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  1. #1
    Registered User IronCity151's Avatar
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    How many cardio days per week?

    I'm on a 5 day split (5 on, 2 off) trying to build mass (and not making much progress). I'm 6'3", weigh 210lb, approx 9% BF. Eating 3600 cals per day, target 360g daily protein.

    I've read conflicting things about how much cardio to do while trying to gain mass. Right now, I do 30 minutes, 5 times per week (after lifting on workout days). Is this counterproductive to mass building? I feel like I need the cardio to keep lean on the 3600 cal diet, but maybe that's why I'm struggling to gain weight....
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    Registered User x-trainer ben's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mgordon View Post
    I'm on a 5 day split (5 on, 2 off) trying to build mass (and not making much progress). I'm 6'3", weigh 210lb, approx 9% BF. Eating 3600 cals per day, target 360g daily protein.

    I've read conflicting things about how much cardio to do while trying to gain mass. Right now, I do 30 minutes, 5 times per week (after lifting on workout days). Is this counterproductive to mass building? I feel like I need the cardio to keep lean on the 3600 cal diet, but maybe that's why I'm struggling to gain weight....
    I say no, i do both each time i goto the gym, but if you are looking for a champion caliber body then skip it.
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    Registered User jimbop99's Avatar
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    I think there are two ways to go with this. If you feel the cardio is that important to keeping the fat off then slightly increase the calories. You can also try cutting back on the cardio to 20 minute sessions or cut out a couple days and see how that goes. It's mostly trial and error. Good luck.
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    Originally Posted by mgordon View Post
    I'm on a 5 day split (5 on, 2 off) trying to build mass (and not making much progress). I'm 6'3", weigh 210lb, approx 9% BF. Eating 3600 cals per day, target 360g daily protein.

    I've read conflicting things about how much cardio to do while trying to gain mass. Right now, I do 30 minutes, 5 times per week (after lifting on workout days). Is this counterproductive to mass building? I feel like I need the cardio to keep lean on the 3600 cal diet, but maybe that's why I'm struggling to gain weight....
    Maybe take a look at your complete program if you are not happy with the results...A 3 day split routine based around the 4 main lifts and some good recovery is what you MAY need to buid some mass and strenght.
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  5. #5
    I want a PB&J Mr. Someday's Avatar
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    There is no cookie cutter answer for cardio. At 9% bf, if you really are that lean, you may want to start out with none and see if you begin gaining any fat. Keep in mind, strenuous workouts will burn far more calories than cardio will anyhow. For me, my metabolism is pretty slow, so I always keep it in my regimen. Beyond the metabolism issue though, I need to do it to be hungry enough to eat all the food I need to eat. With that said, I am a huge fan of fasted state cardio in the morning upon wakening. Great fat burner and gets me hungry for the rest of the day. In the end, you need to play with it and see what is ideal for you.
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    Registered User frank_s's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mr. Someday View Post
    There is no cookie cutter answer for cardio. At 9% bf, if you really are that lean, you may want to start out with none and see if you begin gaining any fat. Keep in mind, strenuous workouts will burn far more calories than cardio will anyhow. For me, my metabolism is pretty slow, so I always keep it in my regimen. Beyond the metabolism issue though, I need to do it to be hungry enough to eat all the food I need to eat. With that said, I am a huge fan of fasted state cardio in the morning upon wakening. Great fat burner and gets me hungry for the rest of the day. In the end, you need to play with it and see what is ideal for you.
    Great tip Mr. Someday... I never thought of using cardio to keep me hungry. Every time I've tried to gain mass, my hunger always seems to run out to the point where I usually stop eating. I think I'll try cardio to boost my hunger when I begin my mass gain cycle in September.
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    Registered User Klayfish's Avatar
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    I'm a good bit smaller than you are, but working towards the same goal...building muscle mass, but still doing cardio. I work out on a 5 day split, and I do cardio 6 days per week. I do 2 days on a treadmill, 2 days on stationary bike, 1 day in the pool and 1 day using heavy bag and speed bag.

    I asked similar questions. The general feedback I got was similar to what you've seen here. There is no hard and fast rule as to how much to do. However, if you're doing relatively "limited" cardio, generally under 5 miles if you're running, it probably won't interfere with your muscle gains. That's assuming your diet is right. If you start pushing more cardio, you can start to burn muscle instead of stored body fat.

