T Nation

Off Day Calories (When Off Day Is Cardio Day)

Hi Guys. I know there has been much talk about calories on off days, and generally most people simply take away the cals from the PWO shake (although I have seen these cals replaced with a whole meal during bulking).

My question is: what if your ‘off day’ is the day you do things such as cardio and abs. I do my cardio and sometimes abs on these days. Normally around 30 minutes cardio, and optionally 15 minutes abs. To those who also do cardio on off days, do you still simply take away the cals from the PWO shake and leave it at that or do you make up for the cals burned through the cardio too?


Eat for the goal plain and simple. If you are wanting to gain you need to make the effort to eat more. you heal/grow/recover OUT of the gym.

If you are trying to lose a bit of weightr dont eat so much and probably drop some of the carbs.

Genrally I eat a bit less on non lifting days either route do to the fact Im not as hungry as after lifting.

Hi there. I understand your view, but I was trying to think about it in a way which negates the goal at hand (if possible).

For example, lets say that, regardless of whether you are bulking, maintaing or cutting, you need to get in 3000 cals in the day. Lets say that the PWO shake is 500 cals. If you simply leave that out you get 2500 cals.

My question would be: if you do cardio on that day, would you still keep it at 2500 cals or would you add in the cals to make up for the cardio. The reason why I think it may still be applicable regardless of goals is that, the 3000 cal level is already what you need for your goal at that time.

Lets take cutting for example - say the 3000 includes a 3-400 cal deficit. If you now do cardio, and don’t add any cals, that would bring you into a sever deficit of 800-1000 for example which is probably too much. Ditto for bulking: cardio will bring your caloric intake under the required amount to exceed maintenance etc.

I may be totally off base though so if I am missing something please fill in the blanks.