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  1. #1
    Registered User Patrese's Avatar
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    how much cardio is too much?

    Hi there
    If building muscle but toning up, is it inadvisable to do cardio every day?
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    No. The cardio tends to burn what your trying to build. Cardio is not the answere it is completely diet. In my experience and point of view.
    If it was easy everyone would be doing it!!
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    if you can do cardio everyday along with weight training, your weight training program isn't good enough.
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  4. #4
    Buff bride to be imperfectly_lou's Avatar
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    True ^

    Plus, I am not sure what you mean by "toning up". There is no such thing as "toning". You either build muscle or you don't.
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  5. #5
    National Competitor sixzebra's Avatar
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    all great and correct answers IMO.
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  6. #6
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    Originally Posted by Patrese View Post
    Hi there
    If building muscle but toning up, is it inadvisable to do cardio every day?
    Not sure exactly what you are trying to say, but if you are trying to tone up rather than build muscle.

    Then cardio everyday would be fine. If you have a lot of bodyfat, then two cardio sessions per day is fine as well.
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  7. #7
    Fit mom of 2 terracotta's Avatar
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    You either build muscle or you don't.. there is no such thing as toning.

    To build muscle, you use heavy weights, and keep your cardio at a reasonable level (2 hours per week max).

    If you don't want to build muscle whatsoever, take up pilates or yoga.. don't bother with the 5 lb weights, they don't do anything.
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by terracotta View Post
    You either build muscle or you don't.. there is no such thing as toning.

    To build muscle, you use heavy weights, and keep your cardio at a reasonable level (2 hours per week max).

    If you don't want to build muscle whatsoever, take up pilates or yoga.. don't bother with the 5 lb weights, they don't do anything.
    The average person refers to "cutting" as "toning".
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  9. #9
    Fit mom of 2 terracotta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KingdomCome View Post
    The average person refers to "cutting" as "toning".
    The average woman is confused as hell by the women's fitness magazines. You can't cut down the fat to show the muscle before building the muscle (which hopefully explains my commentary?)
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by terracotta View Post
    The average woman is confused as hell by the women's fitness magazines. You can't cut down the fat to show the muscle before building the muscle (which hopefully explains my commentary?)
    Yuppers.

    Makes sense.

    But I took her question literally, and thought that she wanted to tone up(lose bodyfat). As for how much muscle she has, I cannot say.
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  11. #11
    Buff bride to be imperfectly_lou's Avatar
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    Literally, a muscle is "toned" when it is in a state of contraction. The word has nothing to do with appearance, fat loss etc etc. As Terra said, there is a lot of misinformation and miscommunication out there.
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  12. #12
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    how much cardio do you all do when trying to build muscle? What machines do you use, what intensity do you go at, and for how long? DO you go in the morning on an empty stomach or post workout?
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  13. #13
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    Do you mean you're trying to burn fat while building some muscle? A lot of people use "toning" to refer to that. It's possible, but I think it's more about diet than cardio. I do an hour of cardio on my off-days from lifting. I used to do a half hour before breakfast and/or after lifting, but I've recently changed my program. However, I didn't gain muscle while losing fat until I switched from 40/40/20 to keto-style eating, and I've done a lot of experimentation to see what works for my body.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by terracotta View Post
    The average woman is confused as hell by the women's fitness magazines.
    They sure had me confused. They seem to imply that women are supposed to do a whole bunch of cardio, lift light weights, & eat no fat whatsoever. Then I came here & learned differently.
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  15. #15
    Registered User eowyn's Avatar
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    Smile still confused

    Thanks for getting this thread started because I think this is a VERY confusing topic for women.

    I believe in building muscle and the benefits of it. But recently I've been looking for inspiration in our very own Weekly/Monthly Transformations pages (looking for the right combo of weights/diet/cardio, etc) - and I see all kinds of cardio going on in there. everything from 20 minutes a day only on non-weight lifting days to 2 hours a day no matter what.

    Me personally, I have stepped up my cardio in recent weeks trying to *see* more of the muscle I know I've been building that is still hidden under my softer spots, but to no avail. I feel very accomplished by knowing I have worked up my cardio so much - it is more than I've ever been able to do before, but its still not getting me where I want to go.

    I guess this is the kind of topic that goes to show that different things work for different people - and it really is individual! But thanks for all the input anyway!
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  16. #16
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    Smile

    [QUOTE=eowyn;48794731]T

    Me personally, I have stepped up my cardio in recent weeks trying to *see* more of the muscle I know I've been building that is still hidden under my softer spots, but to no avail. I feel very accomplished by knowing I have worked up my cardio so much - it is more than I've ever been able to do before, but its still not getting me where I want to go.

