T Nation

When to Start Doing Cardio?

Been bulking for a good 6 months now for rugby (haven’t done any cardio to aid weight gain) and the season starts May next year. Just wondering when do you guys suggest I should start doing cardio? Would 1 month before the season starts be good enough or is that cutting it too short?

I think 6 weeks is ok but you will have to work on sprints a bit earlier than that to increase your short burst speed

to each his own, but personally, i never understand posts like this one. you bulk up to get bigger for a sport you’re really to small for? now you wanna know when to start doing cardio to get in shape?? whay not play a sport that goes with your natural size. i can see adding a few pounds on for a sport, but you start adding on a ton of weight, i bet you’ll be so ez to fake out and run around. ypu’ll have no quickness.

your tendons and ligaments were meant to move the natural you, not you with added weight…top doctors have said this for years… maybe if you are a bodybuilder where you just stand there, or lift for power,you can add on a lot of bulk, but rugby? you gotta move quickly from side to side. added weight, if a lot, = blown knee…
good luck bro…

Why play rugby when I’m too small for it? Because I love the sport. Why play/do something you don’t enjoy? That’s just stupid advice. Also it’s not like I’m going to be at a heavy weight forever, it’s only for a good decade until I’m too old to play the sport.

Don’t assume that just cause someone gets heavier they’ll instantaneously get slower. I’ve always been fast regardless my weight. Might be a little slower now but I’m still pretty fast.

Have you also never heard of people bulking off-season for contact sports then gradually losing it before/throughout the season?

yes i have heard of people bulking off season, then loosing weightto prepare for the season… very unhealthy…
good luck to you whatever you choose to do.

Why not just start training with the local team?

that will give you the best platform for the size needed to play rugby??

Guys, I’m 195-200lbs and I’ve still got a few more months to bulk. This thread isn’t about size and I’m not concerned about size.

I’m looking for advice as to when to start doing cardio before the season. Just wanna get some opinions out there so I can base my training around it.

if i were you i would start doing one day per week of short, high intensity cardio now and then, when the season comes, maybe 6-10weeks of 2-3 sessions per week. but don’t you train with your team anyway?

[quote]spk wrote:
to each his own, but personally, i never understand posts like this one. you bulk up to get bigger for a sport you’re really to small for? now you wanna know when to start doing cardio to get in shape?? whay not play a sport that goes with your natural size. i can see adding a few pounds on for a sport, but you start adding on a ton of weight, i bet you’ll be so ez to fake out and run around. ypu’ll have no quickness.

your tendons and ligaments were meant to move the natural you, not you with added weight…top doctors have said this for years… maybe if you are a bodybuilder where you just stand there, or lift for power,you can add on a lot of bulk, but rugby? you gotta move quickly from side to side. added weight, if a lot, = blown knee…
good luck bro…[/quote]

Have you ever watched an NFL football game? Yea, those running backs have no quickness and those linebackers are so ez to fake out and run around and none of them move quickly from side to side at all…

Regarding injuries to tendons and ligaments: I would say that the nature of the sport itself is probably a greater risk than than the few pounds of muscle you’ll gain lifting in the off season. When I played football, I saw plenty of skinny guys get carried off the field after getting crushed. Being at their “natural” weight didn’t seem to protect them much. Ifr you want to protect your joints I would say that not playing contact sports is better advice than not putting lifting/bulking in the off season.

Grunzi, what position do you play?

I wouldn’t want to leave it that long myself, if I were you. I would want 6-8 weeks and I would want to do something to maintain my base in the off season, but that’s just me. The whole idea that doing any cardio will totally derail weight gain is just not accurate, IMHO. It’s got more to do with eating/recovering.

In my high school days I always played forwards but I only played until U16s. After I turned 17, I moved and there was no rugby so I joined the local team but they only had mens teams. So 17 and 155lbs I was already playing mens which wasn’t so bad cause I went into the scrum-half/wing position. Only thing is, I don’t enjoy playing in the backs so I’ve finally decided to man up and bulk up so I can go back into playing either hooker or flanker which means I’d need to be at 200lbs at least.

Ideally I’d like to be doing a lot of cardio off-season but just not atm, not until I’m able to be at a steady 200lbs. I’m not TOO concerned about my fitness cause I’ll be starting from playing casual rugby around casual players and then eventually work my way up to a much more serious level.

