Just the other day I was killing my bis and tris at the gym when a hard-working and passionate young trainee approached me with some questions about bodybuilding: “As you can see I'm very thin. I weigh about 155 and want to get to about 185 in the next year. What's the best way to add size without getting fat? And should I be doing cardio along with my weight training?”
The Last Thing Skinny Guys Should Do
I was in a very similar situation when I first started training. As a matter of fact, I was even skinnier. I weighed a paltry 125 lbs (at a height of 5’11.5”) when I first wrapped my hands around a barbell. So, I feel his pain and can fully appreciate his desire to bulk up and build a bigger, more muscular physique. That being said, I would have to say no, he should not do any cardio at this time. As an ectomorph struggling to add more muscle and bodyweight the last thing you want to do is burn more calories and further increase your already racing metabolism through cardio.
You want every calorie you ingest to be pointed toward muscle repair and growth, even if you store a little bodyfat along the way. The best way to avoid adding too much extra adipose tissue while gaining size is to make sure that you are eating a relatively clean high calorie diet.