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  1. #1
    Registered User BriskyBill's Avatar
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    is 30 mins cardio really enough?

    Hi there, I was just wondering - I have read a lot about how 30 mins cardio about 4 times a week is enough to promote significant weight loss, it doesnt seem like a lot to me, but then again I suppose working out for about an hour doesnt seem like a lot for muscle gain!

    Just wondered if somebody could clarify what the optimum amount of cardio generally is?


    I assume 30 mins is for steady state cardio?

    I am interested in HIIT also.

    Cheers.
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  2. #2
    The Viking Brah QT's Avatar
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    If you have never lost weight before, cardio a couple of days a week will do big changes.
    But as time goes you have to do more cardio or cut more down on your food. I also recomend lifting weights, just to keep your muscle loss minimal.

    I do 28min HIIT ATLEAST 2 times a week besides my lifting routine(5days aweek).
    HIIT makes you sweat like a pig! No need for a 2 hour boring cardio if you can do a hard HIIT.
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  3. #3
    Supp Free: Seriously Talawandaballa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BriskyBill View Post
    Hi there, I was just wondering - I have read a lot about how 30 mins cardio about 4 times a week is enough to promote significant weight loss, it doesnt seem like a lot to me, but then again I suppose working out for about an hour doesnt seem like a lot for muscle gain!

    Just wondered if somebody could clarify what the optimum amount of cardio generally is?


    I assume 30 mins is for steady state cardio?

    I am interested in HIIT also.

    Cheers.
    Yeah, that's more than enough. I get about 15 mins in about 4 times a week..
    Just depends on your pace, if you are walking 30 isn't enough, if you are sprinting 30 is way too much.
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  4. #4
    Registered User davedawes's Avatar
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    I find if you combine your lifting and cardio you see better results. But like the other gentleman said, it depends on the cardio. Pound for pound HIIT will drive up your calorie burn rate.

    good luck
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  5. #5
    Custom User Title Fixxxer's Avatar
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    Zero minutes of cardio is enough if you are in a calorie deficit, which can be achieved by just eating less. However, cardio can help increase the deficit, and it has many health benefits beyond just burning calories, which is why I do it. I only do 30-45 minutes three times a week, usually only 30. It is high intensity, however. That's because I want to burn more calories and increase my cardiovascular endurance/muscular stamina. A 30 minute walk wouldn't really cut it for my purposes.
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  6. #6
    still climbing the hill RORIAB1's Avatar
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    i recommend you hiit for at least 30 min. and if you dont like run (treadmill) use the elliptical it''s more easy to change the level... for example:
    start 2 min: level 15
    1.30 min: level 16
    1 min: level 17
    30 sec: level 18
    then repeat until reach the 30 min.
    just if you dont like the treadmill. this a very good option for a great cardio session.
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  7. #7
    Registered User GregTR's Avatar
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    Weight loss is driven my calories in vs. calories out. Cardio falls in the calories out category. Since you didn't mention anything about your calories in category (AKA diet) we can't really say anything about your possible weight loss.

    If you have been maintaining your weight with your current diet and exercise, you were at an equilibrium point. Adding cardio to it will make you lose weight as you will no longer be in equilibrium, your calories out will exceed calories in at this point.

    4x30 minutes of LISS cardio will burn around 1,000-1,200 calories a week. That is about .25 lbs of fat. So if you solely rely on this cardio exercise to help you lose weight it will be a long way to go. That is unless you're already lean and mean and need to drop the last couple of pounds....
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  8. #8
    Registered User SocratesTX's Avatar
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    Cardio in terms of fat loss, is just a tool to help create a calorie deficit. You can achieve the same result by eating less.
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by Fixxxer View Post
    Zero minutes of cardio is enough if you are in a calorie deficit, which can be achieved by just eating less. However, cardio can help increase the deficit, and it has many health benefits beyond just burning calories, which is why I do it. I only do 30-45 minutes three times a week, usually only 30. It is high intensity, however. That's because I want to burn more calories and increase my cardiovascular endurance/muscular stamina. A 30 minute walk wouldn't really cut it for my purposes.
    exactly what im doing, havent done cardio in months
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  10. #10
    There and Back Again DuLac's Avatar
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    To lose weight you have to eat less than you burn, in terms of calories.

    Cardio is just a tool to create the deficit, with a side-benefit of making your vascular system more healthy. I personally only do 10 min HIIT 4x/week. 30 min should be more than enough if you have your diet dialed in.
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by DuLac View Post
    To lose weight you have to eat less than you burn, in terms of calories.

    Cardio is just a tool to create the deficit, with a side-benefit of making your vascular system more healthy. I personally only do 10 min HIIT 4x/week. 30 min should be more than enough if you have your diet dialed in.
    I use cardio so I don't have to count everything insanely accurately, now I just do 20-30 minutes 4 times a week and eyeball my calories based on serving size/nutrition labels and do the math in my head as opposed to weighing/measuring etc.
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by SocratesTX View Post
    Cardio in terms of fat loss, is just a tool to help create a calorie deficit. You can achieve the same result by eating less.
    Actually fat helps with fat oxidation in regards to body composition. Not just a caloric expenditure bump
    True Grit!
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by SocratesTX View Post
    Cardio in terms of fat loss, is just a tool to help create a calorie deficit. You can achieve the same result by eating less.
    Not entirely. If you want to cut on 1,400 calories but still eat 200 grams of protein (I'm not saying it's the case but it's hypothetical) you'd need to eat 800 calories worth of protein which leaves 600 calories for carbs and fat. Hardly enough to not be hungry.

