T Nation

Cardio While Bulking

Will doing cardio while bulking help with muscle to fat ratio or will it “just burn calories”?

Fuck cardio.

Do GPP.

[quote]just1joel wrote:
Will doing cardio while bulking help with muscle to fat ratio[/quote]

Yes if done smartly

I can’t say for sure from experience, but I’ll be able to give you a definite answer in a few months.

I started cycling to work, so 6 hours a week on a bike is a LOT of cardio for me. I still get to the gym 3-4 times a week, with 1-2 hour sessions. I consume an extra 600-1000kcal to offset what I burn. So far so good.

I imagine that this is the g-flux principal, where if you match the extra energy you’re expending, there should be a positive shift in body composition - this is what I’m banking on (gaining muscle & strength while keeping fat off, even possibly losing some in the long term).

As long as I don’t stop adding size, I think the extra cardio can only help.

[quote]rsg wrote:
I can’t say for sure from experience, but I’ll be able to give you a definite answer in a few months.

I started cycling to work, so 6 hours a week on a bike is a LOT of cardio for me. I still get to the gym 3-4 times a week, with 1-2 hour sessions. I consume an extra 600-1000kcal to offset what I burn. So far so good.

I imagine that this is the g-flux principal, where if you match the extra energy you’re expending, there should be a positive shift in body composition - this is what I’m banking on (gaining muscle & strength while keeping fat off, even possibly losing some in the long term).

As long as I don’t stop adding size, I think the extra cardio can only help.[/quote]

Doesn’t that contribute to overtraining your legs?

[quote]Damner wrote:
rsg wrote:
I can’t say for sure from experience, but I’ll be able to give you a definite answer in a few months.

I started cycling to work, so 6 hours a week on a bike is a LOT of cardio for me. I still get to the gym 3-4 times a week, with 1-2 hour sessions. I consume an extra 600-1000kcal to offset what I burn. So far so good.

I imagine that this is the g-flux principal, where if you match the extra energy you’re expending, there should be a positive shift in body composition - this is what I’m banking on (gaining muscle & strength while keeping fat off, even possibly losing some in the long term).

As long as I don’t stop adding size, I think the extra cardio can only help.

Doesn’t that contribute to overtraining your legs?[/quote]

What? No.

My leg training is minimal at the moment while I adjust to the cycling, and I have to let me nagging knee recover fully before I start squatting again. Good time to bring up the hams and calves.

[quote]Damner wrote:
rsg wrote:
Doesn’t that contribute to overtraining your legs?[/quote]

Sorry to hijack this thread further but I’ve wondered about the effect of cycling on leg training too.

I ride to work 5 or 6 days a week. It’s a only a 15 min ride each way but I ride HARD (I accelerate as hard as I can taking off from traffic lights, etc) and there’s a fair bit of low-gradient uphill riding in there too.

That in itself made my quads disproportionately large before I lifted anything. Now I lift but will only squat once a week because for days afterwards my legs just don’t perform on the bike.

Is that probably causing overtraining in my legs? Part of me wonders if I should squat at all but I do it for the benefits outside of the quads. I don’t want to lose any leg strength or size though.

As far as whole-body muscle gains and recovery go, would I be advised to maybe lighten off the cycling intensity? I’m eating plenty but I don’t want to jeopardise muscle gain with cycling.

Tom

Well Tom are you growing fine? Progress in the gym ok? If yes to both of those then you are alright, if one or both is no then re evaluate diet/biking.

You will have to eat more due to your activeness but I don’t see 30 minutes a day completely shutting down muscle growth.

[quote]Tommy28 wrote:
Doesn’t that contribute to overtraining your legs?
[/quote]

It technically “could”…but I’m under the general impression that the term “over-training” is a bit over used. (in general…not referring to YOUR use of it)

[quote]Tommy28 wrote:
Sorry to hijack this thread further but I’ve wondered about the effect of cycling on leg training too.
[/quote]

Depends on your goals. If you want to be a fast cyclist, then using cycling to train your legs will work great. Look at pro, or even club rider…most people who cycle a lot…have legs that look the part.

If you’re interested in a power lifting competition where sheer 1RM is your goal…you’re better off training for that as the extra cycling will leave your legs fatigued and less capable of training at or near your 1RM.

[quote]Tommy28 wrote:
Now I lift but will only squat once a week because for days afterwards my legs just don’t perform on the bike.
[/quote]

No way around good old fashion fatigue :slight_smile:

[quote]Tommy28 wrote:
Part of me wonders if I should squat at all
[/quote]

You should squat.

[quote]Tommy28 wrote:
As far as whole-body muscle gains and recovery go, would I be advised to maybe lighten off the cycling intensity? I’m eating plenty but I don’t want to jeopardise muscle gain with cycling.
[/quote]

No one will be able to tell you for certain…as it depends partly on your own capacity for work.

I ride my bike into work everyday. The day (and sometimes 2 days) after a maximal effort squat or deadlift day…are painfully slow rides in. I have no choice but to ride (I refuse to pay $80+/mo to park at my job).

If you have the choice, maybe take the days after a tough squat session off. Then again…I find the slow ride in can help loosen up my legs and ultimately recover faster.

Try it a couple of different ways…keep a journal if you have to and you’ll be able to figure out what works best for you!

Good luck!

[quote]just1joel wrote:
Will doing cardio while bulking help with muscle to fat ratio or will it “just burn calories”?[/quote]

I’m assuming since your on this site you would like a muscle to fat ratio higher on the muscle side, right? haha, ok…

‘Fasted cardio’ is one of the best ways (IMO and proven) to burn off more fat then muscle.

This is because first thing in the morning; before breakfast, your body is coming out of a long fasting period (sleep) where it has used alot of non-fat calories (cant’ think of the correct term right now) while sleeping…and fat is used during fasted cardio as a source of energy.

get up, sprint, do some gpp, hit the bag; something…

i’m bulking and doing that 2-3x a week and i’m gaining about 3/4 to 1 pound a week while maintaining a very low % (10-13).

good luck!!

I think it has its place. 30min/day at a low intensity is a good idea.

Wow cool thanks. I like the fasted cardio idea. I have heard about it and I think I’ll try that.

Cardio while bulking is useful for increasing appetite, making it easier to eat a ton of food.

The best bulking cardio protocol I used for myself was 10 mins of slow/moderate cardio immediately following each workout.

Kept the blood flowing, recovery seemed much faster, and it definitely helped keep the fat in check.

Perform HIIT after workouts x3 pw to get a fat burning boost.