Should you do cardio while bulking? When it comes to working out, there are a lot of different philosophies out there. Some people swear by lifting weights with zero cardio involved, while others advocate for cardiovascular exercise regardless of your fitness goals.

Should You Do Cardio While Bulking

What Is Cardio? 

Cardio, short for cardiovascular exercise, is any continuous, moderate-intensity exercise that raises your heart rate and gets you breathing harder. Some examples of cardio exercises include walking, jogging, cycling, stair climbing, rowing, and swimming.

While there is no set definition of what qualifies as moderate-intensity, a good rule of thumb is that you should be able to carry on a conversation while doing cardio. If you can’t talk without gasping for breath, you’re probably working too hard and need to back off a bit.

Should You Do Cardio While Bulking: Is It Needed?

There’s no easy answer, as it depends on your individual goals and fitness level. However, many experts believe lifting weights and doing cardio is a fantastic duo and will give you huge health benefits. Cardio can help to improve your cardiovascular health and endurance while lifting weights will help to build muscle mass and strength. Plus, doing a mixture of both can help to prevent boredom and keep you motivated.

The short answer is no; if your only goal is to gain weight, you should not do cardio. Cardio can interfere with muscle growth by causing your body to burn calories that could be used for building muscle. Additionally, too much cardio can lead to overtraining and exhaustion, which can sabotage your gains.

That said, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, suppose you are a beginner or early intermediate lifter. In that case, you may benefit from doing light cardio while bulking to improve your cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of injury. Additionally, if you carry a lot of excess body fat, doing some cardio can help you lose body fat without sacrificing too much muscle.

The best workout routine is one that you will stick with. So, if you enjoy lifting weights and doing cardio, then by all means, continue! But if you dread your workouts, it might be time to switch things up. Remember, the most important thing is that you’re moving your body and getting your heart rate up – everything else is just icing on the cake.

Ultimately, whether or not to do cardio while bulking comes down to your individual goals and needs. To maximize muscle growth, it is best to avoid cardio altogether. However, doing light cardio may be beneficial if you are trying to lose weight or improve your cardiovascular health.

What Are The Benefits of Cardio While Bulking? 

If you decide to do cardio while bulking, there are a few potential benefits:

  • Cardiovascular Health: Regular cardio exercise can help to improve your cardiovascular health by strengthening your heart and lungs. This is especially important if you are new to lifting weights or carrying a lot of excess body fat.
  • Improved Endurance: Doing cardio can help to improve your endurance, making your lifting workouts more effective. When you are better able to handle more prolonged and more intense workouts, you will be able to see better results from your strength training.
  • Reduced Risk of Injury: Getting regular exercise can help to reduce your risk of injury, both in and out of the gym. If you are less likely to get injured, you will be able to train more frequently and see better results from your workouts.

What Are The Best Types of Cardio For Bulking?

If you decide to do cardio while bulking, there are a few different types that you can choose from. Of course, the best type of cardio for you will depend on your goals and fitness level.

Low-Intensity Steady State (LISS) Cardio: LISS cardio is a type of cardio performed at a low intensity for an extended period. This could be walking, jogging, or cycling at a moderate pace. LISS cardio is a good option for beginners or new to lifting weights, as it is not too strenuous and won’t interfere with lifting workouts.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Cardio: HIIT cardio is a kind of cardio that rotates between high and low-intensity durations. HIIT workouts are typically shorter than LISS workouts but much more strenuous. HIIT cardio is a good option for those already reasonably fit and looking to lose weight or improve their cardiovascular health.

How Much Cardio Should I Do While Bulking?

If you decide to do cardio while bulking, how much you should do will depend on your goals and fitness level. Beginners or those new to lifting weights should start with just a few minutes of LISS cardio daily. Those who are already reasonably fit can increase the intensity and duration of their workouts as needed.

However, ensure you don’t do too much, as this can lead to overtraining and exhaustion, which can sabotage your gains. Especially if your primary goal is to bulk up.

What Are The Risks of Cardio While Bulking? 

There are a few potential risks associated with doing cardio while bulking. First, too much cardio can lead to overtraining and exhaustion, sabotaging your gains. Additionally, cardio can interfere with muscle growth by causing your body to burn calories that could be used for building muscle. Finally, if you were to get injured while doing cardio, this would obviously hold you back and regress your results.

FAQs 

Should I avoid cardio to build muscle?

While cardio can help with weight loss, it isn’t the best for building muscle. That being said, there are plenty of reasons to do cardio. But in general, if you only have time to do one or the other and you’re looking to gain weight, strength training is a far better option.

Will I lose muscle if I run?

Running can help to tone muscles, but it is not the best way to build them. As long as you’re eating enough, running is perfectly fine to do and you won’t lose weight.

Will 30 minutes of cardio burn muscle?

No, cardio will not burn muscle. As long as you’re consuming more calories than your body’s maintenance, you will actually gain weight, regardless of how much cardio you do.

Will Cardio Help Me Build Muscle?

Muscle is generally built through strength training, not cardio. Cardio can help to tone muscles, but it is not the best way to build them. Strength training with weights is a better option for those looking to bulk up.

Final Thoughts 

In a nutshell, cardio is not the best option if you are looking to bulk up. If your priority is gaining weight, you should prioritize weight training. However, there are plenty of benefits to cardiovascular training and if you’re eating enough calories, you can absolutely do cardio and gain weight.

About the Author: Jason Chapman

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Jason Chapman has a degree in Exercise Science and is a personal trainer with 10+ years of experience in fitness and strength coaching. Jason spends his time with BodyCapable researching the latest strength training trends and writing science-backed, informative content. Jason likes to spend his spare time hiking, traveling, and of course training!