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Muscle-Building Workout and Diet

Hey what’s up guys, Sean Nalewanyj here of and and in this video I want to answer the very
common question of how to perform cardio while bulking. Now this is a topic that is surrounded
by a ton of confusion and conflicting advice and I will say up front that there is no absolute
guideline that can be applied to every single person across the board. The exact approach
that you use is going to depend on things like your body type, your activity level outside
the gym, your appetite and how your weight training routine is structured. However, instead
of just rambling on and on giving jumbled advice that leaves you just as confused at
the end as you were when you started, and this is what most of the typical advice on
this particular topic seems to do, I’ll just aim to condense it down into a simple set
of guidelines that will work very well for the majority of people in the majority of
situations. So first off, is cardio even necessary in the first place if all you really care
about right now is packing on overall size and strength? Can you skip those sessions
on the treadmill altogether and still carry out a successful mass gaining phase with minimal
gains in fat? Well, it’s certainly possible to achieve significant lean gains without
doing any cardio at all, assuming that your diet is properly controlled, but if we’re
talking about what is optimal in the overall picture, then yes, I would recommend that
you include some cardiovascular exercise in your plan. And here are 4 reasons why. The
first is Metabolic Conditioning. So, aside from your aesthetic desire for a big chest
and lean abs, let’s not forget about the basic benefits of simply maintaining sound
overall cardiovascular conditioning. If you are employing a typical muscle building style
routine that involves low to moderate repetitions and longer rest intervals in between sets,
then you’re really not getting much in the way of effective cardiovascular work, and
it won’t be long before you start to feel winded just walking up a flight of stairs.
So a few points for you to consider here on the issue of improving your overall metabolic
conditioning. First, 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 they’re taken into slightly higher
rep ranges, as well as helping you recover faster in between sets. Secondly, 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 conditioning to decrease very quickly, and you’ll then
have to build it back up right from scratch. And thirdly, poor cardiovascular conditioning
is also going to potentially negatively impact you in other areas of your life. For example,
if you’ve been neglecting your cardio altogether and then you go to head out to play a game
of basketball with your buddies, it’s not going to be long before your lungs start catching
fire and the experience is no longer enjoyable for you. The second benefit to performing
cardio while bullking is calorie partitioning, and 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. The third benefit is active recovery.
Lower intensity forms of cardio can actually improve your recovery in between workouts
by increasing blood flow and nutrient uptake into your muscles. For example, if you were
to perform an intense leg workout and you were feeling particularly beat up and sore
in the days that followed, a low to moderate intensity walk on the treadmill could help
out. And for upper body you could use the rowing machine or you could even do very light
body weight movements as well. And the fourth benefit is body fat minimization. Controlling
your overall calorie and macronutrient intake is definitely going to be the most important
factor when it comes to minimizing fat gains during a bulk, but a bit of extra cardio can
help out as well. Now I always recommend that you bulk in a slow, gradual fashion by maintaining
only a small calorie surplus, and cardio can be used as a tool to ensure that you don’t
go overboard. Or, if you have a very large appetite and you simply want to eat more food
during your bulking phase than your calorie surplus allows for, including extra cardio
can allow you to increase your overall food intake while still keeping your total calories
in the proper range. However, this point is admittedly a little tricky, since low intensity
cardio can actually have the reverse effect by stimulating your appetite further, which
in turn may cause you to eat more. And the solution here is to keep your cardio sessions
limited which I’ll talk about in just a second and to use a mix of higher intensity
and lower intensity forms because high intensity cardio forms do not have the same appetite-stimulating
effect, and may actually even decrease your overall appetite. Now is cardio going to negatively
affect your muscle gains? Well as the saying goes, “the devil is in the dosage”. So
in other words, it really just depends how you go about it. Yes, performing an excessive
amount of cardio throughout the week is certainly not recommended during a bulking phase, as
it definitely can impede overall muscle recovery and growth if you go too far. However, this
would likely require more cardio than most people think, and most trainees can recover
just fine without any adverse effect on their muscle gains as long as the frequency and
the intensity and the duration is moderated and your diet is properly structured. So here
are some practical cardio guidelines for you to follow. Now, as I said before, the specific
amount of cardio that you include in your program is going to depend on a variety of
individual factors. For most people though, 2-4 sessions per week is a good guideline
to follow. Go with 1-2 higher intensity interval-based sessions in the 8-20 minute range, and 1-2
lower intensity sessions in the 40-60 minute range. You should ideally aim to space these
sessions at least 8 hours away from your weight training workouts, or just perform them on
your off days from the gym. Now whether you go with the lower end of 2 sessions or the
higher end of 4 sessions or somewhere in between depends on a few things. Number 1, your body
type. So if you’re a typical hardgainer who doesn’t gain fat easily, keep it on the
lowest end or if you tend to gain fat more easily, perform more. The second is your activity
level. So if you work a desk job then obviously you’d benefit from more cardio, whereas a
more active job would allow you to get away with less. And as a side note, if you work
a very strenuous job such as construction, then you can probably get away without performing
any traditional cardio at all. Number 3 is your appetite. So if traditional cardio makes
you very hungry, and this is not something that you want then perform a bit less or perform
less aerobic cardio in comparison to high intensity cardio, or, if the increase in appetite
is actually helping you hit your calorie needs more easily than you would have otherwise
been able to then go ahead and perform more. And number 4 is your weight training schedule.
So if you’re performing 5 full weight training sessions per week then you can probably only
perform a limited amount of cardio before you start to run the risk of overtraining.
Or, you can simply stick primarily to low intensity aerobic forms of cardo in that case.
And if you’re only performing 3 weight training sessions per week then overtraining becomes
much less of an issue. So, to conclude here. Yes, I would recommend that you perform cardio
even if your primary goal is to gain muscle, because it’s going to, number 1, increase
your metabolic conditioning, number 2, improve nutrient partitioning, number 3, it’s going
to optimize recovery, and number 4, it’s going to help keep your body fat levels under control.
Go with 2-4 cardio sessions per week from a mix of low duration high intensity cardio
and longer duration lower intensity cardio spaced 8 hours away from your weight training
sessions if possible. And the specific amount and breakdown of your cardio is going to be
influenced by your body type, your activity level, your appetite and your specific weight
training schedule. So thanks for watching this video lesson. I hope you found the information
useful here today. If you did enjoy the video, as always, please make sure to hit the LIKE
button, leave a comment and subscribe to stay up-to-date on future videos. Also make sure
to check out my complete fully structured muscle building and fat loss programs over
at The link for that is in the description box below and make
sure to join the Facebook page for daily tips and updates. The link for that is also in
the description box. Talk to you again soon.