    Yes me too! But I just stay the same! Thanks for all the replies. By toning I mean, getting visible muscle tone, i.e seeing the muscles you've built. Eowyn please let me know if you find a way round this!
    thanks!
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  17. #17
    Leaning Up******** ohtm27's Avatar
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    As an example I was doing 2 sessions of cardio per day 6x week with lower cals. After I switched to cardio 2x wk for 30min, and shortened some of my weight training my muscle memory came back within a week. I looked fuller and leaner verses gaunt and skinny lean looking.

    Your diet makes a huge difference w/the amounts of protein used. If your diet is on you should not need very much cardio. I am now at 140lbs and am at 12.8% bf still leaning lower for less body fat. I need to get to around 9-10%. We are not adding in anymore cardio then 2xwk at 30min. You can stay your same weight but lean up enough where you are if that makes any sense and keep your muscle mass.
    If it was easy everyone would be doing it!!
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  18. #18
    Registered User Patrese's Avatar
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    No that's very interesting and answered my Q. Thanks!


    Originally Posted by ohtm27 View Post
    As an example I was doing 2 sessions of cardio per day 6x week with lower cals. After I switched to cardio 2x wk for 30min, and shortened some of my weight training my muscle memory came back within a week. I looked fuller and leaner verses gaunt and skinny lean looking.

    Your diet makes a huge difference w/the amounts of protein used. If your diet is on you should not need very much cardio. I am now at 140lbs and am at 12.8% bf still leaning lower for less body fat. I need to get to around 9-10%. We are not adding in anymore cardio then 2xwk at 30min. You can stay your same weight but lean up enough where you are if that makes any sense and keep your muscle mass.
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    I don't know about you ladies, but I absolutely dislike cardio. Intervals is something I can at least handle. Plus, pumping with a mission and pumping hard gets my blood flowing like no other and the sweat just pores. The only traditional cardio I do is my 30 bike ride to and from work 5 days a week, and that is done more for enjoyment/environment reasons than trying to burn some fat. During the winter (when the snow and slush make it near impossible to bike to work) I may do 20-30 minutes of treadmill 3 times a week.

    Hit the weights like you mean it on the regular instead of hitting the cardio machines.
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    Smile

    I'm not quite sure why everyone is dissing cardio so much. I think we all need to realize that all of us are not looking to build so much muscle that we resemble Arnold. Speaking for myself, I like a muscular, yet svelt appearance.
    Women are supposed to look feminine, not masculine, so cardio is the ONLY thing that will allow you to "cut" and define the muscles you currently have.
    I used to weigh 162 lbs, and started eating half of what I used to eat. Didn't watch carbs, fat, or protein, didn't eat "clean" just ate whatever I wanted to eat, (obviously not hot fudge sundaes, but I did eat peanut butter and jelly!) just cut the portions in half. Along with that, I did step aerobics only, for about 3 months straight, 5 days a week. No lifting what so ever. I lost 30 lbs in 3 months, and have kept it off for 5 years now. If some of that 30 lbs of weight loss was muscle, I would have put the weight right back on over the course of 5 years because my metabolism would have slowed down, being that I do not do 5 days of step aerobic any longer. However, that didn't happen. I have put back 8 lbs over the past 5 years, and that is basically due to lack of cardio, because I lift weights 3 days a week and eat clean and my hips still carry that fat layer that we all hate in bikini's. I did not need to lift while cutting the fat when I lost all that weight. And the outcome was a muscular but svelt appearance. My whole body was tight and taught. It felt GREAT! But I couldn't have gotten there without the cardio.
    Not all of us are on this website to build until we burst. Moderation is key. Weight training is no different. And although building muscle wil burn fat by increasing metabolism, it doesn't burn it as fast as cardio will.
    If you have absolutely NO MUSCLE on your body what so ever, which would not be possible unless you have lived the past 10 years of your life in a coma atrophying, then yes, you need to build mass before you cut. However I highly doubt anyone with no muscle is coming to body building.com in the first place. At least I would hope not.
    3 days a week of 40 minute cardio, in conjunction with a portioned controlled diet, preferably eating clean, and 2 days a week of total body strength training, will cut you and define the muscles you have. If you don't eat clean, it will just take longer. But if you are not looking to prepare for a body building competition, then that workout will "tone" you up and give you what you are looking for.
    Last edited by samizmom; 06-05-2007 at 05:24 PM.
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    Fit mom of 2 terracotta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by samizmom View Post
    If you have absolutely NO MUSCLE what so ever, which would not be possible unless you have lived the past 10 years of your life in a coma atrophying, then yes, you need to build some mass before you cut. However I highly doubt anyone with no muscle is coming to body building.com in the first place.
    To that second statement.. well you would be surprised. We have helped LOTS of women with low muscle mass build muscle.. women who only did cardio previously.

