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Thread: What role does cardio play in bulking?

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    What role does cardio play in bulking?

    If all I want to do is gain weight, should I be doing any cardio (besides to warm up)? Some day don't do any, and others say do them on off days. If I don't get any cardio at all, won't that encourage fat gain instead of muscle gain? Thanks.

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    8 time mr. olympia does cardio even while bulking.

    Cardio burns more fat than muscle , so it keeps bulking fat in check.

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    Not Done Yet ShockBoxer's Avatar
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    You don't think lifting hard for a half hour or an hour is more cardio than the average person gets in a week?

    All physical activity that raises your heartrate is 'cardio'. Do some 'dedicated' cardio if you like it but realize that unless you increase your food (slightly... it doesn't take much to wipe out an hour of cardio calories burned) it will slow down the weight you put on.
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    Senior Member Meat_Head's Avatar
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    Cardio performed CORRECTLY while bulking goes a long way towards keeping your gains lean mass.
    Squat...Eat...Sleep...Grow...Repeat

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShockBoxer
    You don't think lifting hard for a half hour or an hour is more cardio than the average person gets in a week?

    All physical activity that raises your heartrate is 'cardio'. Do some 'dedicated' cardio if you like it but realize that unless you increase your food (slightly... it doesn't take much to wipe out an hour of cardio calories burned) it will slow down the weight you put on.
    lifting burns mainly glycogen. traditional cardio (running) burns mainly fat.
    of course, with the right type of lifting, one builds muscle which burns more calories, but that is a secondary effect.

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    Sculpted by Science brickt.'s Avatar
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    Cardio is good during all phases of training.

    Stimulates positive nutrient balance = more calories go to muscle than fat
    Improves Recovery = can train more often w/ higher intensity
    Improves HR = less time between sets which is good for hypertrophy
    Poo is also LBM - The Built

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    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    lifting burns mainly glycogen. traditional cardio (running) burns mainly fat.
    of course, with the right type of lifting, one builds muscle which burns more calories, but that is a secondary effect.
    Building more muscle increases your metabolism which in turn burns more fat. Cardio starts burning fat after your glycogen stores are gone, which is why it's better to do cardio after lifting. However...cardio really shouldn't be something used mainly to burn fat because it's not as efficient as packing on lean mass. I just do cardio to increase the vascularity of my heart.


    If all I want to do is gain weight, should I be doing any cardio (besides to warm up)? Some day don't do any, and others say do them on off days. If I don't get any cardio at all, won't that encourage fat gain instead of muscle gain? Thanks.
    As long as you're taking into account the fact that you're burning more calories while doing cardio and eating more food to compensate, there shouldn't be a problem with doing cardio while bulking. You WILL have to eat excess calories than what you're burning off in order to see gains, though. Otherwise it will hurt your gains during a bulk phase.
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

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    Quote Originally Posted by sCaRz*Of*PaiN
    Cardio starts burning fat after your glycogen stores are gone, which is why it's better to do cardio after lifting. .
    I believe that mid-paced cardio for the duration we normally perform (30-45 minutes) burns very little glucose...mostly fat burn.

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    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    It's just a waste of energy expenditure if you're using it for fat loss. Hitting the weights should be the main focus, in my opinion. It's just not as efficient to try and lose weight via hardcore cardio. It's good for the heart though and that's the main reason I do it. Having a stronger heart also increases your endurance when doing weightlifting.

    Only after 20 minutes or so does cardio start tapping into your fat stores. Before this, the main source of energy is glucose. Which is why I say it's better to do cardio after weights because your glycogen stores are depleted, leaving only your fat stores to burn. Waiting 20+ minutes to start hitting your fat stores seems a bit tiring and isn't as fun as lifting weights. At least I think it's more fun than just sitting or running in place for almost an hour.
    Last edited by sCaRz*Of*PaiN; 03-08-2006 at 01:08 AM.
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    Not Done Yet ShockBoxer's Avatar
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    I'm just not a big fan of cardio. Back last year in my cardio bunny days I got to the point where I could do an eliptical on maximum level, maximum incline for twenty minutes. Sprinting up six flights of stairs at work would still destroy me.

    Now to do cardio I sprint up those six flights of stairs, every morning. They no longer wind me. Maybe I'm not burning as many calories doing so but my FUNCTIONAL endurance is going up... and since that's what I wanted from cardio in the first place I find it really hard to step onto an eliptical machine and be bored for 20 minutes.
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  11. #11
    Big, Strong, Fast Machine MJS's Avatar
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    I find doing HIIT 2-3 times a week during my bulking stages increases my appetite, gives me more energy, and as a mental thing - makes my veins pop out so when I look in the mirror .. I think, f*ck yeah I'm a beast. Seems like a win-win-win to me... even though I am nuts.
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    Senior Member Meat_Head's Avatar
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    Regular cardio sucks... either do swimming or something involving multiple sprints
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    Is cutting down to 9% Jordanbcool's Avatar
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    I'd have to disagree with most people in this thread that say cardio is useless or that it sucks. Physical activity is always good for you no matter what your goals are. I've recently started doing HIIT and it works wonders for fat loss while increasing your speed considerably. Also AM cardio is not bad either. Early in the morning your glycocen stores are low if not completly gone, so your body burns alot of fat if you decide to do morning cardio. If you over-do AM cardio it can burn hard earned muscle so DO NOT become a long distance runner. 30 minutes at a slow jog is more then enough.

    I personally dont do cardio at all on bulks, but i think its a godsend on cuts. I'm a fatty at heart so i love to eat. Rather then cut back on my calories i'd rather increase my activity to shed pounds. Of course i still eat under maintenace but.... you get the picture.

