Cardio-strength program...JB?

Hi T Folk. Here’s my dillema…I’ve been following JB’s cardio reccomendations six days a week…30 min after weights(although leg days are tough) and 30 in the morn, Surge after every session. I’m seeing decent results. The only problem I’m having is that I’ve hit a wall in my training all of a sudden. I’m using a 1-6 type strength program , since i’m in a calorie deficit right now and the chances for hypertrophy are slim,I figure I could still work with could still work with the CNS. Mr. Berardi if i’m not mistaken i read a post before where you talked about ample amounts of cardio having negative effects on strength levels because of muscle fiber conversion. If this is true , could this be where I’m hitting my wall and also what type of training wuld you reccomend in the case of dieting for fat loss? Thanks alot. Mike

The cardio seems a bit excessive and even though it is possible to gain strength on a reduced calorie diet, it is difficult because anytime you lose size from water, fat, muscle or whatever you have less leverage in your muscles to push heavy weight. It is also possible that the cardio is draining energy not only from your muscular system but from your nervous system as well…When the neural system is fatigued it’ll be much more difficult for the high powered contractions (such as in strength training)to take place.

Good question. I’d like to know the same thing as I’m training more for strength, want to get leaner too. I cut my calories down a bit, and will be doing more cardio (sprinting, mountain biking), but I would like to keep and/or gain strength while I do this. So if JB has some recommendations, I’d love to hear them!

When really, seriously, dieting and hitting cardio, you will not get stronger. You will lose strength. No doubt. But so what? Your goal right now is to look better, is it not. If it was to get stronger, you wouldnt be dieting. You are probably getting weaker due to fiber conversions but also due to insufficient fuel for the brain and the muscles. The CNS does get “weaker” with dieting! So what have you learned? Muscles get weaker, CNS gets weaker, and some muscle is lost. That’s what dieting does. But FAT gets lost too. So if that’s the goal, continue. So my advice, continue to try to lift as hard and heavy as possible, but you will watch your weights plummet. (if you are steroid free, that is). And keep dieting away the fat. There is plenty of time for mass and strength after the dieting days.

Is there a better way to determine your target heart rate for doing cardio than the
(220 - age)*0.65 formula? That seems like it would not apply accurately to all people and why should one’s target drop because they get a little older, if they are in good shape?


Glenn…you can use the Karnoven (sp) Formula, which is indvidualized. Figure out your resting heart rate…the formula is Max Heart Rate (220-Age) and subtract RHR (resting heart rate)…from this, multiply by intensity (.65 or whatever) and then add back your RHR. It looks like this (MHR-RHR) * Intensity + RHR. So, I’m 20, have a RHR of 45 (upon arising in the morning) and want to train at 60% of heart rate reserve…so MHR=220-20=200; RHR=45; Intensity=60%; (MHR-RHR)=155; 155*.6=93; 93+45=138. So 138 would be MY target at 60% intensity.

GlennP - whoever showed you that calculation got the ACSM’s recommendations mixed up with the Karvonen Equation. When using a % of HRmax, the ACSM recommends 70-90%. With your calc, you’re using 65% which will be too low, unless you’re simply doing endurance training. I prefer suing the Karvonen Equation for both myself and my clients. It gives a range based on HR reserve (50-85% rec.) and goes like this:

0.5((220-age)-HRrest) + HRrest = lower limit

0.85((220-age)-HRrest) + HRrest = upper limit

Thanks. The equation I posted before is what the treadmill I have been using employs for its calculation of target heart rate in its “fat burning” program. It turns out that it puts me at the low end of the Karvonen Equation. That might explainb why I have not seen the progress I was hoping for. I am interested in burning fat so what factor is best for the Karvonen Equation?
Thanks again.

I have been training for over 15 years. Last year I went from 190 15% BF to 180 11% BF in a six week period. No steroids, serious dieting, running five miles/day 5X/week with heavy weight training. Running was 75% of max. I gained strength. To blindly say it can’t be done is wrong.

JRR- those are pretty good results, and that is impressive gaining strength while dieting. I think that Berardi was referring to dieting to under 10%BF. Once you get below 8-9% bf, strength will tend to decrease quite significantly like Berardi said (unless your body’s set point is around that level). I have dieted from about 10% down to 5.5 and 6% the last two years, and lost quite a lot of strength both times (although with minimal muscle loss). Blanket statements are not always correct, but from my experience, the lower the BF% goes, the lower the strength levels drop.

Funny you guys talk about the heart rate equation. I just skimmed over an article on the New York Times website that the formula is being challenged. It’s in the “health” section under “fitness”. Check it out.