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why do aerobic exercise when bulking? please recommend a workout routine.

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by tammy, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. tammy

    tammy Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering what the benefit of doing aerobic exercise is if you're focusing on gaining strength/muscle? Doesn't it actually take away from gaining muscle?

    Also, I know a lot of people here do high intensity exercise but I heard low intensity aerobic exercise is better for fat burning. What do you recommend for a thin person but with very little muscle mass and a lot of pudge (skinny fat).

    I'm 5' 3", 30 yrs old, 107lb Asian female with a history of on again/off again fitness kicks of varying success. I gain almost all my weight around the waist - I'm not fat but I can't stand my jiggly belly (27.5"), especially because I'm also narrow around the hips (33") and chest (31").

    I tend to get frustrated when the fat doesn't come off and fall back on extreme dieting/aerobic exercise to make it come off faster but then I lose motivation when it inevitably stops working. I thought this time I'd focus on trying to gain muscle mass and then worry more about fat loss once I get a bit stronger.

    I have a jump rope, some dumbbells, a pull up bar (but can't do a single pull up), some aerobic DVD's (P90X - but can't do the workouts, slim in 6, billy blanks), wii EA fitness, and an elliptical. I'm thinking about buying a weight bench so I can do more dumbbell exercises.

    I'm still trying to figure out a good routine with my limited equipment. Right now I do the elliptical 30-45 minutes about 4 times a week and have just started doing sit ups, push ups, squats and lunges with dumbbells, etc. I also thought that maybe I should get back on the EA fitness routine but it doesn't seem like enough to get me anywhere.

    My goal is to create a more shapely figure - add more muscle to shoulder, chest, butt, and hips but trim the fat from my waist and arms. I'm pretty happy with my legs so if possible, I'd like to maintain them the way they are.

    Also, since I am trying to add muscle, should I eat more than my maintenance calories or should I eat about the same since i'm not trying to gain fat?

    any advice is appreciated - sorry for the rambling.
     
  2. TheScarecrow

    TheScarecrow Active Member

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    not doing cardio regardless of whether you want to bulk up or cut down, is wrong in my opinion. cardio (in any form) will raise metabolism, increase appetite, enhance insulin sensitivity and nutrient partitioning, burn fat and improve blood flow and therefore recovery.

    the more cardio I do, the easier I find it to grow (because I am assimilating nutrients better and being able to eat more). people who do no cardio when bulking are short changing themselves (as well as not doing their heart and lungs any favours), unless they have a VERY fast metabolism. certainly, cardio burns calories meaning there are less calories available for muscle growth and repair but the answer is simple: eat more to allow for the calories expended during cardio. a high intake of calories + cardio is MUCH better and MUCH more likely to keep you lean than a somewhat less high intake + no cardio.

    as for low (aerobic) vs high intensity cardio, aerobic exercise is easier to recover from when trying to grow. a 30 minute brisk walk isn't going to do anything to affect your workout but if you sprint your heart out the day before you train legs you may find your weight lifting hindered by this.

    that said, the body will adapt to anything given appropriate nutrition and recovery methods are in place. but for some people doing multiple high intensity cardio and high intensity weights sessions in the same week leads to burnout. sometimes this is because their genetics or lifestyle situation can't handle it, sometimes it's because people do not feed or restore themselves appropriately with this increased workload.

    however if you're in reasonable cardiovascular shape to start with I see NO reason not to do a few cardio sessions a week even if your goal is to gain weight. a mix of low and mod-high intensity.

    say maybe a couple of 30 minute walks or easy x-trainer and a couple of 10-15 minute higher intensity sessions. unless you're a performance-based athlete you won't need a lot to maintain a good cardiovascular fitness level and get the recovery benefits.

    hope some of this is helpful to you!
     
  3. mastover

    mastover Well-Known Member

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    My opinion is that this is what should be addressed first. You have very little muscle, and your metabolic rate is down regulating due to it. More muscle equates to a more revved up metabolism. Concentrate on a good lifting routine that focuses on the multi-joint movements and that provides systemic gains in lean mass. Squats, dead lifts (and the variations) military press, rows, bench press and dips... These will provide you with the metabolic blast you are looking for. If you concentrate on cardio right now, it's not going to be of much benefit unless for heart health. If you want to stay lean while building, I would eat ONLY when hungry with the following macro's. 30gP, 20gC, 12gF at each meal. Beef, chicken, whole eggs, fish, greek yogurt, cottage cheese for protein, fruits, green veggies, fruit juice ONLY for carbs, olive oil, coconut oil, fish oil, avocado, peanut butter for fats. After 10-12 days make a analysis with your progress, add or subtract meals if necessary to keep progressing. For cardio do a hard 10-12 minutes after weights, except on leg day.

    Good luck and have fun! :tucool:
     
    #3 mastover, Feb 18, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  4. Robert2006

    Robert2006 Active Member

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    You do cardio to improve your cardio fitness. Lifting heavy actually challenges your cardio system. So to a certain extent just lifting will give you some cardio.

    If you're eating enough and getting enough rest cardio won't hurt muscle gain. If it did you'd have to spend all day in bed. Even walking across the room would be considered low level cardio.


    The fat zone is just bad math. Years back a study showed you burned a higher percentage of calories while doing low intensity cardio. Sounds good? The problem is you burn so many more calories doing high intensity that the percentage of fat doesn't matter.


    Are you better with 50% of $1 or 10% of $1 million?

    Dumbell military press
    Dumbbell straight leg deadlift
    Dumbbell bent over row
    Dumbbell step up
    Dumbbell bench

    If you're dumbbells are heavy enough those will likely be all you need. Go to exrx.net and look up the various excercises.
     
  5. tammy

    tammy Well-Known Member

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    wow, you guys are fast with your help :tu:

    I'll have to head to Wal-mart and buy a weight bench and more weights for my dumbbells so I can adjust them as I get stronger.

    I think I'm going to try 3 days of weight lifting using close to the heaviest weights I can handle and then continue doing 30-40 minutes of cardio for 3-4 days. My favorite is doing the elliptical but I'll try to mix it up a little with the rope and the aerobics. I'm not sure exactly how many reps and sets I should be doing - right now I'm thinking 3 sets of 10 reps (or until I can't do another one) of each exercise.

    The hardest is going to be the diet but I've already been switching to more fruits and vegetables. I just need a bit more protein. I've been so paranoid about gaining weight that it's hard for me to embrace the idea of upping calories. But I've been through this enough that I'd like to do it right this time.
     
  6. tammy

    tammy Well-Known Member

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    Oops, completely missed this part. awesome, makes life a lot easier :D
     
  7. Jamez

    Jamez Well-Known Member

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    The science behind long duration aerobic exercise is pretty simple: the body's main fuel source at rest is fat. As your intensity increases, the body will have to change fuel sources (fat to carbohydrates) and will increase the number of calories being burnt.

    A lot of people incorporate long duration aerobic exercise during a bulk phase because the body mainly uses fat as a fuel source, and doesn't burn as much calories as if you were doing a higher intensity.

    It also has a cardiovascular benefit - you don't need to work at high intensities to have your cardiovascular system benefit from it.
     

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