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Q&A: Should I Be Doing Less Cardio If I Want to Bulk Up?

Another personal training query from my Personal Training Facebook Q&A Group –

Q- Nick, if i plan on bulking up with higher protein and carbs, should i be doing less cardio? At the moment i do about 30 mins each gym session which is 3 times a week, plus i cycle 40 mins a day mon – fri. I’m currently doing 5 sets of 6-8 reps with the heaviest weight i can just finish on but i do alot of cardio and wonder if it is the reason i’m not getting ‘bigger’ yet. Also if i’m going 3-4 times a week, when should i actually see gains? 6 months or more like a year?
Thanks in advance. Any extra advice welcome! I’m 15 stone exactly and 6’2″ tall.

A – You are not paying sufficient attention to the Law of Specificity which simply states that you get what you train for! If you are attempting to add muscular size then you must train for that exclusively. Anything less will compromise your gains as you are already learning.

30 minutes of resistance training 3 times per week is insufficient stimulus unless you are a rank beginner. Increase that to an hour 3 times a week and perhaps split your body into 2, ensuring that you never exercise on consecutive days.
Pick the “big” basic exercises and try like hell to get stronger on them for a mix of rep ranges BUT never a mix of ranges within the one workout. So for instance one day you may try to squat for several sets of 15 reps (with your max weight for that rep range), and another workout you may try to squat for several sets of 8 reps (with a max weight for 8 reps). Remember also that the number of sets and the rest intervals between sets should be inversely proportional to the number of reps. For example –
15 reps / 3 sets / 75-90secs rest between sets
6 reps / 5 sets / 180 secs rest between sets.

Cut out the cardio completely – it will hinder your recovery and impact negatively upon any sort of anabolic hormone profile you may have.

With this programme, if you eat correctly, I would expect a man of your dimensions to add on at least 14lbs of reasonable quality muscle within 3-6 months.

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