T Nation

Cardio on Off Days?


#1

Would training on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday and doing Cardio on the days in between be a decent idea? I'd be concerned of over training, but I'm currently doing cardio at 11:30 in the morning then training in the night, but I don't want my squat to suffer so I was thinking doing it on my off day would be better??

Your views.


#2

Unless your cardio is high intensity (think sprints etc.) it shouldn't really interfere with your lifting. Light cardio the day after lifting (especially after a leg day) can be great for recovery. I like to go hiking the day after (or even later the same day) a heavy back or leg day, helps me keep from getting stiff.

If you want to do high intensity cardio give it it's own day in your schedule and eat accordingly for your goals. Low and moderate intensity cardio shouldn't cause you a problem, if it does, eat more.


#3

Well, I was considering something like this now I've had a re-think about my ideas, I was thinking about weights in the morning as it's the most important to me, then cardio at like 5-7 in the evening.

Monday:Morning-5x5 Evening-40 minutes jog.
Tuesday:Rest
Wednesday:5x5 Evening-2x1km runs at shortest time possible 5 minutes, followed by 15 minutes steady run.
Thursday:Rest
Friday:5x5 w/HIIT 12 minutes post workout, 5-6intervals.
Saturday:Rest
Sunday:Rest.


#4

What are your goals? Depending on what you are trying to acomplish that could be just fine or too much, not enough etc.


#5

My goals are:

Fat loss
Strength
Speed

I'm already conditioned so it's not for that reason, I got great endurance, but my speed isn't up to par.

I'm not training for a sport, just want to be an animal more or less

Cardio being, Tuesday:

2x1km hard runs in the shortest amount of time possible with 2 minute breaks at the end of each then a 15 minute steady run/jog this normally ends up being 20-30 minutes long altogether.

Thursday:

Long distance run 6-7km at a jogging pace

Saturday:

Fartlek training. 10 minute warm up with 12 minutes of constant jogging and little hard runs and sprints in between at unscheduled times.


#6

Were this on Facebook, I'd click "Like" for this post.

And am I taking crazy pills, or do these two weekly plans totally not match up:

Whatever the case, your cardio plan is all screwy. With your current goals, there's no reason to be doing three different types of running throughout the week.

I'd ditch the fartlek until you're a bit more experienced and can handle something so unstructured. And doing HIIT cardio immediately after lifting (on Friday) is a terrific way to burn muscle.

Plus the fact that since you've already "got great endurance" there's no need to be jogging for 40 minutes or 6-7km in a workout. Slow, long distance training like that has a minimal impact on fat loss.

You've basically gone from zero to 110 with your cardio, umping right to some relatively-advanced techniques (mixed methods/intensities throughout the week). Instead, start small and simple. Tack on 15-20 minutes of easy-ish to moderate-intensity cardio right after each lifting session.

Something like high incline treadmill work, basic running intervals (not total ball-busters), or some kind of "finisher" (bodyweight circuit, barbell/dumbbell complex, etc.) These shouldn't totally drain your recovery, but they'll provide enough of a calorie-burning boost to your day's training.

By starting off with simple changes to your training, you can more easily adjust your total training and nutrition on a weekly or bi-weekly basis according to the results you're seeing.

As for your nutrition, you mentioned that you've been doing low carbs. Getting a boost in fat loss could be as simple as having a two or three higher-carb days, and then returning to a more moderate-carb intake with the increased activity.

What has your nutrition looked like since you've added in the cardio?


#7

I don't mean to sound rude, but I'm decently intermediate with my running now. I've been running since last July-August really so I'm pretty decent with it now.

So you're suggesting no HIIT post workout and just HIIT on off days if any?..

I can run at a good pace for a good amount of time so the easy-moderate thing ona track is a bit out of the way. +Track is unavailable, just a regular road is all I got.

I'm doing some low carb days yeah, about 3 a week with 50g carbs and that's 1 day carbs, 1 day without.

Also, my current diet is 2200 cals on training days, off days 1700-1800 just removed carbs. Should I do some cardio post workout? I hate running on a treadmill unless it's sprint training for 10-15 minutes...


#8

No offense taken, don't worry. But it has nothing to do with how good a runner you are. It has to do with how much (or really, how little) cardio training is needed to produce fat loss.

Think of it this way: If someone has never lifted weights before, but they wanted to gain muscle, would they need to jump right into a 6 day a week training plan than involved high volume, complicated exercises, and super-high-intensity techniques? No. They'd need to start with something basic. The same thinking should apply to your cardio training.

HIIT should pretty much never be done post-workout. If you want to do High Intensity Interval Training, I'd start by doing it on two of your off days. 15-20 minutes, working up to a 3:1 work/rest ratio depending on weekly progress.

I wasn't sure of the equipment you had available, so that's fine.

I'm not following here. Is everyday either 50g carbs or zero carbs? That's crazy-strict, and if it's the case, then I definitely suggest two or three higher carb days.

Actually, I'm really, really hesitant to give you more info to read because I think you're close to overthinking things already, but give this article a read and see how much sense it makes:
http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/one_hundred_gram_carb_cure

That would definitely be a solid plan for what you're looking to do.

Your calculations are off. First you say you have 50 grams of carbs every other day, then you're saying that a 400-500 calorie difference happens when you "just remove carbs", which would mean you're dropping 100-125 grams of carbs on your off days. Either something's getting lost in translation or one of us just isn't getting their point across clearly.

Here's my favorite question: Thinking back... what, exactly, did you eat on your last training day? And what, exactly, did you eat on your last off day?

I prefer introducing cardio with easy-ish to moderate intensity work right after weights (as I said earlier). But... if you want to do HIIT, I'd start with it on two of your off days. Right now, there's no need to do HIIT and post-workout cardio.


#9

Yeah, I should have really explained things better than this.

I'm having 170g carbs on training days then on my off/cardio days I'm having 50g carbs and that's just in the morning and from other foods. 2200 one day, 1700 the next or maybe lower?

So my calculations are right, yes? or no?

This week I'm going to be doing Madcows M/W/F and cardio only on T/Sat One day long distance one day sprints.

I'll see how this goes.


#10

And that article looks awesome.