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About to Start Adding Cardio, Is This Overkill?


I am on my second week of 531 after doing 2 weeks without a routine focusing on form on the main lifts and then starting my first cycle of 531.
My only cardio has been cycling between 8 and 12 miles a day depending on the route available from my work to the gym (opening and closing of bridges over the waterways).

I was doing some running and I set a 3 mile PR but I felt it was making recovering from the squats and deadlifts a bit difficult so I decided I could focus on swimming instead, I need to lose quite a bit of bodyfat but I am in no rush to do so and I am more concerned with increasing performance than prioritising fat loss. I am losing weight but very slowly, which I am happy with.

You need to make some time for a rest day man. Maybe take out a row and replace with a vertical pull.

Would doing the swimming after the 531 workouts be a better option? Might be a bit too much after the workouts though.

I don’t think it really matters too much when you do it. I personally prefer conditioning on non-lifting days but everyone’s got their preference.

I was really thinking more along the lines of lifting 3x week, cardio 3x week. you could do 3 main lifts a week and have the “three week cycle” extended to four weeks. or you could combine the press & deadlift.

Though I have to ask, how much swimming have you been doing up to this point. 7.5 km/week seems like a ton if you’re not an avid swimmer already.

EDIT: If your not specifically training for distance, there’s probably better ways to go about it. for instance:

Day 1: lift

Day 2: Continuous high-intensity (build up to a 10-15 minute spurt at the max intensity you can sustain for that duration.)

Day 3: Lift

Day 4: Long, slow distance(long swim at a relatively easy pace)

Day 5: lift

Day 6: HIIT intervals ( swim 100m, rest 1-2x the amount of time the round took, then repeat)

Day 7: off

just add 1 minute to day two, 100 meters to day 4, and 1 more interval to day 6 every week minus the deload weeks. And start low, like 10 mins CHI, 1000m LSD, 5 HIIT

10 mile cycle is no big deal (assuming you’re not riding a heavy mountain bike w/ 3inch nobly tyres.

You have to be smart though, leave the ego behind and take the ride at a nice pace. Not killing yourself out there.

Why even do the extra cardio? All of your reasoning should depend on your goals. If getting strong is your main focus right now, any true cardio outside of your bike to they gym will interfere with your gains. Strength and power are two things that do not work well with cardiovascular training. Distance running makes it hard to gain muscle, and can even lead to muscle loss.

If your 3-mile time is more important to you than gaining strength, fine, but you can’t expect as much improvement on the lifting end if that is the case.

What is your specific performance goal? Once you answer that, everything falls into place. I assume you have a performance goal?

If not, get one.

[quote]Jim Wendler wrote:
What is your specific performance goal? Once you answer that, everything falls into place. I assume you have a performance goal?

If not, get one. [/quote]

My goals are:

I want to join the military in the future, but my immediate goals are for a tough mudder at the end of the year. Basically 13 miles and lots of obstacles like ropes, walls etc.

I’m talking about your specific conditioning goal. How can you know what to do or what not to do if you aren’t working towards something specifically.

So work towards a specific goal in your conditioning. This now allows you to program what to do in all areas. Or you can just wing it and hope for the best.

I want to hit a sub 17 minute 3 miles (which I used to be able to do) swim 3 miles without stopping and try and do a 4 minute mile, which I never did. I also want to be able to run 15 miles comfortably and reasonably quickly, something most of the tougher regiments do in training which I would need to be able to do.

These are long term obviously though.

I have no idea how to program these goals though, I would probably have to be doing the 2 day 531 to really prioritise those goals, but i am lacking a basic strength foundation which I also need to work on.

There’s a Naval Special Warfare guide free online which was created to accomplish the goals you listed. It’s a 6 days/week program, designed to slowly increase your running, swimming, and calisthenics ability slowly over a 6 month time period. The strength training portion however is shit, and 5/3/1 would be a welcome alteration, though you’d probably want to limit your volume.

I am thinking of doing the exact same 531 training but doing it two days a week.

I am going to do two days a week 531, 4 days a week conditioning and 1 day off. I am taking jims advice and establishing my goals and going after them with regards to conditioning.

Goals:

Swim 3 miles ( *need to pass requirements)

Run 15 miles ( *need to pass requirements)

Run 3 miles in under 17 minutes ( *need to pass requirements)

Be able to do 15 overhand pullups without stopping (*need to pass requirements)

Be able to do 100 pressups without stopping in 2 minutes ( *need to pass requirements)

Be able to do 100 situps without stopping in 2 minutes ( *need to pass requirements)

My lifting goals are to reach a generally strong level while being able to pass the requirements:

Squat 120kg
Bench 95kg
Deadlift 200kg
Press 90kg

Oh why do people skip the deload week on two days a week templates?

[quote]Musashi92 wrote:
I want to hit a sub 17 minute 3 miles (which I used to be able to do) swim 3 miles without stopping and try and do a 4 minute mile, which I never did. I also want to be able to run 15 miles comfortably and reasonably quickly, something most of the tougher regiments do in training which I would need to be able to do.

These are long term obviously though.

I have no idea how to program these goals though, I would probably have to be doing the 2 day 531 to really prioritise those goals, but i am lacking a basic strength foundation which I also need to work on.[/quote]

So now break your training down to 6 week increments and have goals in all 10 weak point areas - that is how you program training. It is easy. It is effective.

[quote]Musashi92 wrote:
Oh why do people skip the deload week on two days a week templates? [/quote]

Because you already get five days recovery/week.