T Nation


When is the best time to do cardio. on off days or on training days? I know cardio after a workout or before breakfest is better but should off days be off days for both cardio and workout? just want to get it right,THANKS in advance!

What are your goals? Fat loss, mass gain, cardiovascular health? Without knowing these, I can’t and no one should be able to give you a clear cut answer.

What do you mean by cardio? Personally, I have two terms, “cardio” and “aerobics”. “Cardio” is heart exercise. “Aerobics” is exercise designed to burn fat (not building lactic acid or causing shortness of breath). I would not recommend doing cardio on your off days, unless it’s being done at the same time as your normal workouts (to train your system to respond well to cycles). Aerobics, I’d do them in the morning so that your system is nice and flushed with blood, and this will speed recovery throughout the day.

As Jason said, it REALLY depends on your goals.

El_Machinae…VERY intriguing your distinction. Let me make sure I’m reading you right. “Aerobics” (as the name implies) is work done in an aerobic zone, as some low percentage if max heart rate? (steading…breaking into a sweat…talking easy…)wherein “Cardio” “pushes” the heart and places one against their lactate thresholds. Kewl…

How long, and in what fashion, do you perform both cardio and aerobics? (e.g. intervals, long duration, etc.). Again…I’ve never seen a distinction, but if I’m understanding you right, this is a good way to look at the two!

What El is saying is correct. Simply “aerobic” is “using oxygen”. While cardio (as in cardiovascular endurance) is relating to the efficiency in getting oxygenated and nutrient-rich blood to the working muscles and the “spent” blood back to the heart. Oh, and there’s cardiorespiratory endurance - BUT these are all components to aerobic strength endurance.

I think when most people think of "cardio" they are referring to "aerobic exercise". And wish to use it for fat-burning. I believe the average person does not make a distinction between "cardio" and "aerobic" and also just think of it mainly for fat-burning.

Sorry it took me so long but my computer was down! I’m 5-8 165 lbs 15% b fat My goal is to build some muscle and go to 10 to 12% b fat! the thing is I’M not fat it’s just that all my fat is pretty much on the side of my weist and I want my abs to show for this summer! I plane on going on androsol am only 70 sprays for 6 to 8 weeks to help build muscle and lean up. My cardio would consist of cycling tread mill and elipse I hope I got the last word right And T.YOU again!!

Oop, I guess this message got bumped down, and I didn’t see it. Patricia was right regarding my distinction, so there’s no need to explain again. Currently I do no “cardio” (except pushing myself in the gym), but in the spring I’m going to be doing football (pickup, 2-hand touch) and carpushing once a week each. For aerobics, I swim 2 or three mornings a week for 20-30 minutes (taking it easy). (Imagine this is starting a new paragraph - I can’t get that to work --------------------)

Poman blasted me for this, but I’m not especially concerned with getting hyooge (I wish I could do italics!). I’m more interested in brutal strength and fitness. The aerobics (swimming) is good because it burns fat, works the lungs (something fierce), and moves all my joints in a non-gym-specific manner.

Aerobic will become anaerobic if the intensity becomes high enough. I have seen plenty of aerobic instructors that are flabby and do enough aerobics to make me cringe. You might wanna try anaerobic training for a few reasons. Its glycogen sparing assuming the duration doesnt go too long. The overall caloric expenditure will be more when you add the caloric run-off. If u wanna get real anal about it, you could measure your respiratory quotient (RQ) and see that improved cardiac and pulmonary function will shift your RER more towards fat burning even during exercise and especially at rest. We live life a lot more in the anaerobic environment so u might as well develop that too.