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How often do you do cardio?


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I have a few questions regarding cardio. Is it true that it catabolizes muscle? Some say yes, some say no, some say only if done in excess, like what endurance athletes do. I've even heard some say it wont happen unless excess fat stores are used up first. I'm inclined to believe the third opinion - only if done in excess.

 

Is there a recommended amount for optimal health? The only opinion I've heard on this is that of couch-to-5k, who claim 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 3 times a week is optimal for cardiovascular health. Then again, I suppose with more volume I do, the better cardiovascular I'll need, which will probably exceed the amount necessary to live a high quality sedentary life, right?

 

I'm interested in doing HIIT, as most sources say it is superior to constant, moderate intensity workouts(and it sounda a helluva lot more interesting), but I'm concerned about overtraining my legs, as I am doing squats 3 times a week and deadlifts 1-2 times a week at low rep, high intensity(Starting Strength). If I shoud do HIIT, should I increase my low intensity phase along with my sprint phase, or should I keep my low intensity phase at the lowest setting, so I can go all out during the sprint phase? If I slow down during the last 5-10 seconds of a sprint phase, should I lower the setting I use for it?

 

I could really use some insight, atm I'm doing zero cardio due to fear of overtraining or muscle loss, and lack of knowledge regarding execution. I may just throw in 3 moderate intensity cardio sessions a week, and a couple HIIT sessions inbetween lift days.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'll give my 2 cents worth of ideas from experience, none of which are science based.

I have a few questions regarding cardio. Is it true that it catabolizes muscle? Some say yes, some say no, some say only if done in excess, like what endurance athletes do. I've even heard some say it wont happen unless excess fat stores are used up first. I'm inclined to believe the third opinion - only if done in excess.

From my experience, number 3- excesse cardio, but in addition to that, a lack of calories. Once you burn through the carbs and fat only protein is left to burn. So eat up!

 

Is there a recommended amount for optimal health? The only opinion I've heard on this is that of couch-to-5k, who claim 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 3 times a week is optimal for cardiovascular health. Then again, I suppose with more volume I do, the better cardiovascular I'll need, which will probably exceed the amount necessary to live a high quality sedentary life, right?

I really can't recomend what would be a good amount. Almost every where you look, some say 20-30 mins a day others say 2 hours a week.

 

I'm interested in doing HIIT, as most sources say it is superior to constant, moderate intensity workouts(and it sounda a helluva lot more interesting), but I'm concerned about overtraining my legs, as I am doing squats 3 times a week and deadlifts 1-2 times a week at low rep, high intensity(Starting Strength). If I shoud do HIIT, should I increase my low intensity phase along with my sprint phase, or should I keep my low intensity phase at the lowest setting, so I can go all out during the sprint phase? If I slow down during the last 5-10 seconds of a sprint phase, should I lower the setting I use for it?

HIIT is great, but rememebr there are other ways of getting cardio instread of running- i.e. swimming, rowing (a concept 2 is great), sled dragging (although not as fast as the others because your dragging a 70+ pound sled, gets your heart rate up in a hurry). You can also throw in "Finishers" at the end of a strength workout. Here are some good ones http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/seven_metabolic_finishers_to_burn_fat

Good luck, glad to see that you are cautious about over doing. Better to be on the safe side, and slowly build up by doing short stints at first, maybe less then 10 mins and go from there.

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I'll give my 2 cents worth of ideas from experience, none of which are science based.
I have a few questions regarding cardio. Is it true that it catabolizes muscle? Some say yes' date=' some say no, some say only if done in excess, like what endurance athletes do. I've even heard some say it wont happen unless excess fat stores are used up first. I'm inclined to believe the third opinion - only if done in excess.[/quote']

From my experience, number 3- excesse cardio, but in addition to that, a lack of calories. Once you burn through the carbs and fat only protein is left to burn. So eat up!

 

Is there a recommended amount for optimal health? The only opinion I've heard on this is that of couch-to-5k, who claim 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 3 times a week is optimal for cardiovascular health. Then again, I suppose with more volume I do, the better cardiovascular I'll need, which will probably exceed the amount necessary to live a high quality sedentary life, right?

I really can't recomend what would be a good amount. Almost every where you look, some say 20-30 mins a day others say 2 hours a week.

 

I'm interested in doing HIIT, as most sources say it is superior to constant, moderate intensity workouts(and it sounda a helluva lot more interesting), but I'm concerned about overtraining my legs, as I am doing squats 3 times a week and deadlifts 1-2 times a week at low rep, high intensity(Starting Strength). If I shoud do HIIT, should I increase my low intensity phase along with my sprint phase, or should I keep my low intensity phase at the lowest setting, so I can go all out during the sprint phase? If I slow down during the last 5-10 seconds of a sprint phase, should I lower the setting I use for it?