    I'm still trying to make sense of it all too, so I'm hoping others will join in, and I'd suggest searching other threads.
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    Registered User MarkY's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mr. Someday View Post
    With that said, I am a huge fan of fasted state cardio in the morning upon wakening. Great fat burner and gets me hungry for the rest of the day. In the end, you need to play with it and see what is ideal for you.
    I completely agree.
    Mark
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    Cardio

    I do 40 minutes of Cardio every session (Except legs) More for Cardio Vascular Health than anything else, and I have the opposite struggle size is not the issue for me its a battle to try to get lean, I have to do Cardio and clean diet otherwise no chance. However If I was 9% bodyfat and wanted to try to ad muscle in a bulk I would eat clean 500 cal over maintenance and forget about the Cardio. And do tons of compound movements Heavy (5 rep range) Squats, Deadlifts,Chin Ups Rows, and Bench
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    Cardio is not necessary. If you lift heavy with intensity you get enough. All cardio does is make you hungry, hence you eat more. Its counterproductive for building muscle. The good for heart blah blah blah stuff is overrated. There are plenty of people who run miles every day and keel over with heart attacks before their time and there are plenty of people who do no cardio and live long healthy lives.

    Eat well, sleep well, don't smoke, lift heavy with intensity 4x a week with mainly compound movements and the muscle will come and stay and the fat will go.
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    Originally Posted by Rogerthat View Post
    Cardio is not necessary. If you lift heavy with intensity you get enough. All cardio does is make you hungry, hence you eat more. Its counterproductive for building muscle. The good for heart blah blah blah stuff is overrated. There are plenty of people who run miles every day and keel over with heart attacks before their time and there are plenty of people who do no cardio and live long healthy lives.

    Eat well, sleep well, don't smoke, lift heavy with intensity 4x a week with mainly compound movements and the muscle will come and stay and the fat will go.
    Cardio does the opposite for me and kills the appetite. If i do anything over 30 min the body goes into a mode where food and the need to use the bathroom goes away. Perhaps it is from running for over 2 hrs in the past.

    on the other handIf i deadlift or squat over 300 the body goes crazy for nutrients and i actually crave breakfast the next morning.
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    Originally Posted by Mr. Someday View Post
    With that said, I am a huge fan of fasted state cardio in the morning upon wakening. Great fat burner and gets me hungry for the rest of the day. In the end, you need to play with it and see what is ideal for you.
    I probably look foolish debating this (Mr Someday is an info encyclopedia) but in order for fasted cardio to burn fat you would have to do 1 hour of incredibly high intensity cardio before it even starts to burn fat. Your body stores 1 hour of glycogen at a fasted state and you have to use this up before your body goes into your fat storage. But it will make you hungry.
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    this "cardio" thing you guys speak off.....



    that's running and riding bikes right ?
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    Originally Posted by mgordon View Post
    I'm on a 5 day split (5 on, 2 off) trying to build mass (and not making much progress). I'm 6'3", weigh 210lb, approx 9% BF. Eating 3600 cals per day, target 360g daily protein.

    I've read conflicting things about how much cardio to do while trying to gain mass. Right now, I do 30 minutes, 5 times per week (after lifting on workout days). Is this counterproductive to mass building? I feel like I need the cardio to keep lean on the 3600 cal diet, but maybe that's why I'm struggling to gain weight....

    I've tried and tried for years to get bigger and bigger but its always basically pretty much quite futile...i just maintain..i go for the bruce lee approach because really,i have no choice in the matter.my job demands,etc.

    Thats the way its basically always been...i did go from 150-180 over the course of 3-1/2 - 4 years but basically,just maintained myself from there,or that point onwards..i've had the desire plenty of times to get more size,and still do strongly desire to get really really much bigger and stronger and everything but my jobs are just too demanding and cause too much catabolic stimulation running throughout my molecular mechanisms and such.

    Like i said,i just try to be like a bruce lee type.I vary my workouts and usually do quite a bit of cardio as well,but not jogging because it affects my fast twitch abilities way too much.I like to be able to sprint nice and briskly around the ballfield and kick the bag like a mule.
    Last edited by thor93; 07-09-2009 at 03:55 PM.
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    No Agony, No Bragony JUSA's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mgordon View Post
    I'm on a 5 day split (5 on, 2 off) trying to build mass (and not making much progress). I'm 6'3", weigh 210lb, approx 9% BF. Eating 3600 cals per day, target 360g daily protein.

