Should You Perform Cardio While Bulking?
There is a huge misconception when it comes to whether or not you should perform cardio while trying to put on size (gain muscle,gain weight=bulk). I was definitely one of those people who ran away from treadmills and anything that would make me sweat when trying to gain some size in the winter season.
Little did I know that I was killing my gains!
And you probably are too!
We have put together 3 of the main reasons why you should do cardio when bulking! Check it out below:
1. Helps with recovery
After your workouts, performing light cardiovascular exercises can not only help with recovery time but it helps stimulate blood flow and increases the nutrient intake into your muscles?
So what exactly does this mean?
It’s going to make your body feel less like jelly the next day so you’re still able to train hard and get those gains that you’re working so hard for!
2. Helps To Reduce Body Fat
The whole goal of a bulk is to put on as much lean muscle mass as possible while keeping body fat as low as possible.
So we know we have to eat in a surplus of calories. (lucky you!)
We don’t want to overdo the cardio because we need to make sure we stay in a calorie deficit but I dont think most people will have trouble keeping cardio to a minimum lol…
If you like high intensity cardio such as sprints or if you prefer to perform something slow like walking, both are fine but as mentioned, keep it to a limit. I would suggest two times a week maximum for high intensity, but low intensity can be done as often as you like as long as you maintain that calorie surplus. Remember, the more cardio you do the more calories you burn; meaning the more you would have to eat. Don’t ruin your gains by over doing it.
3. Cardiovascular Health Is Crucial To Your Health
The first point for this is COVID-19. We all know the havoc that this virus can cause to your body. The primary function of the heart and blood vessels is to transport oxygen, nutrients, and byproducts of metabolism. So the stronger we can build the system, the stronger our lungs and overall health will be to combat any outside viruses that try to attack the body.
If you only focus on lifting weights and neglect cardio, you’ll end up tired from doing simple tasks like walking upstairs or playing sports with your kids. That is definitely not what you would consider “Good health”
It will also make it easier to get back into doing more consistent and intense cardio when you are ready to cut again.
How To Do Cardio While Bulking
As mentioned, overdoing cardio will burn too many calories which will set you back from gaining muscle by putting you into a calorie deficit.
This is why I suggest keeping cardio to a low intensity steady state while you are in a bulk, to make controlling how many calories you are burning easier to track and also not stressing the body too much with vigorous intensity which that energy should be used for weight training.
Walking, jogging, swimming, roller blading and riding a bike are all great options of LISS(Low Impact Steady State).
If you are someone who enjoys being in the gym or just want to be more active, you can definitely perform light cardio on the days you don’t work out like a thirty minute to a one hour walk.
Here’s a suggested routine for cardio while you’re bulking.
Beginners-Speed walk (3.7-4.0) on a high incline (8-10) for as long as you can. Once you get tired reduce the incline to almost flat and then speed to 2.5-3.0. Once your heart rate goes back down and you catch your breath repeat back to your top speed and do this for as many rounds as possible (no less than 10 minutes) Don’t slow walk for more than 90 seconds.
Intermediate – Repeat this process but instead of slow walking and speed walking, you will slow walk to catch your breath and jog for as long as you can.
Advanced- Sprint for 20-30 seconds, slow walk to catch your breath for up to 90 seconds.
Try this for 2-3x a week max to keep your heart and lungs strong while your bulking!