If you were to ask five fitness experts how much cardio you should do when bulking up, you will probably get five different answers because everyone has their own opinion on this subject.
Indeed some people may well suggest that you don’t do any cardio at all because, after all, your ultimate goal is to build muscle and gain weight and any additional cardio exercise that you do will only hinder your progress.
So in this article I thought I would give you my own opinion on the subject and reveal how I managed to gain two stone (28 pounds) in weight and build a decent amount of muscle mass when I was recovering from gastritis.
My Background Story
I had always been really healthy, but there was a time in my life when I started to experience quite a lot of chest pain, which I now know to be acid reflux. Then as time went on I was getting worse and worse because I was also experiencing stomach pain, stomach cramps, head aches, bloating, constipation and a number of random pains in my arms and wrists.
After multiple visits to the doctors and multiple tests, eventually an ultrasound revealed that I had gallstones in my gallbladder. So I ended up getting it removed and hoping that this would solve all of my problems.
However I still had the same pains after I had recovered from this operation so eventually I had even more tests and it was discovered that I had quite severe inflammation in my stomach, ie gastritis.
Anyway to cut a long story short, I took several different medications until I found one that seemed to work and gradually started to feel better and better.
The major problem was that I had gone from a healthy 12 stone (168 pounds) to just 10 stone (140 pounds) in weight and lost virtually all of my muscle in the process. So my goal now was to try to get back to my old weight and build muscle without getting fat.
What Worked For Me
At the beginning it was still hard for me to eat many foods, so although I did increase my daily calorie intake (whilst also hitting the gym on a regular basis), I only managed to gain a couple of pounds.
It was only when I started to take a mass gainer (USN Muscle Fuel Anabolic) that I really started to see results because this had around 50g of protein, 3.2g of creatine and 585 calories per serving, and was packed full of vitamins and amino acids.
Subsequently I ended up gaining 28 pounds in weight in around 7 months, which is an average of around one pound per week, and eventually got back to my old weight, building some decent muscle mass in the process.
As you can see, the results were fairly slow, but the key reason why is because I also did a moderate amount of cardio every day. For example, I always used to do 30 minutes of walking every day (and still do for health reasons) and did at least two 30-minute sessions on the exercise bike per week.
This may have slowed my progress somewhat, but it did at least ensure that I didn’t become fat whilst taking this particular mass gainer (which many people do) because I still had some decent abs at the end of this bulking cycle, even though my body fat percentage might have gone up ever so slightly.
So to summarise, I would say that there isn’t really a right or wrong answer with regards to how much cardio you should do when attempting to bulk up.
If you wanted to, you could simply push yourself hard in the gym, consume lots of protein and stick to a high calorie diet every day in order to gain weight and muscle, and not worry about getting fat because you could always go on a heavy cutting cycle once you hit your target.
I myself prefer to do a decent amount of cardio whenever I go on a bulking cycle because it seems to stop me getting fat. Plus it also makes me feel a lot healthier and helps me sleep better at the end of the day, but everyone has their own way of doing things.
Ultimately you need to decide whether you want to get as big as possible in the shortest amount of time, in which case you should either minimize your cardio or not do any at all, or whether you want increase muscle and mass slowly and steadily without getting fat, in which case a moderate amount of cardio might be the better option.