    I've read conflicting things about how much cardio to do while trying to gain mass. Right now, I do 30 minutes, 5 times per week (after lifting on workout days). Is this counterproductive to mass building? I feel like I need the cardio to keep lean on the 3600 cal diet, but maybe that's why I'm struggling to gain weight....
    That amount of cardio isn't hurting you. 210 @ 9%, eh. That should be pretty jacked.
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    thanks for all the feedback

    Originally Posted by JUSA View Post
    That amount of cardio isn't hurting you. 210 @ 9%, eh. That should be pretty jacked.
    I appreciate all the advice from everyone. It is interesting that there are so many different opinions as to whether cardio is good or not. I want to at least keep some cardio in my routine because I do believe it's good for my heart health. I may experiment cutting back from 5 days a week to 3 days and see if it makes any difference. I may also play with my calories - maybe go up to 3800 per day and see what happens.

    Since I'm fairly tall and my frame is big, I don't think I look all that jacked, at least not compared to a lot of the big guys' pictures on this forum. I think another 10 to 15 pounds of LBM will make a big difference...
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    Originally Posted by Rogerthat View Post
    I probably look foolish debating this (Mr Someday is an info encyclopedia) but in order for fasted cardio to burn fat you would have to do 1 hour of incredibly high intensity cardio before it even starts to burn fat. Your body stores 1 hour of glycogen at a fasted state and you have to use this up before your body goes into your fat storage. But it will make you hungry.

    I know what works for me, I'll be the first to admit to anyone I'm no expert. Where did you find the 1 hr thing? Have a link? Hard to believe your body would have an hour's worth of glycogen stores(whatever that measurement actually is) even in a fasted state....if that were the case, wouldn't that imply that you would basically never burn fat? Not being facetious here, just have never heard that before. I'm always up for learning something new.
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    Originally Posted by Mr. Someday View Post
    I know what works for me, I'll be the first to admit to anyone I'm no expert. Where did you find the 1 hr thing? Have a link? Hard to believe your body would have an hour's worth of glycogen stores(whatever that measurement actually is) even in a fasted state....if that were the case, wouldn't that imply that you would basically never burn fat? Not being facetious here, just have never heard that before. I'm always up for learning something new.
    "What works for me" I think that is key. I just don't think cardio is necessary for fat loss. I think too many people depend on it and it only makes them hungrier throughout the day and have to fight off the munchies. I have experienced this. I do no cardio. Have gained lots of muscle, have lost lots of fat. I am now down to 181 and can see a defined six pack and my arm, legs, chest have all remained the same and I am not getting the junk food cravings I got when doing cardio. The only reason for maybe doing it would be for cardiovascular health, but I think I get plenty from my workouts anyway.

    Myths Under The Microscope Part 2: False Hopes for Fasted Cardio

    False Hopes

    The bandwagon is lead by blind horses

    Many trainees pigeonhole weight training as an activity exclusively for building muscle, and cardio exclusively for burning fat. On the contrary, weight training can yield very similar results to cardio of similar intensity when 24-hr energy expenditure and macronutrient oxidation is measured [1]. The obvious advantage of weight training is the higher potential for lean mass and strength gains. In the bodybuilding context, cardio should be viewed as merely an adjunctive training mode to further energy expenditure and cross-complement the adaptations specific to weight training. As far as cardio being absolutely necessary for cardiovascular health, well, that depends upon the overall volume and magnitude of your weight training - another topic for another time.

    Full Article here: http://www.clutchfitness.com/forums/...-fasted-cardio

    You know the commonly understood formula for weight loss. It is the premise that virtually every mainstream fitness routine accepts. However, it is an urban myth. What is it? Eat less + increase activity=weight loss. This is not true. It appears to be true just like the world appears to be flat, but you know it isn't true; the world is round. Follow this urban myth of weight loss and you will end up stranded somewhere, frustrated that you didn't reach your weight loss goal. Even worse, you may will circle the world of mainstream empty weight loss promises and come back to where you started, more overweight than when you started. Let put this urban myth to rest once and for all.

    Full Article here: http://www.fitness-nutrition-weightl...e-you-fat.html

    ?Fasted? Cardio is better for fat loss?

    The ?theory? behind this is that if the body has no food inside it, it will have to use fat stores straight away, therefore burning more fat. I will let you into a little secret?..

    When we eat food, it is broken down into simple molecules then absorbed into the blood stream where it is transported and used for its respective job, be it repairing tissues, providing muscles with energy or any other job that it may be used for. All foods are broken down into simple sugars called glycogen and glucose. When the body has taken its required nutrients for growth and repair, the left over is stored as glycogen in two places- the muscles and the liver. Studies have shown that the body stores enough energy in the form of glycogen to allow a person to exercise very intensely for up to 1 hour. In order to burn fat as the major fuel resource, a person would have to be totally fasted and then train at an intensity level that would make an Olympic athlete foam at the mouth for 1 HOUR. Only then would they start burning more fat than carbohydrate (sugar)!