67 thoughts on “How To Perform Cardio While Bulking & Building Muscle

  1. hi Sean. seen your video definitely your AWESOME. A lot of bad info on the internet thanks for all the tips. Sorry to bother but I'm trying to follow the 3000calories diet plan, but I don't understand the 2/5 cup serving size, if you could please help me with that it will be great. Also if you could make a video of substitution of food. like you state in the diet to eat 1cup of blueberries but what  happens is that sometimes we don't have that product can you trying and see if its possible to give a guidance of substitution of food when you only have few things at home. Sometimes things are expensive depending where living. Thanks and have a nice day. By the way i'm dominican so sorry for my english. 

  2. This is absolutely true, I used to listen to the broscience gym-boys that advised me against cardio to bulk as quickly as possible. No doubt I gain weight much quicker. But as a footballer/soccer player, I begin to feel really lethargic, sluggish and lacking in mobility each time I played. Even regretted bulking to a certain extent. 

  3. Hey Sean i really apperciate your videos i've a question i weight 156 pound and my goal is to bulk up and gain some muscles i'm just confused between getting a weight gainer or whey protein.

  4. Hey Sean I have a question My weight is 190 i want to lose some more body fat without losing my muscle and I still wanna do my cardio so what do you prefer workout wise?

  5. When cardio increases blood flow does that increase muscle size? Would doing cardio before increase gains?

  6. I do 20 minutes of cardio everyday(jog) to improve my mental fatigue and including after my 3 day liftiing wokouts. Would you consider this overtraining? Thans man
    I am bulking btw but i get enough calories

  7. I currently workout 5 days a week and spend 15 mins after a workout on the treadmill with a incline switching between 0 – 3 on a speed of 9 do you reckon this is okay?

  8. As a breakdancer myself, I use 2 portions of my training for warming up for 10 minutes and for what's called footwork/downrock for 15. All the rest of my training is either tricks or moves. Would you consider breakdancing or dancing in general a good way of doing cardio?

  9. Hey Sean,I am a student and I do a fair amount of walking to and from class.I purchased a fitbit tracker to track my daily activity and It came to be that I walk roughly 9.5-10 km each day.Would this be sufficient for cardio needs in the off season?

  10. Man, this is so confusing for me. Could you give me a tip? I work out 6 times per week, I eat every three hours (two big meals and three small ones), I work seating down all day (I try to get up every now and then), I want to gain muscle but I do have a history of bad heart condition in the family so I see cardio as being important for someone like me. I do two different types of cardio after my work-outs, on one day I jog slowly for a minute and a half and jog fast for a minute, I do this for 20 minutes. Then on the next day I sprint fast for 20 seconds then stop for 20 seconds, I also do this for twenty minutes straight. My question is, do you think I'm overtraining? do you think I should cut down to perhaps 3 times a week for cardio or less? I do want to build muscle but I do want to have a healthy heart as much as that is possible. Not sure how to go about this, any feedback would be greatly appreciated. btw I'm 5'6 and weigh 154 lbs.

