Should You Keep Running While Bulking?

Cardio is the best form of exercise for fat loss and cardiovascular health. Many lifters, however, do not want to reduce their calorie excess. Therefore they exclude cardio from their bulking phase.

After a workout, your body does require a little more fuel to help it develop muscle. Too much long-distance running can cause your body to turn to lean muscle mass as an energy source. So, what kind of cardio activity should you do during this period of your workout?

A clean bulking program can only succeed if it includes the right aerobic exercises and if they are done at the right time. There are a lot of misconceptions out there when it comes to exercising and weight gain. 

People are left with the impression that cardio is bad for them because of ‘cardio kills gains' and other foolish statements they may have read on the internet.

This statement is false. You can gain many advantages by doing proper running while bulking. Here, we'll go into great detail on whether or not you should do cardio.

What is Bulking? 

a man flexing his muscle
a man flexing his muscle

The bulking phase of a typical bodybuilding routine refers to the muscle-building process. A calorie excess is needed to fuel muscular growth.

Bulking and reducing are the two critical phases of the bodybuilding cycle. During bulking, bodybuilders tend to eat more protein and carbohydrates to keep their caloric intake high enough to meet their needs.

The idea is to put these extra calories to good use by bulking up. To promote muscle growth, a bulking-up phase must include strength training. Body fat and muscle mass both rise when you bulk up.

During the Bulking Phase, Should you Run?

morning run
morning run

Is doing running while bulking a good idea? It isn't the best option if you have a hard time gaining weight and don't have a large appetite.

Conversely, if you have no trouble putting on weight and want to keep your cardiovascular fitness up while bulking, you should consider including some in your regimen. Here are some of the reasons why you should do cardio during your bulking phase routine exercises using barbells and squat racks:

1. Running is Good for Lungs, Heart, and Longevity

While lifting big weights is an excellent method to build muscle, it's not as beneficial to your heart and lungs as you may think.

Aerobic training puts a lot of strain on your lungs and heart. You try to get as much oxygen into and out of your system as possible. You'll know right away if they're not up to the task. You'll be able to significantly improve their functionality with only a little practice.

It's good for your health, plain and simple! Consider the health benefits of a bit of cardio time instead of focusing on your muscular development for a bit longer. If you combine all of these factors, you'll likely outlive non-exercisers by 4 to 5 years.

2. Running Helps You Lose Body Fat

You'll gain muscle mass if you eat more calories than you burn. It's just that not all of it will be the optimum mass (muscle). 

Carbohydrates and fats are efficiently burned during cardiovascular exercise. Low-intensity exercises or pull-ups have a calorie-burning impact and an appetite-stimulating effect so that you can eat more on a cardio day.

Too much cardio can stunt growth because it burns the calories you're consuming, preventing you from gaining weight. 

However, doing too much will never be a problem for most people. Instead, a combination of low- and high-intensity cardio throughout the week will help you keep your body fat under control.

3. Running Helps in Improving Cardiovascular Health

Having a strong cardiovascular system is an essential indicator of heart health and can help lower blood pressure and reduce stress.

Pre-bulking cardio workouts of 20-30 minutes a day will help enhance wellness and cardiovascular health if you have inadequate cardiovascular fitness. You may or may not need as much exercise to maintain a basic fitness level if you are in good health.

4. Helps in Reducing BP and Cholesterol

There's still a long way to go regarding cardio's overall health advantages. Regular cardio can significantly enhance health markers like cholesterol and BP, as you may not have realized. It's a win-win situation for everyone, but those on a bulk diet will want to pay attention. 

One of the leading causes of hypertension is a diet rich in calories, especially one that is heavy in salt (sodium, saturated fat, and sugar) or a dirty bulking diet. In addition to raising cholesterol levels, you should avoid a diet high in saturated fats.

You may think you're “eating large to get big,” but if you aren't working out to counteract that food, you could be doing more harm than good to your health.

5. Increases Recovery Time

Low-intensity cardio can boost blood flow and the muscles' ability to absorb nutrients, reducing exercise recovery times. Low-intensity activity after heavy leg workouts might help you recover more quickly, ideal for bulking up.

A reduction in time spent resting will lead to increased muscular growth. On the other hand, rest is still essential, so don't neglect it.

6. Better Mood and Less Stress

Could it be said that doing cardio makes you happier? Possibly! According to research, even a seemingly little aerobic workout can have a tremendous effect on your stress levels, mood, and any symptoms of depression.

If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Like lifting weights, I'm a massive fan of cardio workouts, but there's nothing quite like the pleasing sensation that comes with them. The melancholy seems to have been expelled from your system as if you were utterly exhausted. 

Endorphins are also released, giving the user a euphoric high similar to morphine. Adding cardio to your workout regimen may help if you have difficulty staying motivated throughout the winter bulking season.

How to do Proper Running while Bulking

a man jogging
a man jogging

Despite all the benefits, it is true that running while bulking stunts growth in the body. It is because over-exercising might destroy all of the hard work you've put in.

To reap the benefits of cardiovascular exercise, you'll need to maintain a modest activity level. Your bulk will suffer if you do high-intensity workouts. If you don't want to go to a gym, you can use the home gym cable pulley systems for a moderate workout.

Low-intensity exercise that improves cardiovascular health but doesn't burn many calories is what you should be doing. Activities like jogging, walking, cycling, and an elliptical machine can all help.

Conclusion

As with cutting, what you do and don't do is essential while trying to bulk up and gain muscle growth. Weight training, eating enough protein, carbs, and calories to put yourself in a calorie surplus, and getting adequate sleep should be your main priorities. 

You can do these types of training in your home. If you’re looking for a guide to building a home gym, check out our guide on building a home gym

Before beginning a bulk, I strongly advise you to assess whether or not practicing cardio is essential for you. It boosts your caloric expenditure, so you'll need to eat more calories for the same amount of work (it can be tricky).