Is cardio necessary while bulking and building muscle. This topic is surrounded by a ton of confusion and conflicting advice. We will say up front that there is no absolute guideline that can be apply to every single person across-the-board.
The exact approach that you use is going to depend on your body type, your activity level outside the gym, your appetite, and how your weight training routine is structured.
Instead of giving advice that leaves you just as confuse as when you started reading, which is common for this particular topic. We’re just going to aim for a simple set of guidelines that will work very well for the majority of people in the majority of situations.
Is cardio necessary?
Is cardio even necessary if all you really care about is packing on size and strength? When you skip those sessions on the treadmill altogether, you can still carry out a successful mass increase phase with minimal gains of fat. Well, it’s certainly possible to achieve significantly lean gains without doing any cardio at all. Assuming that your diet is properly controlled but if talking about what is optimal in the overall big picture, then yes it is recommended that you include some cardiovascular exercise in your plan.
Points to Consider on Improving Overall Metabolic Conditioning
- It will have direct carry-over to certain exercises that you’re performing in the gym. For example, having decent cardio conditioning and overall work capacity is going to benefit you on big compound lifts when doing slightly higher reps. Cardio conditioning will also help you recover faster in between sets.
- If you perform little to no cardio during your bulking phase, then it’s going to be a very painful process shifting into regular cardio once you decide to cut. Excessive periods without any cardio at all will cause your overall condition to decrease very quickly and you’ll have to build it back up from the bottom.
- poor cardiovascular conditioning is also going to potentially have a negative impact on other areas of your life. For example, if you neglect your cardio altogether, and then you head out to play a game of basketball with your friends, it’s not going to take long before you’re lungs catch fire, and the experience is no longer enjoyable.
4 Reasons Why You Should Perform Cardio While Bulking:
1. Metabolic Conditioning
Aside from your aesthetic desire for a lean chest and abs, let’s not forget about the basic benefits of simply maintaining overall cardiovascular conditioning. If you are employing a typical muscle building style routine that involves low to moderate repetitions, at longer rest intervals in between sets, then you’re really not getting much effective cardiovascular work.
It won’t be long before you start to feel winded just walking up a flight of stairs. So, here are a few points for you to consider on improving your overall metabolic conditioning.
2. Calorie Partitioning
The second benefit of cardio while bulking is calorie partitioning. This basically refers to where calories and nutrients are stored on your body, and where they are burned from during periods of a caloric surplus or deficit.
So in combination with weight training, regular cardio may improve your overall calorie and nutrient partitioning, by encouraging the body to shuttle nutrients into skeletal muscle tissue and away from fat stores.
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