T Nation

Am I Really That Wrong?


So I?ve spent some time reading over the site, and it seems my idea that cardio = ripped is seriously flawed?

So I guess my question is how much cardio should I be doing? Should I try three times a week, or each day before I life but just a little bit? I have looked over some of the workouts on the site and they seem fairly straightforward. Should I life as heavy as I can to build the most possible? I read in a fitness magazine a while back that one of the best things you could do was do your cardio first thing in the morning to get your metabolism up, and then do your lifting a bit later in the day after your rested. Any one have an opinion on this? From what I am reading it seems like maybe just 20 min or so on a bike or a stair climber would be ok as a warm up for my work out. And I have recanted my ?I don?t want to work my legs? ideal (after much scorn).

So how much cardio should I do if I want to cut up?

I think also after reading some of the articles I must have been starving my body, and maybe that?s why I couldn?t loose any more fat. I was running almost 4 or 5 miles a day and hitting the heavy bag but I was trying to keep my calories to around 1500 a day, and I didn?t have much fat in my diet as well.

Sigh, learning all over. Stupid high school phys ed. Class.


You didn't really give any specifics on what your current make up is. If you can give us some estimates / numbers ie: 180 lbs ~20% bf or something along those lines.

So you've been running / boxing lately and only eating 1500 kcals? That sounds really low.

First as far as diet I would try to find the minimum number of kcals you need to keep your body at your current weight. Do a search but here is an article by john berardi that can walk you through it.


Drop us some numbers, goals, etc and we can go from there.



Cardio doesn't generally burn a ton of fat, but it has its place.

Look into HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) style cardio such as sprints or something. This will cause a lot of calories to be burned after the workout ending up with more total calories burned.

If you do too much cardio, as in too long, it can get catabolic, which generally isn't helpful in terms of having muscles and showing them off.

Read up a bit and fine tune a few things...


Cardio is a tool that you should use, but it should not be the only one you use.
I personaly like to do cardio hard and fast,intensity rather than time spend,I like coach davies renegade ropeskipping.
Also meals are important if you skip meals or undereat that just slows down your metabolism.
What program are you using at the moment?


Currently I am 5' 7' 200lbs and about 26 - 28% BF. What I would like is some good solid fat loss, and nice abs. I read in another post that you can see upper abs at around 15% body fat. I have done sprints before and they did work well, plus I enjoyed them. I'm really starting to think I starve my self when I work out, in fact I?m most sure of it. I read an article that gave a sprint work out, walk 1/4 mile at 4mph and then run at 9mph for a 1/4 mile. Is this the type of sprinting your talking about? If so is that all I really need? I would like to switch it up a bit. Can the same principal be applied to a bike?

Second I was always under the impression that high reps were a good way to cut up, but it seems from what I have read here I?m better off with heavy weight. Again my goal is to build long lean muscle mass. Should I still go for heavy weight?

Thanks again for all the info!


Yes, you really were that wrong :slightly_smiling: But you are beginning to see the light! Sounds like you've been reading and learning, which is great. Have you seen Vroom's Beginner Thread? Work your way through the articles in there and you will be well on your way.

A great basic start for you might be 3 days of a full-body routine and 3 days of HIIT cardio. Get going on that while you keep working your way through the Article Library. Start making sure to eat 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight, only complex carbs, fruits & veggies and adding fish oil and olive oil to your diet.

Since January of this year I have dropped from 29% to 17% bodyfat by lifting heavy 3-4 days a week and doing minimal cardio. I've been eating high protein, moderate carb and moderate fat (and probably more calories than you!) Good luck!


Long lean muscle? Are you trying to grow a certain nether region?

Anyways combining your other post(s). 1/4 mile is a long way to run at an intense pace think (400yard dash). So drop it down. Try the tabata method.

20 seconds of hard core sprinting. Turn around, wait 10 seconds, 20 seconds of hard core sprinting the other way. That could be 1 rep. Repeat for 8 total reps. You spend 3 minutes total doing an intense sprint workout. If you can only do 3-4 sets at first work up to 8 sets and then make it harder. EIther try to run farther / faster or increase the intensity with a weight pack/vest.

That should help you drop some weight. Also include some intense weight lifting. I don't know what others have experienced by try the tabata method workout. Very interesting.


slight adjust:
1g of protein for lbm when cutting is good--save150-200 cals a day and still adequate.

Nice progress JB


Glad to see you're open minded and asking good questions. One of the best examples to give you is to look at the typical difference in elite sprinters versus elite distance runners. Sprinters prove that it's possible to get very lean while maintaining optimal muscle mass. Remember, "cardio" relates to the heart and how it's working. Does your heart really know if you're running, walking, climbing, lifting, etc.? No. It just knows that it's doing something that makes it beat really fast for a while, then slow down.

Good luck!