T Nation

Including Cardio Into My Workout


#1

im a little guy, and have been working hard to gain some strength and definately weight. I have been getting great results lately, but my workout routine is lifting only and has no cardio at all (figured i need all the calories i can get for growing due to my fast metabolism so didnt wanna burn any off). Now im getting worried that i need some sort of cardio in my workout. My workout plan is:

Day 1 - chest / back
Day 2 - bicepts / tricepts
Day 3 - Shoulders / legs
Day 4 - rest

Should i be trying to incorpurate cardio into my workout at this point? If so, how can i do so without affecting my workout schedule? (for example if i run on the rest day i might not get a good cardio workout due to my legs being exhausted from the day before...)

any advide would be appriciated, thanks


#2

i only do cardio on rest days from lifting.

Since cardio isnt the primary concern and building muscle is..you shouldnt worry if you get a "good cardio workout" because of your legs being sore or tired.

Lift first, and then just do the cardio, but nothing overly long especially since your trying to gain.

I find that if i do over 20 minutes (in a given session X multiple sessions a week) it cuts into how much weight i gain.


#3

From a bodybuilding standpoint cardio isn't that necessary. Health wise you do want some cardio. And if you're working out to get in better condition for a sport, then you'll need to be doing some type of high-intensity conditioning that will be better than steady state cardio.

If you're an athelete who already has some sort of practice or conditioning, then you've got all the cardio you need.

But if this split is all you're doing, then the best time to do cardio would be to do some walking or easy stuff on your day off.


#4

Make day 3 a rest day and do some cardio.

Try mixing up your splits and having a legs/back day. Supersetting squats and chin ups is a good cardio workout.


#5

I have to disagree with this. I think it's very important for all those except maybe people with extremely fast metabolisms. Cardio for me allows me to keep lean while I'm adding size. I'd have to eat less(and possibly gain less) and that isn't an option. I'd rather eat 5000 calories and burn 500 on the treadmill than eat 4500.

It's just my thought but I'd rather overdue it with food and cover loose ends with cardio than underdo it and possibly miss out on gains. I don't think I'd be gaining as rapidly and keeping as lean as I like without low intensity cardio done on a regular basis.


#6

what kind of cardio do you do and on what sort of schedule?


#7

Well this is my own personal thoughts. I gain fat easily and therefore cardio is done more often than for someone who might not gain fat as easily. I train MWF and do cardio TTHSa with Sundays always off. Lately I've also been doing cardio post workout for 20 minutes on non leg days.

In the morning it's quicky and easy, 25-30 minutes right after I wake up and have my green tea and some BCAA. Brisk walk up to a point I deemed would take me 12-15 minutes at a steady rate and back. Post workout on non leg days I just walk on a treadmill for 20 minutes at about 3.4-3.6 mph. Again nothing too hard and nothing too long.

This is what I do for my situation and goals. Most people do not have to do cardio 5-6 times a week but to stay lean while creeping up in bodyweight this is what I do for now. Also keep in mind cardio means calories burned, if you are looking to gain and do cardio you must also eat to accomodate that.


#8

I should state that I went from 0-2-4 cardio sessions a week over time to find at this point in time what I felt was the minimum I needed to do. So if you even deem it necessary try something like that and allow yourself time at each stage before you bump it up.


#9

i have some cardio concerns as well, im an ectomorph body type and a very fast metabolism (plus im only 20) i would do 1 day of HIIT running when i was cutting but now that im looking to pack on a lot of muscle, (as much as possible but a minimum of 10lbs) im wondering if i should be doing any carido whatsoever?

but then again there are cardio mathods such as HIIT and Tabata that build muscle while burning fat simoteaneously, which is the only type of cardio id do anyway..but im just wondering if cardio is nesecery for my goals in mind?


#10

If you are ectomorphic you likely won't need as much if any cardio as other people. Increase your calories in the right places, protein post work breakfast etc, and judge by your gains if you think you are gaining muscle compared to fat.


#11

I used to be able to cut up without doing any cardio. It was just a simple matter of dietary manipulation. Of course as I've gotten a little older (34 now), it doesn't work as well. If you're younger, cutout sugars and do a simple carb cycle routine, or even take a look at the 't-Dawg' diet. That's all I ever did and I used to have some serious cuts.
-s


#12

^im on the Anabolic Diet.


#13

I love working cardio with my weight training. Cross training provides a very synergistic effect for performance both in the weight room and on the track.

The stronger your legs, core etc are the better your performance will be running a track, bleachers, jump ropes etc. Squats are a great way to build your legs and core as are deadlifts and many other lifts.

The better you perform on a track the more your body is primed to utilize oxygen in physically demanding situations which translates to better lifting sessions in the gym as your muscles will not fatigue as easily, allowing you to lift more and for longer amounts of time which of course produces growth in strength and size.

If you are concerned about calories, treat cardio nutritionally as you do a weight session. Have a pre-cardio meal, look at runnersworld.com for some good ideas (after all they are the running experts) and have a post meal. Up the protein recommendations they offer as building muscle is your goal (post meal. you don't want heavy stuff in your stomach while running, jumping etc), but do take their carb recommendations for what they are.

If you find that you are losing weight after awhile, increase your caloric intake.

At first your lifts will seem to suffer. This is because you are making more demands on your relatively out of shape body. Once it adjusts to the running and lifting, you'll be back to normal in the weight room and better on the track as well as a better all around athlete with a better all around body.


#14

GDwarrior: Are you getting fat? Have you not been making the progress you want to make?

You didn't mention the adverse effects you suspected you were having from not doing any cardio.

On a more general note, as scottiscool has attested to for us, cardio is very useful for calorie partitioning while bulking.

And for me personally, cardio strengthens my lungs and my heart enough to help me get those last 2-3 reps on squats that I wouldn't otherwise get because i'd be too wiped out.


#15

For an ecto with a fast metabolism on a bulking cycle, I'd say no, cardio is not necessary, though limited amounts won't hurt as long as you up your calorie intake to match.