    That is with no cardio. With cardio you can burn 500 calories a day and hence eat another 500 calories of carbs and fats which bumps it to 1,100 calories from carb and fat which is a lot more manageable for some.

    I prefer higher caloric intake with cardio than lower caloric intake and no cardio for same net calorie result.
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  14. #14
    On the road to 12% tsarju's Avatar
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    I've lost the bulk of my weight with doing 30 mins of cardio 4-5 times per week.
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    For those of you who say your doing HIIT for 30 MIN!?!??!! If thats the story your not puttin your all into it. 12-15 min HIIT if you can do any longer then 15 you arent pushing yourself. (Doesnt include 2 min cooldown/warmup) 30 second jogs 30 second sprints AS HARD AS YOU CAN and it well be just like doing 40-45 min of LISS...
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    The best way to lose weight and maximize your cardio is to do a 30 minute jog in the morning. The morning is the best time too burn fat. However, make sure you eat a little something like a banana before your jog. This will speed up your metabolism for the rest of the day. I tend to do a 30 minute jog five days a week and then in the afternoon HIT sprints three times a week. You don't want to train much longer than 45 minutes because you don't want to risk overtraining. If your workout is tough enough you can burn the desired amount in very little time.
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    Registered User tylerrico's Avatar
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    I only do 30 minutes or so of cardio, 4 days a week right after I lift. I jack up the incline all the way on the treadmill and walk around 4mph. Gets the heart rate around 140 for me which is my zone.

    My advice is to find your fat burning zone and really target your heart rate during your cardio. Keep it in there. HIIT is also a good fat burning method, but 30 minutes of HIIT would be insane.
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    The Viking Brah QT's Avatar
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    3min 60%
    4min 75-80%

    x4
    =28 min

    Its hard but it feels good!
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    I do like 15 mins of cardio and I lift, and iM losing weight. (out of martial arts right now so ya really only about 15-20 mins of cardio every other day)
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  20. #20
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    Originally Posted by Hatred16 View Post
    For those of you who say your doing HIIT for 30 MIN!?!??!! If thats the story your not puttin your all into it. 12-15 min HIIT if you can do any longer then 15 you arent pushing yourself. (Doesnt include 2 min cooldown/warmup) 30 second jogs 30 second sprints AS HARD AS YOU CAN and it well be just like doing 40-45 min of LISS...
    30 second sprints do you absolutely no good. You need to stay up at or above lactate threshold for 2+ minutes to get the benefits of interval training. http://home.hia.no/~stephens/interval.htm

    FWIW When I do speed work I do 10x400m at up to 98% of HRR (This is Heart Rate Reserve, not the same as HRMax%) then I do recovery jog until I recover below 75% of HRR (takes about a minute). It takes me over 30 minutes. Add in 10 minutes of warm up and 10 minutes of cooldown and you're talking about a real cardio workout.

    The point of speed work intervals is to get to your VO2max. The mickey mouse HIIT that gym rats do is nothing.
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  21. #21
    Registered User GregTR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Justin23454 View Post
    I do like 15 mins of cardio and I lift, and iM losing weight. (out of martial arts right now so ya really only about 15-20 mins of cardio every other day)
    Sure you are! It's because of the calorie deficit you create with your diet. 15 minutes of cardio is not even enough to kick start your fat burning, it's burning mostly glycogen from your muscle stores.
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  22. #22
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    For me I do it to build up me breathing as I got out of breath very quickly! I feel much better since I added cardio into my workout program.

    That and to add more a deficit, lol!
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  23. #23
    Registered User GregTR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tryingtofocus View Post
    For me I do it to build up me breathing as I got out of breath very quickly!
    Yeah, it's called VO2Max.
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  24. #24
    Registered User tryingtofocus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GregTR View Post
    Yeah, it's called VO2Max.
    Whatever the technical term is.

    I am sure most people would know that.
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    I try to do at least 30 minutes of cardio on the treadmill every day.
    Bulking to 160 lbs.

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    Originally Posted by GregTR View Post
    Sure you are! It's because of the calorie deficit you create with your diet. 15 minutes of cardio is not even enough to kick start your fat burning, it's burning mostly glycogen from your muscle stores.
    well I lift 1st to burn the Glycogen then do muh cardio.
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    Originally Posted by Justin23454 View Post
    well I lift 1st to burn the Glycogen then do muh cardio.
    Unless you did heavy squats and calf rises before your elliptical/walking/running/cycling cardio you still have plenty of glycogen stored in your leg muscles for 15 minutes of cardio. 15 minutes of cardio is almost a waste of time... (note: I said almost)
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  28. #28
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    i do 2 hours cardio per day

    according to the machine [some high end life fitness treadmill] i burn 2100 calories lolz

    in real terms i probably burn like 900-950.
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    Originally Posted by 6packsummer View Post
    i do 2 hours cardio per day

    according to the machine [some high end life fitness treadmill] i burn 2100 calories lolz

    in real terms i probably burn like 900-950.
    Depending on your weight and effort you're probably right. Best way to get accurate measure is through a Polar heart rate monitor.
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    Originally Posted by GregTR View Post
    Sure you are! It's because of the calorie deficit you create with your diet. 15 minutes of cardio is not even enough to kick start your fat burning, it's burning mostly glycogen from your muscle stores.
    I'm curious to see the (bro)science that says "X" minutes is the PRECISE amount of cardio that needs to be done before it is any benefit to fat loss.
    "You show me someone who got fat eating fruit and I'll show you someone with a deep fryer and too much time on their hands."

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