I have had a similar issue. (and still have to fight it a bit)
First, I skipped cardio for years and this is a BIG mistake. You will increase your strength faster with a minimum amount of cardio, and also keep you heart healthy.
Second, I tried powerlifting on for size for a little more than a year. I was on a great team with great coaches, and my glutes seemed to grow more than anything else - a look I was NOT happy with. Add some extra fat to that and you have one sloppy looking physique eh?
Now I still squat and deadlift, but I separate the lifts onto different days. When I squat, I do it LAST, after leg extensions and leg presses, and I try to keep a narrower stance. I can’t lift as much, but I feel it slightly more in the quads. (and less in the glutes)
Additionally, a 3 inch gain on your waist makes me think your “bulk” was too much fat gain in that period. Next bulk, you might want to adjust your diet somewhat.
Do you really think you can gain strength quicker by adding a low level of cardio?[/quote]
Yes. Work capacity improves, and workouts improve.
Are you talking about the total amount of reps you could do in a set, due to increased endurance?[/quote]
Not specifically, no. Increasing your work capacity allows you to work with more intensity, for longer periods, and recover more quickly between sets.
In more general terms, it is possible to build up muscle while being “out of shape” from lack of cardio, but you will find that you get gassed over a hard set, you wear out easily and are just finished after a short period of time.
If you are more “in shape” you’ll find you can knock out set after set, with a higher intensity (more weight for same number of reps) and train longer.
I mentioned this originally in the thread because I am a naturally rather scrawny guy, and I followed all the advice, for years, about skipping cardio. From my experience, it is a big mistake.
Additionally, I don’t find that a modest amount of cardio hinders my recovery at all, but improves it. I feel better, am in all around better athletic shape, and I can workout harder.
Also I think people listen to the don’t do cardio crap because they want an excuse to skip it out of laziness.