T Nation

Aesthetic vs athletics effects of cardio

Cardio
Ok I get that cardio is not important for aesthetics ie looking good but if you want to live a long healthy like wouldn’t cardio still be and important component of training. If not could you guys especially please describe a training that will have similar effects on the heart. Im not after a written out programme just a brief description.
Im guessing it would be high rep low rest but isn’t that training your cardiovascular system and therefore isn’t that in essence a form of cardio training.
When people say that cardio makes you week I think of Lewis Tyson and Holyfield and think that it cant be too bad. I do believe that Charles staley advocates a little cardio as it helps encourage recovery (I could also have misquoted him)

In an earlier post by John Berardi he said that cardio does not negatively impact muscle gains, but instead will negatively impact strength gains. So if you are after muscle gains and not just strength gains then go ahead and do some cardio. Berardi even says to do it twice a day if you can. In the morning on non training days and after training. You could also do some higher intensity interval type training like sprints if that is something that interests you. Hope this helps.

kruger: I think that a lot of this confusion comes from the fitness and bodybuilding communities tendency to do three things: 1) Wanting things to be far too “black and white” with a highly adaptive system like that of the human body. 2) Placing “bad” or “good” to elements of that system (eg. epinephrine “GOOD”, cortisol “BAD”…uuga, uuga…when “niether is either”. (What we really try to do is balance influences TOWARD whatever our goal is). Hormones and physiologic systems are neither “good” nor “bad” but are part of a beautiful orchestra that has evolved over centuries. 3) We attempt to take a “GOOD” influence to an absolute extreme, often to the point of sabotaging our goals. Cardio is a case in point. OUR GOAL: Put on mass. HEY, but cardio causes the release of Cortisol, that stuff that “eats up our muscle” (“bad”), doesn’t it? So, let me block this stuff, stop doing cardio altogether, and look at anyone who does cardio as the most stupid person on the planet. The key is BALANCE OF COMPLIMENTARY (not “conflicting” as some would have you believe) hormonal and physiological influences to not only put on mass, but to strengthen our most important muscle (the heart), and to deliver oxygen, blood and nutrients to our cells in an efficient manner. (Rememeber TC stating that the average national level bodybuilder could barely walk accross a room without getting winded and sounded like they were about to pass out when they were still?)Bottom line? Do your cardio. Don’t overdo it. How much is too much? Listen to your body and watch it’s progress. General Concensus:SHORT; 5 minutes at about 50-60%MHR; INTERMEDIATE AND “FAT BURNING”: 20-25 minutes @ 65-75% MHR, with interval burst; ADVANCED: Pushing anerobic thresholds/activity specific training (eg sprinters, football players).When is best to do it? We all agree to disaggree, but a there are 3 main camps: 1) AM, empty stomach, at least 12 hours from resistance training 2)Low intensity AFTER resistance training and 3) Not at all. (Keep in mind that this does not include a short, low intensity warm-up). Hope this helps! (MHR= 220-age).

It only takes a little cardio benefit to get most of the life lengthening aspects of it. I don’t know about you but I check my heart rate after lifting and right as I start my cardio sometimes. It’s right up there over 100 every time, closer to 12o or so most times. My normal resting pulse is 44-48 BPM and I don’t do very much cardio at all, it was the same when I didn’t do any cardio actually.

I think it’s a great way to keep the fat off and that’s about it, unless you want to train for a race or something…totally different kind of athletic endeavor from what I do.