    To the first statement, that is just as silly as the ideas you are trying to fight. During my childhood I was basically inactive - I went from playing with dolls to watching tv and studying hard. I did not build up the muscle necessary to be healthy at all. At 16 years old, and 95 lbs at 5'4 (NOT Anorexic, just very very low in muscle), I was ORDERED by a physiotherapist to get into weightlifting ASAP or I would get osteoporosis by 30. So, I took up weightlifting and starting reading Muscle and Fitness hers. I had NO muscle definition, little strength, and a high bodyfat percentage.

    YES, some people CAN do cardio only and not lose a significant amount of mass. HOWEVER, please do not assume that everyone coming to this website has a reasonable base to start from, and can just do cardio cardio cardio..

    I am not anti-cardio. I suggest 2-3 hours of cardio in addition to heavy weight training. But for LONG TERM fat loss, it is more effective to get people lifting.

    Again, there are always people who are exceptions to any so called "rule".
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    Oh, and in order to keep the muscle you currently have, keep your protein intake high. Forgot to include that protein tid bit.
    But if you are soft around the edges, and aren't firming up enought with weights alone, then you have too much fat layer and need to step up the cardio. But don't do more than 40 minutes a pop. More than that, per day, will start eating your muscle.
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    Terra,

    I did not assume anything, and I am not speaking to "everyone" who comes to this site.
    I simply made a truthful statement about one gals concerns about stopping cardio.
    She claims to have stepped up her cardio to hopefully see some definition in the muscle she knows she has built up. So that tells me she has built muscle.
    She is not in a coma. That's the first step.
    However, telling people that ALL they need is weights and to cut down on cardio is pretty foolish to me.
    As one gal said, what works for one, doesn't work for all.
    There is not one set standard to body building. Advising people to cut down cardio and focus on weight training is possibly setting them up for fat loss failure.
    Some people need more cardio then others, cause some people have more fat layer than others. Weights will only build the muscle underneath the fat layer, which can only be burned off by doing both cardio and weights.
    When I lost the 30 lbs, I already had plenty of muscle, so I was able to achieve the cut look with cardio alone. Of course not everyone can do that, because they would need to have the same muscle mass and fat mass as I did. My point was to show that "cutting" is a result of cardio, not weight lifting. Lifting builds the mass, and cardio defines that mass. I think people are being confused by all the advice to lift heavy and steer away from cardio. That is not what "everyone" who comes to this site may need.
    That is all I am saying. Moderation. Our bodies need both cardio and muscle training. Not one or the other. A lot of misinformation going on here indeed.
    Last edited by samizmom; 06-05-2007 at 06:25 PM.
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    Fit mom of 2 terracotta's Avatar
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    Understood.

    The article I have written on cardio is here - http://terracotta2.googlepages.com/cardio

    Whenever I read a post, I have to read it as someone who is trying to learn would read it, and not simply for whom you are responding to. Then if someone searches and finds this thread, everything may be clarified.
    Last edited by terracotta; 06-05-2007 at 06:48 PM.
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    Originally Posted by terracotta View Post
    Understood.

    Whenever I read a post, I have to read it as someone who is trying to learn would read it, and not simply for whom you are responding to. Then if someone searches and finds this thread, everything may be clarified.
    I don't see how one can learn, if someone doesn't directly answer the questions to the one seeking the answers. Generalization won't solve everyone's concerns. We are all here to learn things we didn't know before; better strategies and unique ways to get in shape. I think each person who comes to this website has some useful advice to offer someone else. But no one has ALL the answers for ALL the readers. The advice I offer certain people, would not be suitable for everyone, as I said, each body is different and requires a different routine. I have yet to see a generalized way to bodybuild that would enlighten all who read about it. This sport is too diversified for "everything to be clarified"

    By the way, very informative link you provided on cardio.
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    Red face How much cardio - thanks to Terra and Samizmom

    Ladies,

    Thank you both for addressing my concern with thought, experience, and great references! I will need to go through this stuff when I am less tired so I can really grasp everything you have shared...

    I guess I have always worried that my cardio is doing more harm than good and that is the basis for my concern. I've been doing an hour pre-food in the morning, then another session in the evening (maybe an aerobic class) plus my weight training session if its on my schedule (I train on a 4 day/wk split).

