View Full Version : Cardio or No Cardio?
07-25-2004, 06:48 AM
Every time I think I have absorbed enough information to make a decision about whether and how cardio should be included in a workout routine, I read something new that contradicts whatever I am thinking.
From what I can see, there are 3 main camps:
1. Cardio practically every day, for 45-60 minutes
2. Cardio 2-3 times a week, for 20 minutes (HIIT style)
3. No cardio at all
Especially frustrating is to read over and over that less is more when it comes to cardio and then to see pictures of competitive looking body builders who claim they do 6 hours per week of cardio. On the other hand, you rarely hear male bb-ers talking about cardio.
Which is the best recommendation (or maybe a 4th recommendation) for someone who is not overweight and wants to increase muscle, i.e., look bigger.
I'd love links to any studies or scientific data.
07-25-2004, 07:49 AM
I have totally given up on this topic. I have been feeling the same way about this issue. I know damn well that I lost almost 80 lbs mostly by walking and doing cardio 5 days a week - most of that time I wasn't weight training. Then after I started lifting I stopped doing cardio all together and just let myself build muscle. Then I needed to cut and brought my cardio up to 3 steady states for 60 minutes three times a week. I lost a ton of LBM because my calories were too low to support the increased expenditure. Now I have gained 15 extra pounds to get rid of and fell into the HIIT trap - but my brain will not accept this and if I can't get the mindset right then it simply isn't going to work.
I've consulted a ton of different trainers about this issue as wella s other WOMEN I know who work out (the men in my life hate cardio - too biased for any real opinion). I can't get a consistent answer from anyone.
So I've come to the conclusion that if it works for you - then it works for you. They probably all work to some degree depending on how your diet plays into things. But as long as you're doing the cardio - isn't that all that matters? I'd love to give it up all together and I'd love to be more efficient at it if I am going to continue to do it - but instead of continuing the confusion and frustration, I think I'll simply stick to what I know my body responds to.
07-25-2004, 10:15 AM
Cardio needs vary, depending on stats, activity level, diet, goal, etc. Many off season do very little, if any cardio, that's a personal preference and probaby don't because due to their body type. Some like to keep cardio in all year at 3 days a week for 20-30 minutes.
You have to learn to read between the lines. Those competitive bodybuilders who say they are doing cardio 6 times a week for an hour, usually do that the final month or so. They do not start off doing that.
For general weight loss (fat loss) and muscle maintenance, I say Progressive HIIT combined with carb-rotation. It's not just about cardio, but how you implement it with your nutrition. Keep the body in shock with both tactics.
I do light cardio off season, 3 days a week for 20-30 minutes. When a comp season nears, I up it weekly while tapering off my carbs. It's not a one-shot tactic, it's a process.