  11. my fear is to loose muscle when I do cardio
    I use the treadmill every time before I do my workouts(6 day a week). I do about 20 mints then hit the weights
    and a 90 mnt soccer game every Sunday?

  12. I used to fear doing cardio when trying to gain muscle mass, because I had always been a skinny person and was afraid I would just lose more weight. But every time I have followed a muscle building routine for 3-4 months without doing cardio, I would actually reach a point where I felt slightly out of breath all the goddamn time.

    It's like the added muscle demands more energy from my body so I need to have better cardio to just be able to function the way I used to before the gains.

  13. hey man! love your content!
    I started bulking and I'm doing two one hour sessions of tumbling per week plus two half hour moderate swimming sessions of half an hour. would that be sufficient you think?
    thank you 🙂

  14. I couldn't go to the gym today. Should I add more cardio to make up for the missed workout? I am 121lbs and 5'6 feet and i'm bulking. Please reply as I get worried about this. I normally do 3 miles a week. By the way my strength has decreased on the bent over row significantly from 45kg to 40kg. And I get dizzy everytime I complete a 2 mile run and get extremely fatigued.

  15. I was going to ask this on your new cardio mistakes video but I did a search of your channel first. Great video.

  16. Hello, have you thought about this diet plan known as the Fenoboci Diet Plan? My friend says it helps people lost plenty of weight. Is that possible? I also noticed a lot of excellent review relating to this diet plan. Thoughts?

  17. I remember last bulking season I didn't do no cardio for 4 months,I regretted it,gonna do 2x next bulk an 4x for cutting

  18. If you want to carry around all that muscle, you need a strong heart. It's amazing how many guys at the gym can barely catch their breath.

  19. Thanks for the info. I got into jogging and running (interval) but neglected it whilst starting to bulk and feel lethargic now and as though my v02 max has declined. I only really want to feel healthy at this stage, so think a 20 minute jog in the morning and weight training in evening whilst still eating a calorie surplus should hopefully work.

  20. Also a tip everyone: take BCAA's before running, you won't lose muscle during cardio and helps synthesize protein better.

  21. I been pretty likely to do compulsive exercise so I kinda stay away from extra cardio. However I walk to the gym and school so its not like i dont move at all. If i want to carefully go for it again tho, what would you recommend so i dont overshoot? I kinda enjoyed some cardio tbh..

  22. What if you don't have the time to space the cardio and weight training 8 hours apart? would it be okay to do the cardio straight after the weight lifting session or would you not recommend that?

  23. Definitely do cardio the heart has to work harder the more you bulk and it's very important to do at least 35 minutes per week

  24. So with weight training abs regular cardio the calories will store for muscle tissue and to gain muscle. Not store as fat, cause I sweat just from lighting

  25. Hi Sean,
    During a Lean Bulk (gaining approximately 3lbs/month), I'm thinking of incorporating 3 cardio sessions, 10 mins in length, and doing it on the Recumbent Bike (keeping my back upright). It will be ridiculously easy (very low resistance level), and will burn about 40-50 calories per session. This will total an extra 120-150 calories burnt per week. Would such a small amount of calories burnt per week warrant the need to adjust my diet (i.e. Would I need to eat back those 120-150 calories throughout the week)?

  26. Good advice, but does anyone know if this is a good idea? I am 13 and I want to bulk up 5 kgs because I am quite underweight. I have all my diet sorted but I am curious of my workout plan. I go to boxing/CrossFit on Tuesday and Friday and on Sunday I do a full body workout with weights. I feel like I am doing too much cardio in boxing/CrossFit and I feel like I am going to ruin my bulking plan.

    Thanks for the advice 👍

    Edit: in boxing/CrossFit I do skipping, muscle ups/pull up, dumbbells, boxing, flipping tyres, push ups, and body weight excersises (sorry for bad spelling)

  27. can i combine high intensity cardio with moderate and low intensity cardio.
    i like to jump straight into 10-15 mins of high intensity cardio then back it off with 20 mins of moderate to low and then finish with a final 5 or 10 mins of high intensity cardio. i do that every other day or 1 day on 1 off, my lifting is done at home.

  28. Thank you man, great information. I noticed something besides the topic of the video, it looks like your neck points to your right side, you should check out your posture, don't want it to be a problem in the future.

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