T Nation

Cardio During a Bulk


I like to stay in shape and by that I mean able to run for a few miles without feeling out of breath and I also heard that by doing cardio during a bulk one is able to keep the body fat in check(although I don't really understand this concept if what really matters is calories in vs calories out).

My plan is to go cycling(15-30 miles per week) or running (5-10 miles per week) and doing some walking) on training days mostly for recovery purposes.

I want people who have experienced with this sort of thing and not a link to an article please.


As long as you eat enough, I would consider it a good idea if you are prone to add fat easily.

I cycle about 90 miles a week to work and back (so not by choice) and am still adding weight to the scale (the good kind).


Calories matter most.

That said, the more active you are, the better your nutrient partitioning will be. By keeping your metabolism ramped up, your body will use a greater proportion of the excess calories you consume to build muscle and a smaller portion of those calories will be stored as fat. Don't expect a huge difference, but every little bit helps.

At the very least, getting a bit of regular cardio in will probably make you feel better overall.


Sure why not, aslong as you are eating right I dont see why walking or cycling would hinder your muscle growth, you arent running marathons daily.


Sure why not,
The consensus is that greater bodycomposition improvements are seen at greater levels of energy intake and expenditure.

Including more activity into your routine will have numerous benefits. Greater insulin sensitivity + nutrient partitioning, improved recovery,greater energy expenditure and improved conditioning and work capacity can be expected

As long as the activity doesnt prevent you from achieving your goals, then I think thats a great idea. If like me you like to eat, then higher levels of activity allow you the oppurtunity to eat more!


Stay away from long slow cardio work out's.

If wanting to gain or keep muscle, best bet is HIIT work and KB complex's imo, exercises that burn the most energy in shortest time, and still tax hte muscles.


I'd probably stay away from HIIT, as you don't want to be too knackered from that to get in a decent weights session, however i'm sure moderate intensity intervals would burn a lot of energy and reduce any catabolic effects in your body (which I think the above post is getting at)


Some proponents like John Parillo say to do cardio to improve nutrient delivery through improved cardiovascular mechanisms. Others will tell you to avoid it as its more taxing and is draining. If your nutrition is clean, I don't think you need it. If your nutrition is less than stellar, then you need to work on improving it more than doing more cardio to burn off your shitty diet. Grub on healthy foods of good quality, and you will hardly gain any fat.


So if I eat 7000kcal of "quality food" I won't gain any fat?

I think it's more of a question of when to eat the right foods, rather than the all round quality of them. I eat a mixed diet - evenings I usually have better foods, sometimes it's better during the day but as long as I'm eating my goal in calories that's what is important.

As for cardio, if you are prone to gaining fat quite easily, I would make it a part of a bulk regardless of the quality of your food. This is also assuming you are eating enough to cover the cardio expenditure.


I cycle straight to the gym from work for 25-35 minutes depending on intensity and my energy levels.

If you are eating enough food, energy is NOT going to be a problem. I still manage to have heavy sessions last 1-2 hours once I get to the gym.


do you're cardio. its a great way to partition your food while bulking, prevent bloating and feel better. Oh ya, and a stronger cardiovascular system can move nutriants more efficiently. 20minutes interval training 3 or 4 days a week is plenty. Happy Bulking!