    -jordan

    P.S. Diet is first on cuts and bulks. Never ever forget that. Your body cant magically create energy (calories) for you to grow if you do not supply them!!
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    "I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again." - Achilles, (Troy 2004)
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    Senior Member Jorge Sanchez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordanbcool
    I'd have to disagree with most people in this thread that say cardio is useless or that it sucks.
    Nobody said that.
    quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur

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    Is cutting down to 9% Jordanbcool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge Sanchez
    Nobody said that.
    Read the post above mine!

    lol

    -jordan
    Getting back in the groove
    "I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again." - Achilles, (Troy 2004)
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Jorge Sanchez's Avatar
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    Someone said it to you before, but I think it warrants repeating: "Reading is FUNdamental." I think you need to read his post again, he didn't say cardio sucks.

    Also, one does not = most.
    quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur

  17. #17
    Is cutting down to 9% Jordanbcool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge Sanchez
    Someone said it to you before, but I think it warrants repeating: "Reading is FUNdamental." I think you need to read his post again, he didn't say cardio sucks.

    Also, one does not = most.
    Indeed. You should read up yourself. Might learn a thing or two.

    -jordan
    Getting back in the groove
    "I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again." - Achilles, (Troy 2004)
    Stats
    ATF squat- 275 RAW
    Deadlift- 415
    Bench- Two 100lbs DB's four times
    190lbs 15% BF (Estimate)

  18. #18
    Big, Strong, Fast Machine MJS's Avatar
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    hahah, sorry this is cracking me up.
    "it's you against you, it's the paradox that drives us all"

    6'1", 206, 11.5%
    Bench: 285
    Squat: 275
    DeadLift: 335
    -------------
    Total: 895 and moving up.

    Check my progress and read more in My Journal.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Sidior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordanbcool
    Indeed. You should read up yourself. Might learn a thing or two.

    -jordan
    Jorge Sanchez is right, read the entire thread....I can't believe this is actually even being discussed
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  20. #20
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    running on tredmills is much easier then outside, running outside is a great source of cardio and i would think would be nice once or twice a week on a bulk.
    2000 or bust

  21. #21
    Is cutting down to 9% Jordanbcool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidior
    Jorge Sanchez is right, read the entire thread....I can't believe this is actually even being discussed
    Whats being discussed?

    And what is he exactly right about if you dont mind me asking.

    -jordan
    Getting back in the groove
    "I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again." - Achilles, (Troy 2004)
    Stats
    ATF squat- 275 RAW
    Deadlift- 415
    Bench- Two 100lbs DB's four times
    190lbs 15% BF (Estimate)

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    From what I've researched low intensity cardio is beneficial while bulking. Supposedly low intensity cardio taps into fat storage instead of glycogen first. Of course you burn more cals and fat with High intensity but a bigger % of that is from muscle. (I don't have studies to back that up, just from what I hear a lot of pro BB'ers say) However it only taps into fat storage for so long untill it goes into glycogen. I've heard doing low intensity for about 30-45 min can be beneficial in terms of recovery and overall health. However I'm still unsure if this should be done on off days or right after training.

  23. #23
    Is cutting down to 9% Jordanbcool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gator
    From what I've researched low intensity cardio is beneficial while bulking. Supposedly low intensity cardio taps into fat storage instead of glycogen first. Of course you burn more cals and fat with High intensity but a bigger % of that is from muscle. (I don't have studies to back that up, just from what I hear a lot of pro BB'ers say) However it only taps into fat storage for so long untill it goes into glycogen. I've heard doing low intensity for about 30-45 min can be beneficial in terms of recovery and overall health. However I'm still unsure if this should be done on off days or right after training.
    I'm pretty sure glycogen stores are always burned up first....brickt knows more about all that though.

    Also HIIT if thats what your suggesting helps preserve lean mass unless you do them in the AM without food. You use many more muscles sprinting then you do a slow walk. Atleast you use them harder, so your body will be more inclined to keep it.

    -jordan
    Last edited by Jordanbcool; 03-30-2006 at 05:49 AM.
    Getting back in the groove
    "I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again." - Achilles, (Troy 2004)
    Stats
    ATF squat- 275 RAW
    Deadlift- 415
    Bench- Two 100lbs DB's four times
    190lbs 15% BF (Estimate)

  24. #24
    el imposible ectx's Avatar
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    I think it's situational. While most will benefit from moderate cardio on a bulk, for some it may not being an option...if your metabolic rate is already racing and you struggle to put weight on while you're shoving 6000+ calories down your throat each day, then cardio may not be for you. Unfortunately that's not the case for me. LOL...that being said, I do believe it's important to keep your cardiovascular system healthy. A good heart stroke volume will go a long way toward keeping your heart and bp steady once you've gotten bigger.
    ecDoesIt

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordanbcool

    Also HIIT if thats what your suggesting helps preserve lean mass unless you do them in the AM without food. You use many more muscles sprinting then you do a slow walk. Atleast you use them harder, so your body will be more inclined to keep it.

    -jordan

    The only problem I have with HIT is that it's much more taxing on your body than low intensity cardio. There for if one of the reasons your doing cardio is for recovery (which is one of the main reasons why I started doing it) then HIT isn't for you. Most of our bodies can't handle 4 days a week of training then 3 days a week of HIT, you will need time off more frequently. Allthough it may feel like your recovered your body most likely wont be. But if your overweight and you want to lose fat a smuch as possible HIT is definatly the way to go. From what I've read, since HIT is more taxing on your body so it's more catabolic, your glycogen gets depleated faster and you lose a greater % of muscle then doing low intensity cardio.

    The reason why I've heard that low intensity doesn't tap into glycogen as much as HIT is because the primary function of low intensity is to oxidize fat where HIT doesn't oxidize as much fat but it burns more fat. And since it's burning more fat more of that has to be muscle.

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