Last Updated on by Eat Better Move More
Should I Do Cardio While Bulking?
One of the most effective ways to build muscle mass quickly is through bulking. Bodybuilders alike use this method to build their muscles quickly. Bulking requires consuming a lot of calories more than your body needs for gaining muscle.
It might seem that this method seems counterintuitive since it involves using calories to gain muscle. But surprisingly, bulking actually works!
So what’s the science behind building muscle through calories? It is quite simple. For any type of movement to happen, energy is needed. The same principle also applies to your body. Every time your body exerts movement, calories are being used as fuel for movement.
When you start doing bulking, your body will need extra energy to create the muscle mass you desire. This is where calories come in. Calories will serve as the body’s fuel source for the growth of muscle mass within your body.
This, of course, only works once you consume more calories combined with resistance training.
Calories, coupled with intense training, are the catalyst that sparks the muscles within the body to grow. These two may be the spark, but they are not the building blocks of muscle growth. Proteins will be the ones that will build the muscles. So not only you add more calories to your diet, protein is needed as well.
Due to the increase in calorie intake, bulking also leads to fat gains. This is why you notice bodybuilders doing bulking when they are not in the competitive season. This season is where they do not have to concern themselves with looking lean since they are not competing. Their aim is rather to focus on building muscle mass and less about looking lean. They look bulky, and thus the term bulking.
There are two ways you can approach bulking, dirty bulking and clean bulking. These methods, as the name suggests, are opposite to each other.
- Clean bulking focuses on having a clean diet. This refers to accessing excess calories by consuming healthy foods. It follows a strict diet that is 90% nutrients and 10% calories. Clean bulking leads to a leaner body and overall better well-being.
- Dirty bulking, on the other hand, is aimed at consuming excess calories regardless of what food it is. It does not adhere to any strict diet. If the food has calories, then it is used. This means consuming ice cream, cakes, fast foods, or alcohol. These foods are high in calories but are low in nutrients. Dirty bulking leads to an overall increase in muscle mass, but fat is also significantly gained.
They may be different methods, but the results still give your body an increase in muscle mass. It is up to you which methods you will use.
So what if you want to avoid looking fat and at the same time increase your muscle mass? Is there a specific workout that can make you look fit and have muscle gains? Fortunately for you, there is! And that is doing cardio.
Cardio While Bulking
Bulking is about taking more calories than your body needs to encourage muscle gains. If you neglect to exercise and still take more calories, then it will lead to significant fat gains and less about muscle gains. You will look fat rather than looking lean. The key to having a leaner body look is to reduce the fat gains as much as possible.
The downside to consuming excess calories is that they often are left unused and stored as fat. This is regardless of how intense your weight training is. Your body can only make .25 to .5 pounds of protein a week. So whatever excess calories you have are instead stored as fat.
To shed that unnecessary fat, you might want to consider doing a cardio workout. However, there are many misconceptions about doing cardio. You might have heard that cardio is counterintuitive to building muscle mass. They say that cardio will instead shrink the muscle gains. While there is some truth to their sayings, it is not the whole story.
Cardio, when done in the right way, can provide you some benefits and yet retain your muscle gains. Here is how.
Benefits of An Cardio Workout
- Cardio Workout Improves Cardiovascular Health – With bulking, you are inadvertently gaining fat gains. We all know how dangerous fat is to your health. So doing a cardio workout would avoid diseases that are commonly associated with fat.
Studies have shown that cardio is known to help alleviate increased blood pressure, reduce heart risks, improves mental health, and improve your overall health. If you are someone who has problems with cardiovascular health before bulking, add cardio to your workout.
- Cardio Workout Can Help Recovery – Every time you do a cardio workout, your heart pumps harder to circulate the blood around the body to provide energy to other muscles. The side effect of which can contribute to speeding up recovery.
The increased circulation of the blood while running allows nutrients to be distributed faster. It then reaches the muscles where it is needed. The cardio workout for your recovery should only be light. Walking or cycling is the recommended option to speed up recovery.
- Cardio Workout Sheds Fat – Doing cardio can use up the excess calories of bulking. Studies have shown that cardio workout is excellent in burning up carbohydrates and fat stores. However, you need to be careful about doing too much cardio.
Too much cardio will instead burn up the calories that are supposed to be used for bulking. You can also lose the muscle gains you had if you do too much cardio. To avoid this, you need to do cardio at a low to moderate intensity.
This means that when you do a cardio workout, do it in a way that improves cardiovascular health, speed up recovery, and shed fat without burning away too many calories.
Should You Do Cardio While Bulking?
Yes, you should! In fact, I highly encourage you to start doing cardio while you are bulking! But keep it in a low to high intensity to not burn away the necessary calories and muscle gains.
The end result of doing cardio coupled with bulking should give you a leaner muscular body!