T Nation

Morning Cardio While Bulking?


Would morning cardio be acceptable while bulking in order to keep my bodyfat in check? I'm obviously expecting to gain some bodyfat, but at least that way im not burning off the calories throughout the day that I am eating to help put on mass, and only targeting fat stores, which is what ive been told morning cardio targets.

I'm thinking of about 3-5 times a week for 30-60 minutes light cardio. Keep in mind, im leaning toward more of an endomorph type body, I gain strength very easily, but I also hold on to fat quite easily, so I really need to be careful while bulking that I dont gain too much fat.


yes, although dante recommends it to get your metabolism going in the morning but if your an endomorph and natural bulking is generally not the smartest thing to be doing. I am endomorphic and taking the slow and steady gains approach is the best for me


Personally I think 30-60 minutes of cardio 3-5 times a week is unnecessary for a bulk, if you need to do that much maybe just lower the cals slightly? Light cardio is more catabolic, so I'd keep it to a minimum and go for stuff like prowler pushing, complexes, sled pulls etc (stuff that can help build muscle). (all depends on what your perception is of a "bulk")

What does your bodyweight stats and daily macros/cals look like, and how many times a week do you lift? Sometimes it's better for people to go for a lean gains approach rather than straight up bulking


I think a better approach would be to do complexes.


IMO...anything over 30 minutes is unnecessary. Cardio should be done daily during a bulk and you can do it anytime it is convenient.


thanks for the replies guys. im not exactly sure about how many cals im taking in or my macros, but im eating about 5-6 meals a day. most of which are pretty good, but i might have 1 or 2 slack meals here or there. im 6'1 and i weigh about 205-207 at the moment. not exactly sure what my bf% is at, but lets just say you cant see my abs haha. i was under the impression light cardio preserved muscle better, but i was doing lots of complexes and hill sprints last summer while cutting 40lbs to get in shape for amateur boxing.

and i will gladly start them again if they would be the better option. im always afraid to start cutting or tinkering with my calories while bulking, since i dont have a clear idea of what im taking in and am just trying to eat lots of good whole foods, or whatever the parents happen to bring home


I'm in a slow bulk too but you need to have an idea on number of calories since this is the most important factor. Results from cardio will get washed out by overeating


While I don't think there is really any real advantage to doing cardio in the morning vs later in the day in terms of caloric burn, there is something nice about getting it out of the way. Also, I've read several places where people have proposed that the little bit of activity in the AM can possibly improve your insulin sensitivity throughout the rest of the day. Certainly not a bad thing for anyone. If you're trying to pack on muscle, such an approach will not harm you. I think the old line about how cardio inhibits muscle gain has been well exaggerated over the years.



Anyone who has physique endevours needs to be counting macros.


How is your gaining phase going btw grind? Not heard much from you in a while!


I agree with most here. I think everyone who lifts should do atleast 20 min a day of cardio, even just walking. As far as doing cardio in the morning, I'm with stu on that I don't think it matters when you do it. The morning works for most, get it done and get on with your day. I personaly like to bang out my cardio after weights, while I'm still sweating just get it done at the same time. Anyway I think everyone's in agreement, a little cardio won't eat your muscle. Goodluck


It went well, I was conservative and only went up to 193 lbs, but managed to get carbs up to 400


Stupid smart phone submitted my post before I was ready... Yeah I got up to 193 lbs and maybe 11 percent bf(guess) and finished with 400 grams carbs and no cardio. Now I'm prepping again with shelby. I didn't make zraw type gains , but legs did improve and so did my chest. Here is a crappy side chest shot upon waking the other day, no pump or anything


Good progress dude! Your prep is gonna be a breeze compared to the last one.


I hope so , I think ill do a 2 year off season after this. I'd like to some day get a natty pro card...some day.....here's a leg selfie with friendly lighting too


thanks alot guys. ive also been doing it in the am to rev my appetite up for the rest of the day. ive been having real problems lately having any type of appetite for entire days at a time, which is not good when trying to build muscle. and i feel first thing in the am gets my appetite going. when im working my appetite goes thru the roof, when im moving around doing stuff. but im on call for forest firefighting, so if i dont get called out to the bush to do that im doing piss all and sitting around the house most of the day, not building any type of appetite up. so a little jaunt in the am gets the motor goin


I'm not commenting on bulking or anything, but I will say that I think the idea that muscle willbe eaten up by some cardio is a baseless fear.....goes with the fear that not having a protein shake immediately after working out means your catabolizing.


Fasted morning walks and HIIT can really keep you lean while allowing you to put on quality muscle. Too much HIIT may hinder gains a bit, but you don't have to worry about losing muscle as Nards said, unless your diet is terrible.