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  1. #1
    Registered User codyehs60's Avatar
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    How Much Cardio Is Enough?

    How much cardio to most of you do. Is 20 minutes of cardio a day, 6 days a week enough?
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    canucklehead Miburo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Lifequest
    **YOU ARE DOING TO MUCH CARDIO IF YOU COULD BE DOING LESS AND STILL LOSING 1-2LBS OF FAT PER WEEK**
    ^ I listen to what this guy said
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=825391

    June 21 @ 252lbs (~35% bf)
    Oct 19 @ 244lbs (26.4% bf)

    "ENOUGH! I'm through whinin' like a yuppie fool. Maybe I have lost my edge. Maybe I'm not the best and never was...
    But I can be...if I want it bad enough."
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  3. #3
    Registered User SigEpIan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Miburo
    ^ I listen to what this guy said

    Wow, thanks, but that still doesn't answer his question.
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  4. #4
    Registered User potorig's Avatar
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    i do three days (the days i dont work the legs) of 20-30 min cardio after a workout, slow-to med intensity. on one (or two) of my non-lifting days ill do 45 minutes of mid-high intensity. i figure thats the best way for me... that way i wont be overdoing it but will still have enough cardio in my routine
    aug 14: 5'7" at 145, 17% bf
    goal: nov 19, 10% bf
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  5. #5
    Ti kanis, yall? Xyclone's Avatar
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    I think 4 days of cardio per week is pretty good. I do 4 days a week at moderate-high intensity, 20 minutes each time. I burn almost 400 calories each time.
    16/M/Cali - 6' 200lb
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  6. #6
    I manage the impossible Amris's Avatar
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    There's a problem with your question.

    Here's a comparison.

    Let's say my child wants a pony. I live in the suburbs, my lot is .2 acres (and let's not forget, part of that is house). So, because I love my child and I want to give her this pony, I go to the boyfriend and say, "Do you think we could get our daughter a pony? I can afford to buy hay for it."

    Does this make sense? Is it logical? Of course not... I've taken one part of the picture, and said, "We can do this because I can afford hay."

    How much of the equation is hay? Well... you must have enough room for the pony. You must buy grain for the pony. You must have shelter for it in winter. Our homeowner's association would not allow us to have a pony. Our neighbors would protest the pony poo...

    So... what is your real question?

    To answer your question, 3 X 30 mins per week is more than sufficient for heart health. You can do all the cardio you can stand... but at some point, you will reach a point of diminishing returns.

    And that point will be sooner if you are not eating properly, etc. And what are you wanting to do, you want to lose FAT (not just any kind WEIGHT that will make the scales go down), or do you want to maintain... what do you want?

    What are you already doing? Are you lifting? How often? Lifting heavy, we assume?



    Your best bet is to first get your diet in line. If that's in line, and you are lifting on a healthy routine that builds muscle for you, then you should vary your cardio. Do 3 x 30 for a month, record the FAT LOSS. Take it up to 3 x 60 per month. Record the FAT LOSS.

    (I am stressing FAT LOSS because the scales will lie to you. You might be losing weight, but unless you use calipers, you don't know if it's FAT, or MUSCLE)

    Diet and weight training are the foundation. Once the foundation is in place, you can begin adding cardio bit by bit, until you find that "sweet spot" where you're losing fat but not muscle.

    You are the best person to monitor and experiement with your own body. You're the master of it, you know it inside and out... and PROPER, HEALTY experimentation is best done by.... YOU.
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  7. #7
    Woooooooooooooooo! DWhealthy's Avatar
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    i do 45-60min elipital cardio 6x a week. weights 5x week. my cardio is about 12hours apart from my weight training. I found this to work best for me.
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    Registered User Jinsthao's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by codyehs60
    How much cardio to most of you do. Is 20 minutes of cardio a day, 6 days a week enough?
    I do cardio twice a day, 7 times a week...note that Im cutting!!! How much cardio is ENOUGH? Well it depends on how much youre willing to do and what works best for you. If 20 mins, 6 days a week is best than go ahead......If you feel you need more than by any means do more.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Jodi_Lane's Avatar
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    I do 20 to 30 minutes of cardio 5 days a week after about 45 minutes of weight training. I feel awesome afterwards and that's what I think a person should go by. Don't do so much cardio each day that you're NOT looking forward to doing it the next day. I think a person needs to do 20 minutes of high intensity cardio five days a week or 30 minutes of moderate intensity cardio five days a week. Unless you're not used to doing any kind of cardio yet. Then you should start with like 10 minutes and work your way up to that. Judging by how well you are handling the 10 minutes of cardio, yanno?

    I would suggest just doing cardio to where you're looking forward to doing it and you feel great afterwards. I personally would rather do 20 to 30 minutes a day, five days per week instead of two 1 hour cardio sessions per week. That is a psychological thing and many people think about that and it just makes them dread it. Spread it around a bit, let yourself enjoy it! I actually enjoy doing 30 or 45 minutes of cardio but because I'm doing weight training before had I tend to keep it around the 20 minutes of high intensity mark

    Good luck, hope I helped a little or at least gave you some ideas!!!