    Full Article here: http://totalfit.wordpress.com/2007/1...-for-fat-loss/

    EXERCISE of any type on an empty stomach, whether it's in the morning or later in the day; it isn't necessary. In addition to limiting your intensity, you jack up your stress hormones--and, most damagingly, you run a high risk of using some of the protein in your muscles for energy, which ultimately sabotages your ability to get lean.

    Full Article here:http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m.../ai_n13608086/
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  19. #19
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    For Bodybuilding yes

    Originally Posted by Rogerthat View Post
    Cardio is not necessary. If you lift heavy with intensity you get enough. All cardio does is make you hungry, hence you eat more. Its counterproductive for building muscle. The good for heart blah blah blah stuff is overrated. There are plenty of people who run miles every day and keel over with heart attacks before their time and there are plenty of people who do no cardio and live long healthy lives.

    Eat well, sleep well, don't smoke, lift heavy with intensity 4x a week with mainly compound movements and the muscle will come and stay and the fat will go.
    Cardio Might be overrated for a bodybuilder but the rest of this statement is pure BS...People who run miles a day and keel over from Heart attack, either have an underlying issue or something else out of whack like eating buckets of fried chicken...And true there are people who live a long life that don't do cardio that is just good genes.....But the reality is we as a nation would be a damn site healthier if as a whole we did a whole lot more cardio type activity, be it steady state walking, running, cycling etc. To Say that cardio is overrated with all the benifits it offers for quality of life is just pure silly
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    Originally Posted by jscan1 View Post
    Cardio Might be overrated for a bodybuilder but the rest of this statement is pure BS...People who run miles a day and keel over from Heart attack, either have an underlying issue or something else out of whack like eating buckets of fried chicken...And true there are people who live a long life that don't do cardio that is just good genes.....But the reality is we as a nation would be a damn site healthier if as a whole we did a whole lot more cardio type activity, be it steady state walking, running, cycling etc. To Say that cardio is overrated with all the benifits it offers for quality of life is just pure silly
    You are not reading it in the context of the question. And the nation would be a lot healthier if it would stop eating the way it does, it has nothing to do with cardio. Americans were not cardio buffs in the 1900's but they had to prepare their meals and they didn't snack like they do today and obviously fast food wasn't around every corner like it is today. I can guarantee you if Americans started doing regular cardio all that would happen is they would eat more.

    I will stand by my statement that cardio is overrated. Its perpetrated on the masses by fitness clubs, equipment manufacturers etc... Get your diet in check first.
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    Agreeing to Disagree

    I agree that Diet needs to be in order, and I also agree that Cardio is not needed for building Muscle Mass, But come on cardio is not overrated, if your in crap cardio vascular condition and starting back to weights try to train heavy and see how far you get? Now get in good cardio health via running,walking,cycling, etc and now you have the "gas" to get through heavy weight training. Further just for an avg person who does not weight train if they made habit out of a half hour walk/ jog, cycle, row etc even with no diet change it would cut their Caloric maintenance level by at least the number of calories they burned doing the activity. So even if you are eating above maintenance it still lowered your daily intake, your still gonna get fat but not as fat as if you did nothing. Further your heart is a muscle train it and your heart rate improves and works less hard less beats is benificial. It is going to improve blood pressure a huge killer. More blood flow for arteries, more capilaries etc all positives. Raised metabolism so you are gonna burn more calories the rest of the day.....I am sticking by my stance as well one I am sure the American Heart Association would side with
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    Originally Posted by jscan1 View Post
    I agree that Diet needs to be in order, and I also agree that Cardio is not needed for building Muscle Mass, But come on cardio is not overrated, if your in crap cardio vascular condition and starting back to weights try to train heavy and see how far you get? Now get in good cardio health via running,walking,cycling, etc and now you have the "gas" to get through heavy weight training.
    Sorry, the above statement makes no connection and is just your comment.

    Originally Posted by jscan1 View Post
    Further just for an avg person who does not weight train if they made habit out of a half hour walk/ jog, cycle, row etc even with no diet change it would cut their Caloric maintenance level by at least the number of calories they burned doing the activity.
    What usually happens is people will eat more because cardio burns calories which makes you want to eat. And a lot of times its quick fixes like candy bars.

    Originally Posted by jscan1 View Post
    So even if you are eating above maintenance it still lowered your daily intake, your still gonna get fat but not as fat as if you did nothing.
    That statement made me chuckle.