HIIT is great, but rememebr there are other ways of getting cardio instread of running- i.e. swimming, rowing (a concept 2 is great), sled dragging (although not as fast as the others because your dragging a 70+ pound sled, gets your heart rate up in a hurry). You can also throw in "Finishers" at the end of a strength workout. Here are some good ones http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/seven_metabolic_finishers_to_burn_fat

Good luck, glad to see that you are cautious about over doing. Better to be on the safe side, and slowly build up by doing short stints at first, maybe less then 10 mins and go from there.

Well, burning through the fat really isn't a concern for me, I'm 5' 6" 228.4 lbs. I'm also on a cut, because of this.

 

I rode my bike to and from the gym today to save gas, made me too weak to do squats, but I prolly overdid it on the bike, plus I hadn't eaten for like 4-5 hours, so that doesn't help. For now, that's plenty of cardio imo, ride home was hell, especially the hills. 2 miles from my apartment to the gym.

 

Actually don't run because my flat feet cause me really bad shin splints, usually do the stationary bike. Would swim, but dont have access to an indoor pool. Rowing's an idea.

 

Ima go pass out.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Agreed, cardio does not necessarily mean the usual "hit the treadmill or the bike" stuff. I've definitely noticed that I'm ramping up fat loss well this month just from doing everything BUT traditional cardio. Pushing the Prowler sled around, dragging weighted sleds, flipping tires and such have all started to spark a change I can see in just a few weeks. It doesn't need to all be done at heavy weights, but sometimes alternative methods for cardio can be a good kick-start to being in a stagnant point, and some of these methods can do wonders in a fraction of the time spent walking in straight line on the old treadmill!

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Agreed, cardio does not necessarily mean the usual "hit the treadmill or the bike" stuff. I've definitely noticed that I'm ramping up fat loss well this month just from doing everything BUT traditional cardio. Pushing the Prowler sled around, dragging weighted sleds, flipping tires and such have all started to spark a change I can see in just a few weeks. It doesn't need to all be done at heavy weights, but sometimes alternative methods for cardio can be a good kick-start to being in a stagnant point, and some of these methods can do wonders in a fraction of the time spent walking in straight line on the old treadmill!

I wish I could do the big tie flip but theres no way for me to bring home a big ass tire like that! Ive' been carrying around these big ass blocks around the yard and fuck what anybody else saids, running with a crapload of weight on you is one hell of a cardio booster. How do you feel bout power exercises for fatloss and conditioning?

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I wish I could do the big tie flip but theres no way for me to bring home a big ass tire like that! Ive' been carrying around these big ass blocks around the yard and fuck what anybody else saids, running with a crapload of weight on you is one hell of a cardio booster. How do you feel bout power exercises for fatloss and conditioning?

 

Yeah, with tires, you definitely need lots of space for storage as well as flipping them, so that's usually the biggest downside even though you can get them for free. I'm just lucky to have the training facility nearby to play with them any time I make the 5 minute drive on over.

 

Carrying/running with stuff is great for conditioning - I used to take a barbell w/ a pair of 45 lb. plates down to the track, power clean it, drop it behind the neck on my traps and walk a mile with it - it was a nice butt-kicker, to say the least. That, or I'd throw a 50 lb. sandbag in a backpack and take a 45-60 minute hike with it, that one used to leave me drenched in sweat from head to toe and definitely upped my conditioning in a hurry.

 

For power exercises, I tend to get better fat loss and conditioning benefits from doing them in two ways - first, lower weight and high reps to where I'm more burned out by sucking wind than from muscular fatigue (such as, doing high-rep rack pulls for 20 rep sets), or, by doing heavier singles with minimal rest (such as doing rack pulls with 90% of my max for singles, rest 30 seconds, keep going for a high number of single reps). I don't get much improvement for conditioning and fat loss from low to moderate rep sets unless the rest periods are really short, and then my form breaks down quickly and I'm done for. That's why I'll keep the weight lower for high reps, or, do plenty of singles with little rest and they both have fared well enough!

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  • 5 weeks later...

Often, but I'm looking to a) lose weight and b) lose fat. However I don't JUST do cardio and I eat enough to both continue losing weight while having enough fuel for the workout.

 

Your body starts to cannibalize muscle when you're lacking in body fat to burn and you're not taking in enough calories. Period.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Often, but I'm looking to a) lose weight and b) lose fat. However I don't JUST do cardio and I eat enough to both continue losing weight while having enough fuel for the workout.

 

Your body starts to cannibalize muscle when you're lacking in body fat to burn and you're not taking in enough calories. Period.

 

This is really what most experts say. I wonder if there are any new finding about it though.

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  • 2 months later...

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