    Seeya,
    FNF
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  10. #10
    Registered User Jodi_Lane's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by codyehs60
    How much cardio to most of you do. Is 20 minutes of cardio a day, 6 days a week enough?

    I sorta responded in my other thread but I personally think if you choose the correct intensity during your 20 minutes and you're doing some weight training (I just assumed that you were), you'll be fine!!!

    But if you end up wanting to cut some extra body fat, just add a little more cardio and clean up the diet (most important).

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  11. #11
    Registered User FightnEmu's Avatar
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    I do 20 mins of hit 3 days a week. Kicks my ass.
    The day destroys the night. Night divides the day.
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    Registered User mpipes's Avatar
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    Here's a light week for myself - see the attached image.

    My weight has totally flatlined at 250 although I do see definition *slowly* creeping in and other people that I don't see every day make comments that I'm getting more and more slender every time they see me.
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  13. #13
    Registered User 2Gq's Avatar
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    I hit up cardio before every work out.. for 5-15 mins pre workout and 5-15 mins post workout.. i have a 3 day split.. but i add in a bit of cardio on my off days cause i got alot of fat to burn. it all depends on what your goal is..
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  14. #14
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    yeh i also do it twice a day 7 days a week for the 3-4 weeks, but im cutting...i find tweaking activity levels to higher points over moving calories down too much helps in the long run more, and i like to keep my cuts short and sweet and lose max fat as quickly as possible. need to really state your goals... even when im not cutting i do some form of cardio everyday, i walk 3 miles a day from work and back, i play basketball or go for a light jog everyday for about 30 minuets....
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  15. #15
    It's later than you think EMISGOD's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by codyehs60
    How much cardio to most of you do. Is 20 minutes of cardio a day, 6 days a week enough?
    So... what is your real question?
    The second question is really the one you need to answer. What are you attempting to do with the cardio? What intensity are you at for that 20 minutes, if any? If you are going for cardiovascular health, there has to be a degree of intensity that walking for 20 minutes cannot provide. There is also the endurance equation, which calls steady running vs. sprinting/jogging alternations.

    The basic caloric expenditures for cardio go roughly like this:

    First 20 minutes -- 80% carbs burned, 20% fat.
    Next 20 minutes -- 50% carbs, 50% fat.
    40 minutes+ -- 80% fat, 20% carbs.

    If you are just trying to flush out whatever carbs may be remaining in your system, 20 minutes may be enough. If you're trying to actively burn fat, it probably will not be, regardless of how many days a week you are doing it, but if you're trying to burn fat, then 80% (or more) of your success will depend on your diet. This raises the final question of what is your goal?
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  16. #16
    glgklg SinRift's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EMISGOD
    The basic caloric expenditures for cardio go roughly like this:

    First 20 minutes -- 80% carbs burned, 20% fat.
    Next 20 minutes -- 50% carbs, 50% fat.
    40 minutes+ -- 80% fat, 20% carbs.
    Is that right? What intesity?
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  17. #17
    It's later than you think EMISGOD's Avatar
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    Low to medium, which are generally the two paces most commonly used...
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  18. #18
    Registered User mpipes's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter if you do an hour of low intensity or 20-30 minutes of high intensity as far as burning fat is concerned.

    Lower intensity will burn a higher percentage of calories as fat, higher intensity will burn a lower percentage of fat but still toasts more total calories, so it really evens out.

    The metabolism spike after each type of exercise nets the same amount of fat burned after the fact.

    It's more about do you want to spend 20-30 minutes or 45-60 minutes on cardio, and can your joints (and other parts of your body) actually handle the rigors of higher intensity exercise?

    There was an article posted in this forum within the past week examining the whole "Fat Burning Zone" myth and it was pretty exhaustive, citing numerous studies and tests performed on the subject.
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  19. #19
    Registered User codyehs60's Avatar
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    My Goal