I’d like to start doing cardio now but putting on weight is getting harder (started 7 months ago at 160lbs to now 195lbs) and I’ve actually stalled for the past month and a half. Stalled in gaining weight but my lifts have been doing up still so converting fat into muscle.

But yeh, I’d like to put off the cardio as long as I can so I can gain as much weight as possible but not so long that I’ll be useless come the season.

If you had a high level of cardiovascular fitness before you started the bulking, I’d start the cardio 6-8 weeks out. I’d also include a mix of steady state, longer duration cardio with the sprints. Flanker is a great, but very tiring position (as I’m sure you know).

I would be doing some sought of cardio work throughout most of the off-season. Keep it moderate intensity, but if gaining weight is your main goal than just make sure you eat like a horse and lift like hard.

I understand what spk is trying to say; why spend 3 months bulking and then spend the next 3 months losing that bulk as you adapt to the conditions of your sport? Wouldn’t it be better to bulk while maintaining some sore of decent conditioning level?

tweet

I had decent fitness before bulking but it’s been 6 months and 35lbs later since I’ve done cardio so I’m sure I won’t be anywhere close lol.

But yeh, 6-8 weeks seems to be the general consensus so I’ll stick to that.

Thanks.

bird

you seen what i was trying to say…

batman

if i was skinny i would be a runner, or play baseball, or sometghing like that. putting a lot of weight on a small frame to be a football player or rugby player isnt the way to do this. IMO…of course u seen skinny guys get crushed in football. they are playing a big mans game. men that are born with big bone structures…on the other hand, a big tough guy linebacker would make a fool out of himself, loosing a ton of weight to race a 5k crosscountry race. loosing all that weight he would loose strength.play sports that match your body type is what i’m trying to say. sure you can put on a few QUALITY pounds in a years time training the correct way, but to bulk like most guys do which ends up being just fat , then try to do cardio, and play sports that really isnt for them is asking for trouble.

[quote]spk wrote:
bird

you seen what i was trying to say…

batman

if i was skinny i would be a runner, or play baseball, or sometghing like that. putting a lot of weight on a small frame to be a football player or rugby player isnt the way to do this. IMO…of course u seen skinny guys get crushed in football. they are playing a big mans game. men that are born with big bone structures…on the other hand, a big tough guy linebacker would make a fool out of himself, loosing a ton of weight to race a 5k crosscountry race. loosing all that weight he would loose strength.play sports that match your body type is what i’m trying to say. sure you can put on a few QUALITY pounds in a years time training the correct way, but to bulk like most guys do which ends up being just fat , then try to do cardio, and play sports that really isnt for them is asking for trouble.[/quote]

Fair enough, it does make sense to play to your strengths. I frustrated myself for years in my late teens and early 20’s trying to do small guy sports (rockclimbing etc) at a high level with more of a football build. Conversely, turning into a fatass on your off season “bulk” only to lose it all when you start playing again makes no sense either (not necessarily talking about the OP). However, just because a guy is underweight as a teenager doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a frame that he could fill out with some quality mass if he starts eating and lifting properly. That’s kind of the premise this whole site is built on, I think, and that seems like what this thread is about to me. Shit, you can potentially put on 15-20 lbs of water and glycogen in a hurry if you just bump your food intake. We can’t tell what the OP’s frame is like and he’s in a phase where likely still has some filling out to do anyway. It might be a little early to give up on a sport he loves.

A good friend of mine in HS was 6’4" 145 lbs in grade 10. At that time I weighed closer to 195-200 at the same height. Our frames are a little different, but not that much. Telling that guy to quit rugby, football or whatever in favour skinny guy sport is one solution but not the only or necessarily the best solution (although it’s what my friend did). My friend and I are now within 15 lbs of each other and don’t look that much different at a glance.

I’m not sure how many NFL or high level rugby players are walking around at anything close to their “natural” weight, but I don’t think it’s very many. The average NFL linebacker is about 6’2" 250lbs and I think the average pro rugby flanker is about the same height and closer to 225. On the NFL side, not many ecto/mesomorphic types are going to weigh that much without deliberately building some mass. I have a linebacker’s build, in terms of my frame, and I would guess my natural weight is about 215-220 while I weigh about 235. I would need to put on at least 20 lbs to be a competitive LB at my height.

