Do Bodybuilders Do Cardio?

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So, do bodybuilders do cardio? The simple answer is yes – most bodybuilders include regular cardio in their workout routine. However, the amount, type and frequency of cardio can vary greatly between bodybuilders and even for individual bodybuilders over time.

Cardio serves two main purposes for bodybuilders – improving cardiovascular health and helping with fat loss. Many bodybuilders avoid doing too much cardio as it can impact muscle gain and development, but some will increase their cardio when cutting to maximize fat loss while maintaining muscle mass.

Most commonly, bodybuilders opt for low-intensity long duration (LID) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). LID consists of activities such as steady-state jogging or cycling, allowing the heart rate to remain within a certain range. HIIT is more intense and is good for when fat loss needs to be maximized. A typical session could be running sprints or using an exercise bike at a high intensity with brief rest periods in between each interval.

Ultimately, the amount of cardio a bodybuilder decides to do depends on his/her goals and activity level outside of the gym. No matter what the goal is though, a proper warm up should always be used before beginning any type of cardio routine.

What Is The Best Form of Cardio For Bodybuilders?

If you’re a bodybuilder, you may have asked yourself “Do I need to do cardio?”. The answer is yes—cardio can help your body sculpting goals by improving your endurance and overall health, in addition to burning fat.

But what kind of cardio should you choose? To maximize results, it’s important to consider the different types of cardio available. For bodybuilders, the best form of cardio is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This type of training alternates between short bouts of high-intensity exercise and brief periods of active rest. HIIT is perfect for building strength and endurance without sacrificing muscle mass.

Additionally, bodybuilders should consider adding low-intensity steady state (LISS) workouts into their routine. LISS involves maintaining the same level of intensity throughout the workout, making it great for boosting aerobic fitness and fat loss without taking too much out of you. An example of this is walking.

By combining HIIT and LISS training into your routine, you can get the most out of your workouts as a bodybuilder. So break a sweat—you’re on your way to achieving those ripped muscles!


How Often Do Bodybuilders Do Cardio?

So, how often do bodybuilders do cardio? As a general rule, it’s recommended that bodybuilders perform cardio two to three days per week. Of course, depending on your fitness goals and level of conditioning, you can adjust this number up or down.

It’s important to remember that no two bodybuilders are the same; some may be able to tolerate more days of cardio compared to others. If you’re looking for a way to get the best results from your cardio training, try mixing it up and varying the length of each workout.

Additionally, don’t forget about building in some recovery time between sessions. Just like with your weight training workouts, rest is an essential aspect of any exercise regimen. Too much or too little rest can not only impede your progress but also put you at risk for injury.

Finally, keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for another—every body and fitness plan is unique. Do some experimentation to find out what works best for you when it comes to frequency and intensity of your cardio workouts.

Is It Better To Do Cardio Before or After Weights?

Personally, I prefer to do cardio in the morning and lift weights in the afternoon. If you have to do cardio and weights in the same gym session, that’s okay, but you will want to consider a few things before deciding to do your cardio before or after your lifting.

What Type of Cardio Are you doing?

If you want to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes at a leisurely pace, it makes sense to do this before lifting. It might help you warm up a little and get into “The Zone”.

If you plan to do an intense cardio session while you are at the gym, do this after your weights. You want to make sure you have plenty of endurance to push through your sets.

What Are Your Goals?

If you primary goal is to build as much muscle as possible, you won’t want to do anything to jeopardize that. In this case, you will definitely want to do any serious cardio after lifting.

A little walking on the treadmill would be okay but I wouldn’t do anything to tire yourself or your muscles out.

Related: Does Cardio After Lifting Kill Gains? – Another article on Pump Some Iron


Do Bodybuilders Do Cardio In The Off-Season?

It might surprise you to know that bodybuilders do cardio in the off-season. Granted, it’s probably not as often or as intense as they do while they’re prepping for a competition. But it’s still an important part of every bodybuilder’s routine, even when they’re not trying to get ready for a show.


The frequency of cardio depends on the bodybuilder and their goals. Some prefer to do cardio several times a week, while others only go for a few sessions here and there. A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least 3-4 cardio sessions per week, but that may vary depending on the person.

Duration and Intensity

Bodybuilders generally do low-intensity aerobic exercises like walking, jogging and biking during their off-season. The duration is typically anywhere from 20 minutes up to an hour, and the intensity is usually kept low so they don’t burn out and lose hard-earned gains. High intensity or HIIT workouts are also sometimes used during this period, and usually only once or twice a week at most.

So yes, even off-season, bodybuilders do cardiovascular exercise—the trick is to find what works best for you in terms of frequency, duration and intensity. This can help you maintain good cardiovascular health while still prioritizing your muscle gains!


So the answer to the question “Do bodybuilders do cardio?” is yes, they do! But when you look at the different types of cardio, you can see that bodybuilding-style cardio is quite different from endurance-style cardio.

Bodybuilders are more likely to focus on low intensity, steady state (LISS) cardio that helps them burn fat, build stamina and improve their overall health. Endurance athletes are more likely to focus on high intensity types of exercise such as sprints or hill climbs.

The great thing about bodybuilding-style cardio is that you can tailor it to suit your individual needs and goals. Whether you want to improve your performance in the gym or lose some fat, there’s a type of bodybuilding-style cardio that will work for you.

So next time you find yourself asking “Do bodybuilders do cardio?” just remember that the answer is yes – and it’s a key part of their training routine!

Time to go Pump Some Iron… or maybe do some cardio.


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Hey, I'm Brian, the creator of I've been weightlifting / bodybuilding for 20 years and now I'm ready to share some knowledge. Check out my About Me page to hear my story.