    I know there is the possibility I could be using my hard earned muscle as fuel but have never been sure if that's indeed what is happening.

    What I can tell you is that my measurements and my scale weight hasn't budged in a year no matter what I do. And I'm not on the skinny side - I'm not fat either, but "thicker" than I'd like to be, especially for how much activity I do.

    I also wonder about how much of my life I live measuring out half cups of brown rice and running on a treadmill - it has become very time consuming. I wouldn't mind so much if I were training for a competition (which I would love to do, but can't seem to lean out enough to even begin), but to continue to look like someone who eats Taco Bell a couple of times a week, well, its frustrating to say the least.

    Sorry to ramble...I am tired. Hope this makes some sense.

    thanks again for the input.

    p.s. thinking of experimenting with keto as a way of jump starting some real fat loss. I've been reading the thread in the nutrition section and am real excited about it, but i've been let down before. any thoughts?
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    Fit mom of 2 terracotta's Avatar
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    Hey there.. I don't recommend keto. I highly recommend the lifestyle cut diet (best of all the ebook is free) which can be found here - http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/beast47.htm

    For that diet, all you need is a food scale, the counting is sort of done for you.. it's a novel diet.

    If you do fasted cardio, I strongly suggest get some BCAAs to take during your cardio (you just add it to water and sip it like you normally do water). Scivation Xtend is a good brand.

    If you do cardio post-breakfast, you still might want the BCAAs but they aren't as necessary. This would allow you to do HIIT (see http://terracotta2.googlepages.com/hiit ) which takes much less time, and results in more calories burnt at rest. But do whichever you prefer.
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    Fat BLITZ

    that skeem may work it sems to have alot of regulations and variable which can get confusing. Your not getting any intense cardio exercise, which is the fastest most effective way of blasting fat away coupled with a good diet and a good workout. Supplements can be taken to speed up the the procees of fat burning, only those which speed metablism, steer way away from laxatives as some people seem to think they are good. THEY ARE NOT. important to stay healthy through your regime not to be limting your carb intake to low. remeber you need intense cario anything that gets you out of breath 'winded'. Researchers show we can unleash exercise-induced growth hormone release with 10 to 30 seconds of higher intensities of exercise. The most powerful body-fat-cutting, muscle-toning, anti-aging substance known in science, growth hormone, is produced by the body with this type of exercise.
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    Originally Posted by terracotta View Post
    Hey there.. I don't recommend keto. I highly recommend the lifestyle cut diet (best of all the ebook is free) which can be found here - http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/beast47.htm

    For that diet, all you need is a food scale, the counting is sort of done for you.. it's a novel diet.

    If you do fasted cardio, I strongly suggest get some BCAAs to take during your cardio (you just add it to water and sip it like you normally do water). Scivation Xtend is a good brand.

    If you do cardio post-breakfast, you still might want the BCAAs but they aren't as necessary. This would allow you to do HIIT (see http://terracotta2.googlepages.com/hiit ) which takes much less time, and results in more calories burnt at rest. But do whichever you prefer.


    Hey Terra. I read the article you listed here and I am curious about the supplements they are "advertising". Have you or anyone else ever tried them? If so, what did you think? Cost, taste, effectiveness, etc....I am interested in doing a figure comp sometime this year and just need a little guidance. I appreciate any knowledge that you all care to pass along.
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    Originally Posted by mamafitness View Post
    Hey Terra. I read the article you listed here and I am curious about the supplements they are "advertising". Have you or anyone else ever tried them? If so, what did you think? Cost, taste, effectiveness, etc....I am interested in doing a figure comp sometime this year and just need a little guidance. I appreciate any knowledge that you all care to pass along.
    Yes, it is a good ebook, but it is written by people who work for primaforce.

    Xtend is a good product, and well priced. I feel it is only necessary IF you are doing fasted cardio, for cardio/weight sessions that extend past 1 hour, or for people who lift very close to when they wake up. It takes time for your body to break down the foods you eat in the morning, and it is efficient to take the BCAAs as they are free form amino acids that your body can use right away.

    The primaforce WPI is tasty, but you could get any WPI you wanted (there isn't something special about theirs).

    The cut diet follows the plan that you take Xtend + WPI during workouts, and no protein post workout. It also does not recommend carbs post workout. It is going to be very individual whether that will work, and for a "lifestyle" type diet, I would prefer to see people eat carbs post workout to refill glycogen stores.

    For competing, you may want some one on one assistance with diet and training. Emma-Leigh is a great person for that (and she might have a waiting list, not sure) - if you are interested in that, send her a PM.
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