    I am trying to figure out how much cardio to do for cutting. I am 5'9, 180lbs, and 16% body fat. I want to get down to about 10% body fat before i bulk up. I workout 5 days a week, doing 1 body part a day. I do abs 3 times a week, thrown in the other workouts. I do cardio immediatly after my about 40 minute workouts. The cardio i do is usually 20 minutes on the stair master on level 10 which keeps my heart rate at about 160 beats per minute. My diet is pretty much in line. I eat 1900-2100 cals a day. Its based on 50% protien 35% carbs and 15% fat. So can you guys tell me if im doing enough cardio, and am heading in the right direction based on my goal?
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  20. #20
    It's later than you think EMISGOD's Avatar
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    If you are trying to go for cutting, typically duration is more important than intensity. If you are driving your HR up to 160 and sustaining it for all 20 minutes, then you should add a 5 minute warm-up and cool-down period and plan on going 30 minutes instead of 20 total. Pushing as hard as you seem to be is dancing very close to catabolic activity, so you may want to reign it in a bit. If you're doing your workouts correctly, you shouldn't really have a great deal of carbs left to burn out, which means that it is mostly fat/protein cannibalized from body cells. If you would like to make it more fat than muscle, I suggest you use a more moderate pace.
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  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by DWhealthy View Post
    i do 45-60min elipital cardio 6x a week. weights 5x week. my cardio is about 12hours apart from my weight training. I found this to work best for me.
    ditto but only 30-35 minutes and 6x weights.
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  22. #22
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    Absolutely zero cardio is "enough." If you lift heavy enough and/or do high-rep compound movements you'll get your heartrate up enough for "heart health." If you're trying to lose weight/fat you don't need to do cardio, you simply need to eat less. Cardio is supplementary for cutting. I'm not saying don't do it, I do two days of higher intensity sessions and I walk to/from school. What I'm saying is that it isn't necessary. So... to answer your thread title and thread body question. The amount you're doing is enough because it's greater than zero, which would also be enough.
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  23. #23
    I lika do the cha cha TheSlash's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by abendm View Post
    Absolutely zero cardio is "enough." If you lift heavy enough and/or do high-rep compound movements you'll get your heartrate up enough for "heart health." If you're trying to lose weight/fat you don't need to do cardio, you simply need to eat less. Cardio is supplementary for cutting. I'm not saying don't do it, I do two days of higher intensity sessions and I walk to/from school. What I'm saying is that it isn't necessary. So... to answer your thread title and thread body question. The amount you're doing is enough because it's greater than zero, which would also be enough.
    Ding Ding Ding. Cardio is a way to make up for your diet. I do no cardio. Now, I'll mountain bike, play basketball, snowboard etc.. sometimes 3-4 times a week, but in no way will I call that cardio. That is just our playing around having fun. I gave up all "cardio" years ago and not only did I not suffer, I found I got in better shape having good variety and stayed at it more consistently since it was fun.

    oh and I do intermittent fasting so nothing I say matters.
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    I am also cutting at 5'8, 167lbs, 20%BF. My diet is in check (1600 cals and clean)...I do 30 mins on treadmill at 15 incline (highest level), speed 4.0 , 6 days a week. My fat loss is only 1 lb a week..should I up my cardio or lower my cals...my strength is good so I am assuming my muscle is not being lost

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    Originally Posted by DrNickd View Post
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    I am also cutting at 5'8, 167lbs, 20%BF. My diet is in check (1600 cals and clean)...I do 30 mins on treadmill at 15 incline (highest level), speed 4.0 , 6 days a week. My fat loss is only 1 lb a week..should I up my cardio or lower my cals...my strength is good so I am assuming my muscle is not being lost

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    Your calorie calculation is most likely incorrect. That cardio is good for way over 500 calories per session.
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    I lika do the cha cha TheSlash's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DrNickd View Post
    Hijack thread

    I am also cutting at 5'8, 167lbs, 20%BF. My diet is in check (1600 cals and clean)...I do 30 mins on treadmill at 15 incline (highest level), speed 4.0 , 6 days a week. My fat loss is only 1 lb a week..should I up my cardio or lower my cals...my strength is good so I am assuming my muscle is not being lost

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    I would cut out the cardio for a week or 2 and see what happens. You're getting like 1200 calories a day bro. Either do 1600 and no cardio, or do 1900 and cardio. I'd prefer no cardio.
    oh and I do intermittent fasting while on keto so nothing I say matters.
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    When I started lifting, I had never lifted weights before, I stopped all cardio. I had been losing 10 or more pounds every month. I lost 1 pound without the cardio. I lifted 5 days a week. I did add muscle an definition but I don't believe it was 9 pounds of muscle. I ate roughly the same. So for me, I think I needed the cardio to continue to lose weight. I now do both. Just switched to a program that will be 3 days a week lifting and I do 30 minutes a day of medium high intensity cardio. For me I needed the cardio to keep the cut going.
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    I do cardio 3 times a week.
    "Discipline is the act of learning all the time." J.K.
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    Originally Posted by TheSlash View Post
    I would cut out the cardio for a week or 2 and see what happens. You're getting like 1200 calories a day bro. Either do 1600 and no cardio, or do 1900 and cardio. I'd prefer no cardio.
    yup my cardio burns like 500 cals per session. But whats wrong with getting only 1200 cals when on a cut.....? Like I said, my strength is the same and so I'm not in jeopardy of losing muscle..wouldnt I lose more fat on a higher deficit ( I read about starvation mode and people say thats bull)

    I guess I'm trying to lose the last 10 lbs as soon as poss so I can start bulking and adding some lean muscle...
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    I do cardio 3-4x a week at moderate intensity. 25m-30m sessions.
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