Conversely, I have recently been as light as 195 lbs and at that weight I could have been competitive (if not awesome) at swimming and running which were my focus at that time. My point is that I think we should let our passion rather than our bodytype dictate our athletic pursuits.

spk, you seem like you don’t watch a lot of rugby cause you’d know rugby players come in all shapes and sizes. The average international forward is 6’2 and 240lbs yet there are players who are much smaller. One of the most successful forwards was only 5’8 and 155lbs then there are guys who are the same height and are 230lbs.

They might not be playing in their ‘natural’ weight but they’re getting paid to play the sport they love, don’t think they care whether or not they’re playing at their ‘natural’ weight.

Also don’t forget it’s not like I’m playing professional rugby where I’d be up against guys MUCH bigger than me.

I’ve been lifting hard since I’ve been bulking, I’ve gotten my squat up from 190x8 to 265x8 and my deadlift from 300x5 to 425x5. My bulk isn’t super clean but I’m making the most out of it which I planned from the beginning so I’m happy with the results. And of course during the actual season or when I start doing cardio I’ll be eating much more than I am now.

Like batman said, let passion dictate our athletic pursuits. spk, I feel sorry for you if you’ve lived your life not doing things cause you’re either too small or big for it.

[quote]Grunzi wrote:
spk, you seem like you don’t watch a lot of rugby cause you’d know rugby players come in all shapes and sizes. The average international forward is 6’2 and 240lbs yet there are players who are much smaller. One of the most successful forwards was only 5’8 and 155lbs then there are guys who are the same height and are 230lbs.

They might not be playing in their ‘natural’ weight but they’re getting paid to play the sport they love, don’t think they care whether or not they’re playing at their ‘natural’ weight.

Also don’t forget it’s not like I’m playing professional rugby where I’d be up against guys MUCH bigger than me.

I’ve been lifting hard since I’ve been bulking, I’ve gotten my squat up from 190x8 to 265x8 and my deadlift from 300x5 to 425x5. My bulk isn’t super clean but I’m making the most out of it which I planned from the beginning so I’m happy with the results. And of course during the actual season or when I start doing cardio I’ll be eating much more than I am now.

Like batman said, let passion dictate our athletic pursuits. spk, I feel sorry for you if you’ve lived your life not doing things cause you’re either too small or big for it.

[/quote]

You totally missed the point.

You just said there’s a successful forward that’s 5’8 155lbs, why bulk? One of the most important aspects of sports is conditioning, the best athletes focus on conditioning and skills. You gained 35lbs have no clue what your conditioning is for your sport. Now is the guy who gained 15lbs but focused himself on speed and conditioning the last 7 months going to blow by you or through you, or out last you when the season starts?

265x8 is cool and all but that something that many 185lbs athletes can do, so a person with that leg strngth -15lbs is going to be an all around better athlete.

I’m not saying bulking is bad but if you can do it by just eating sacrificing your conditioning and sport specific drills to do so is just not truly beneficial.

airtruth

well put!!!

grunzi

your last paragraph… wow man!! i was nationally ranked quite a while in the mile run, and currently race the pro level on bicycles…

[quote]Airtruth wrote:

You totally missed the point.

You just said there’s a successful forward that’s 5’8 155lbs, why bulk? One of the most important aspects of sports is conditioning, the best athletes focus on conditioning and skills. You gained 35lbs have no clue what your conditioning is for your sport. Now is the guy who gained 15lbs but focused himself on speed and conditioning the last 7 months going to blow by you or through you, or out last you when the season starts?

265x8 is cool and all but that something that many 185lbs athletes can do, so a person with that leg strngth -15lbs is going to be an all around better athlete.

I’m not saying bulking is bad but if you can do it by just eating sacrificing your conditioning and sport specific drills to do so is just not truly beneficial.[/quote]

Because there are different types of players in rugby. Numbers 1 to 15 of the team can have different traits. That 155lbs guy was one of the fittest guys in the team hence why he’s freaking light. His role was to be able to move around well on the pitch. I’m not trying to be that type. You’ve got the heavier guys who can’t/don’t move as much on the pitch but are more useful in scrummaging. Then you’ve got the guys in between.

How is a guy being able to squat 265x8 and lighter by 15lbs be better in rugby? Do you mean concerning cardiovascular fitness? Cause if they were both equally fit and strong but the other guy is heavier then the heavier guy is much better off.

Also I’ve got 6 MONTHS before the actual season starts which is why I’m asking for advice now so I can make up for what I lack.