    Originally Posted by jscan1 View Post
    Further your heart is a muscle train it and your heart rate improves and works less hard less beats is benificial. It is going to improve blood pressure a huge killer. More blood flow for arteries, more capilaries etc all positives.
    I won't dispute this but you get the same or better benefits from weightlifting without the extra hunger. Remember the context of my answer.

    Originally Posted by jscan1 View Post
    Raised metabolism so you are gonna burn more calories the rest of the day
    Once your cardio session is over you may burn up to a maximum of 20 more calories a day. Negligible at best.

    Originally Posted by jscan1 View Post
    .....I am sticking by my stance as well one I am sure the American Heart Association would side with
    And you should. I enjoyed your debate. Thanks.
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    Its all good

    My intent was not to Hijack the guys thread simple facts from the original question

    Cardio not neccesary to ad muscle eat a certain amount above maintenance and lift heavy ass weights
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    I want a PB&J Mr. Someday's Avatar
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    Was hoping you would post some studies, not articles.

    The concept that you burn not a drop of fat doing cardio for an hour because your body will only eat away at glycogen in the muscles is laughable. In fact, if walking around just ate up muscle in a fasted state, then mankind would of died off long ago.

    So I will say what I always say, cardio is a very individual thing that some of you may not need, some may need a little of, and others may need a lot of. Cookie cutter statements don't hold any water (on either side of the pendulum).
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    Originally Posted by mgordon View Post
    I'm on a 5 day split (5 on, 2 off) trying to build mass (and not making much progress). I'm 6'3", weigh 210lb, approx 9% BF. Eating 3600 cals per day, target 360g daily protein.

    I've read conflicting things about how much cardio to do while trying to gain mass. Right now, I do 30 minutes, 5 times per week (after lifting on workout days). Is this counterproductive to mass building? I feel like I need the cardio to keep lean on the 3600 cal diet, but maybe that's why I'm struggling to gain weight....
    I would suggest just doing 30-45 minutes cardio on your off days and see how it goes from there.
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    Originally Posted by Mr. Someday View Post
    Was hoping you would post some studies, not articles.

    In fact, if walking around just ate up muscle in a fasted state, then mankind would of died off long ago.
    No where did it say this. But whatever. But as I said from the beginning its a individual thing. But cardio is NOT necessary to lose fat and morning fasted cardio is definitely a myth, these have both been scientifically proven.
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    Originally Posted by Rogerthat View Post
    But cardio is NOT necessary to lose fat and morning fasted cardio is definitely a myth, these have both been scientifically proven.
    Who in here said cardio is absolutely necessary to lose fat? And science had to prove that? lol ****...I could sit in the corner for a week and not eat....bet I would lose some fat. Didn't need any cardio to do it either.

    Morning fasted cardio was proven a myth by science too? Show me the study. What myth was it disproving anyhow? That morning is a good time to do cardio? That you burn no fat in a fasted state, but do if you eat something before hand? I'm not aware of any study even done on bodybuilders for example that were prepping for a show that measured "fasted state" cardio in the morning versus say cardio immediately after a workout or at any other point in the day. Are you? If so, would love to see it.
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    Originally Posted by Rogerthat View Post
    Cardio is not necessary. If you lift heavy with intensity you get enough. All cardio does is make you hungry, hence you eat more. Its counterproductive for building muscle.
    Not according to Layne Norton. He has all his competitive bodybuilders doing HIIT cardio.

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showpo...&postcount=144
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    Originally Posted by Mr. Someday View Post
    Who in here said cardio is absolutely necessary to lose fat? And science had to prove that? lol ****...I could sit in the corner for a week and not eat....bet I would lose some fat. Didn't need any cardio to do it either.
    You are right. Here are a few pointers to what works best.
    http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_a...hy_of_fat_loss
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    This is the over 35 forum not the teeny bopper section. Therefore it is extremely important to keep in mind that if we wish to continue engaging in bodybuilding in our latter years, seventies and beyond, we better consider incorporating cardiovascular exercise into our regular workout regimens.

    There are distinct health benefits to our cardiac, circulatory and respiratory system that can only occur if we perform cardiovascular workouts. In fact, recent studies show that when we reach our early seventies (yes guys we will not remain young studs forever), there is a precipitous and signficant drop in cardiovascular capacity that will occur in ALL of us, regardless of whether we are are competitive athletes or sedentary. The advantage to those of us who developed a solid baseline cardiorespiratory system earlier in our earlier lives is that we will always have a higher cardiovascular capacity than those who did not engage in such exercise. And this stronger residual capacity gentlemen can mean the difference between having a healthy and productive later life versus one that is marked by limited exercise capacity and poorer health.
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