Why do most people do cardio to begin with? To lose weight. What’s the biggest issue among hardgainers? Gaining weight. So why on earth do I see 145 pound guys running on the treadmill after every workout?
Don’t get me wrong, from a cardiovascular perspective, cardio and getting your heart rate up is absolutely important. We want to have a strong heart, and good aerobic capacity. But this isn’t your goal right now. Your goal (presumably) if you are reading this article is that you struggle to put on size and want to pack on muscle.
I’m not saying you should totally eliminate cardio. However, you should absolutely be doing no more than 2 days (and even that’s a stretch for a skinnier guy). I say this because if you’ve been keeping up with my previous articles on how to bulk up for hardgainers, their biggest problem is that they expend a ton of calories from having a faster metabolism. We need to acknowledge this, and stack our tools to our advantage.
This means – calories, calories, calories! We need to be optimizing our lifestyle around whatever has you taking in enough of a surplus to see the scale move .5-1lb a week. Cardio is just going to force you to have to eat even MORE calories than you already have to. You’re most likely going to have to eat above 4,000 calories just to make the scale nudge a LITTLE. Think about how much more you’d have to eat if you were expending more calories on top of that!
Now that we got the reasoning out of the way here is what you should be spending that extra energy on.
I’ll say it till I’m blue in the face. We need you in that surplus. Multiply your bodyweight x 15-16 and use that as a starting point. If you aren’t gaining any weight, add 200 calories for the next week. Keep doing that till you are on pace then hold that intake. As your body adapts to it you may see a weight plateau. Up the calories again by 200. Rinse and repeat. Check my other articles out on bulking if you want specifics on how to calculate your macros for your caloric intake.
Progression in the Gym
Great, we got you away from the cardio machines. How does your lifting program look?