How Much Cardio When Cutting (Best Bodybuilder Tips for 2017)

No doubt about it, bodybuilding is one of the most grueling things a guy can put himself through. Bodybuilding requires a lot of patience, dedication, time, and effort. It’s something that should not be taken lightly, and while it is absolutely a challenge, the end result is more than worth it if you really stick to it. There are many phases to this whole process, and cutting is one of the most difficult. In this phase, a lot of people wonder how much cardio when cutting is enough.

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We all know that cardio is good for burning calories and losing weight, and while it does certainly serve a purpose when bodybuilding, it is possible to do too much or too little. There’s a nice balance you should aim to hit, and in the cutting phases, this is more important than ever.


So, how much cardio should a bodybuilder do and how much cardio during the cutting phase will get you the best results possible? We’re going to answer all of those questions and more, so let’s get thing’s started.

The Cutting Phase — What It Is and Why It’s So Important

First off, we need to understand exactly what the cutting phase is and why it’s such an important step during your bodybuilding journey.

For most bodybuilders, cutting is seen as the toughest phase for getting your body ripped and seeing serious gains, and while it certainly isn’t for the faint of heart, dedicating yourself to this stage will result in some seriously impressive muscle build-up throughout it.

When you enter the cutting phase, you’re going to need to completely give up any and all desserts, big bowls of pasta, and those sweet or salty snacks that you head to in the middle of the night. One of the toughest challenges to tackle here is more on the mental side of things — especially if you’ve become accustomed to eating those foods on a regular basis.


Essentially, cutting is all about dieting and removing any unhealthy foods and activities from your life. Is it difficult? You betcha. However, it’s so, so worth it.

Something that a lot of people can fall victim to during cutting is emotional eating. Emotional eating is something that can easily creep up on you when you’re depressed, bored, or not eating the way you regularly do, and you’ll basically just eat to make yourself feel better.


Emotional eating is very common when going through a particularly strict diet, and while it can be difficult to overcome, it isn’t possible.

If you feel an urge to sink into your desires, get out of the house. Go for a run, hit the gym, or make yourself busy with some sort of productive work. It’ll take your mind off of wanting to throw your diet to the curb, and you’ll thank yourself once that craving finally subsides.

Cutting is important during bodybuilding because it’s the stage in which you rid your body of all the stuff that’s not good for it. This allows your body to more easily build muscle, and after a few days or a couple weeks of doing this, you’ll likely notice that you start to feel more refreshed, attentive, and productive. It’s challenging to get to this mindset at first, but once you’re here, it’s much more of a downhill trek.


How Much Cardio is Too Much For Building Muscle?

As with any diet that you take up, exercise is just as important as watching what you eat. Lifting weights will obviously be one of the most important things that you can do when trying to build up your body, but cardio still should have a role among it.

While cardio is important, it acts more as a supplement to your diet rather than it’s own thing. Your diet during the cutting stage is the absolute most important thing to keep your eye on, but having a solid diet in addition to cardio activities will allow you to get better results than if you just dieted with no cardio.


When doing cardio while cutting, it’s suggested that you do it after you get done lifting. Some people think that doing cardio prior to your lifting is the way to go, but this will only make you tired and make it so that you don’t have as much strength to meet or beat your PR.

As for how much cardio you should do, this is one of those things where need to listen to your body when you’re in the moment to hear what it’s trying to tell you. It’s important to push yourself, but you also don’t want to damage anything.


As a basic rule of thumb, you shouldn’t do any more than 30 minutes of cardio at a time after an intense session of lifting. Some guys won’t have any problem hitting that 30-minute marker, but other men may want to stick around the 10 or 15 minute range.

Don’t Focus Too Heavily on Your Cardiovascular Activities

We don’t advise that you skip out on cardio workouts altogether, but don’t let yourself get too wrapped up worrying about them.

You should have some cardio in your workout plan as a way to cool down and relax, but you shouldn’t make it your top priority so that it’s all you’re doing and you don’t have any strength left for lifting weights.


Go workout, get some lifting done, and then hit the treadmill, elliptical, or other cardio-centric machine and let your body slowly rest while still keeping it in motion.


Cardio does play a role in this process, but it’s more important to track your diet and your lifting progress.


Final Thoughts

Knowing how much cardio when cutting is fairly simple, and in all honestly, it’s not as big of a deal as you might be making it out to be. It’s an important step, sure, but it’s not the only one to keep track of. Cutting only works when you combine cardio with lifting and proper dieting, so don’t let yourself get too focused on cardio if it means these other two areas will take a hit. Find a nice balance between everything, and this is where you’ll see the most results.


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