking, not the “I’m gonna gain 1 pound of fat so I’ll stop eating when I don’t see my abs” bulk, or the “let’s eat every fucking piece of food I see” bulk. Assess yourself visually, you seem to be going pretty well.

high intensity cardio for 15 min 4 times per week will do wonders in terms of fat loss, even while bulking. I think you will be resistant to low intensity, steady state cardio, but HIIT will work for you.

[quote]MEYMZ wrote:
RSGZ wrote:
MEYMZ wrote:
Cardio can be as low as 2 times a week for “bulking” purposes and 30 minutes of cardio, even if it’s 5 times per week, won’t compromise your muscle mass.

What visual changes have you seen on that 7 lb gain? that could help to determine if you can decrease cardio or add more calories to boost your muscle mass gain.

I’m a little soft all round with some fat, but trained guys at the gym say I’ve gained noticable size recently.

As for the frequency, it’s not something I can control and the 5 hours a week is pretty much a non-option for the moment. It seems from what’s been said, since I am not sitting at a very lean BF%, I don’t need to worry about losing muscle mass which was one of my concerns.

Slash, my legs have grown since I started cycling, but like I said I usually have a high resistance setting and try to push it up hills and such.

If you look softer it’s ok, that’s almost always necessary while bulking; real bulking, not the “I’m gonna gain 1 pound of fat so I’ll stop eating when I don’t see my abs” bulk, or the “let’s eat every fucking piece of food I see” bulk. Assess yourself visually, you seem to be going pretty well.[/quote]

Absolutely.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen more than 2 of my abs, but I don’t care.

Do you have the choice of not biking to work?

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
Do you have the choice of not biking to work?[/quote]

Well, I could catch buses, but it takes over 1 hour that way, and I HATE public transport. Hence why I started cycling.

I don’t mind it - just wanted to see how much of a reality burning muscle is with this (if not shredded while doing it), and if I could “get used to” the effect the cycling has.

Than again, as was mentioned a few posts up, as my fitness level increases on the bike, I’m likely to increase the intensity which means the same calories would still be needed to balance it out. Or does it?

[quote]RSGZ wrote:
MEYMZ wrote:
RSGZ wrote:
MEYMZ wrote:
Cardio can be as low as 2 times a week for “bulking” purposes and 30 minutes of cardio, even if it’s 5 times per week, won’t compromise your muscle mass.

What visual changes have you seen on that 7 lb gain? that could help to determine if you can decrease cardio or add more calories to boost your muscle mass gain.

I’m a little soft all round with some fat, but trained guys at the gym say I’ve gained noticable size recently.

As for the frequency, it’s not something I can control and the 5 hours a week is pretty much a non-option for the moment. It seems from what’s been said, since I am not sitting at a very lean BF%, I don’t need to worry about losing muscle mass which was one of my concerns.

Slash, my legs have grown since I started cycling, but like I said I usually have a high resistance setting and try to push it up hills and such.

If you look softer it’s ok, that’s almost always necessary while bulking; real bulking, not the “I’m gonna gain 1 pound of fat so I’ll stop eating when I don’t see my abs” bulk, or the “let’s eat every fucking piece of food I see” bulk. Assess yourself visually, you seem to be going pretty well.

Absolutely.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen more than 2 of my abs, but I don’t care.[/quote]

U may be in the 15-20% range, but some people find this range more anabolic than the 10-15%, specially if your body is adapted to that bodyfat percentage.

in my opinion it really depends on what you understand as cardio-training.
cycling is an complete other kind of movement than running. so you will not save any energy in your cns and its muscle coordination work.
if you have really bulky muscles you will need more energy to move them.
in my opinion for a good overall fitness you need cardio-work. i would stick to cycling if you’re on it or switch to running. you can do it as a part of your gym-work. 10 min of running on a hill-like (10 % gradient) set-up on the treatmill will burst your lunges out.
(personal experience)

[quote]Lorenz wrote:
10 min of running on a hill-like (10 % gradient) set-up on the treatmill will burst your lunges out.
(personal experience)

[/quote]

hehehe, so true…

[quote]MEYMZ wrote:
U may be in the 15-20% range, but some people find this range more anabolic than the 10-15%, specially if your body is adapted to that bodyfat percentage.
[/quote]

I am in the higher range, would’ve thought closer to 20% - but my gains are probably more consistent and better than ever at the moment so I’m sticking with it for now.

Lately I’ve been struggling to add weight (which is something that simply doesn’t exist in my world - I’m an endo and eating lots is NOT a problem for me - nor is gaining) so that’s a first. I’ve even upped my simple carb and protein intake further. I kinda feel for guys with really quick metabolisms.

That’s a fair point you raised though - when coaches suggest staying 10-12% for optimal gains, surely not EVERYONE will have that as an optimal range?

Question:

Do you guys know what affect cardio (HIIT and steady state) has on nutrient partitioning?

For instance, they say PWO after lifting, your insulin sensitivity is high and your body’s ability to partition nutrients is greater improved.

I know all the ‘cardio = muscle loss’ talk, but if you look at what Berardi described in G-Flux, the fact that athletes were leaner even if they did cardiovascular training (on top of their weight lifting) leads me to believe there is a nutrient partitioning and/or insulin sensitivity improvement with cardio.

Thoughts?

[quote]PonceDeLeon wrote:
Question:

Do you guys know what affect cardio (HIIT and steady state) has on nutrient partitioning?

For instance, they say PWO after lifting, your insulin sensitivity is high and your body’s ability to partition nutrients is greater improved.

I know all the ‘cardio = muscle loss’ talk, but if you look at what Berardi described in G-Flux, the fact that athletes were leaner even if they did cardiovascular training (on top of their weight lifting) leads me to believe there is a nutrient partitioning and/or insulin sensitivity improvement with cardio.

Thoughts?[/quote]

There must be some improvement from what I’ve experienced so far - at least in effiency to process nutrients.

I’d eat 4000kcal to gain before, and would have to find a balance to keep fat gains down.

Now, going by the G-flux principle, I eat around 5000kcal but with the extra cardio probably get back down to 4000kcal yet it’s harder to add muscle.