Bulking and Cardio

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Bulking and Cardio

Lee PriestCardio and bulking? A lot of people would say that they are counterproductive to each other, but in reality it’s good for cardiovascular health and also reducing body fat. I’d have to admit, personally, that I wasn’t much for doing cardio while on a bulk, to maximize my gains, but recently it’s been a necessity.

A lot of professional bodybuilders actually incorporate cardio into their bulking phases. The reason I didn’t want to add it is because I felt as if this wouldn’t help and actually hinder any muscle building routine I was on. But the key to doing cardio while bulking, is to make sure it’s minimal and not hours long, as if you were on a cut.

Now before I move on, just to remind you, bulking is when a bodybuilder goes on high calorie diet, and tries to gain as much muscle as possible in a certain amount of time. Currently, I am on a long term bulk, trying to get to 180 lbs, in whatever time frame that’s feasible, with the least amount of body fat being added on.

I don’t do the conventional cardio session on a treadmill, bike or an elliptical but rather I get my cardio in from walking to my public transportation and then to the gym or home. During this period, I am walking about a good mile, and I try to do it with a brisk walk, rather than a slow one. Before I leave the gym, I do a nice warm up on a treadmill for about 5 to 10 minutes, nothing big. The walking really has been helping to keep my body fat even more minimum, along with my IF diet.

Vintage Bicep FlexAnother reason why cardio helps, besides keeping the body fat down, is with your overall cardiovascular health. I know I have said this before but if you’re planning to pack on some significant weight, like I am doing by going from 150 to 180lbs, then this will help with the side effects of gaining weight. Normally, if you don’t realize, if a person gains too much weight they have a hard time walking around with said weight. They experience shortness of breath, fatigue, etc. By doing cardio, you are allowing your heart to work to carry that amount of weight around you without it becoming unhealthy. Working out your heart, will definitely help with overall blood flow and strengthen your heart so that it doesn’t have to work overtime, to push that blood from it to the rest of your body.

Since I have been gaining my weight and wasn’t doing too much cardio, I started to experience a shortness of breath, and being exhausted doing minimal activities like walking up and down a flight of stairs, even though I have constantly opted for walking up stairs than using an escalator or elevator. By adding cardio to my workout routine, I have significantly reduced that discomfort of trying to catch my breath. Now longer am I huffing and buffing, and having a hard time catching my breath after going up and down some stairs, over a period of time.

If you don’t walk to and from your gym, then doing about 30 to 45 minutes on a cardio machine of your choice, is the perfect range to keep your body fat percentage down while also strengthening your heart. You can choose to do this on your days off, or you can actually do it after your training. Do a nice brisk, steady cardio session, not going too fast and not going too slow either. It’s assumed that your body burns fat up till a certain point and anywhere afterward, it turns to muscle. How much truth there is in this, doesn’t matter at the moment but it does help to keep you in a certain time frame to guarantee no loss of muscle.

Remember if you add any amount of cardio sessions to your workout routines or bulking routine then added calories would be needed. So keep this in consideration. If you keep your training sessions below 1 hour and do about 30 to 45 minutes of cardio, then you will fine. If you feel you’d be too paranoid (yeah, it happens), of losing your muscle, then just do your cardio on your off days.


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