T Nation

Confused About Cardio

I am just getting back to the gym after a long break and I am confused by the conflicting information I am getting regarding low intensity cardio. I am spending around two hours a day in the gym and my main focus is on weight training. After I finish weights I spend the remaining time, usually forty five minutes, on the treadmill or elliptical. I have heard that keeping my heart rate around 120 (I am 33 years old) will help remove fat without eating away at muscle.

Since starting back to the gym I have read and been told that this is and is not correct? Would I be better off just doing weights and forgetting about the low intensity cardio for maximum weight loss without muscle loss? Any information would be appreciated.

Yeah you are in the same boat as me my friend…

Check out my thread called “Over informed” and look at some of the responses i’ve had… they have helped me alot!

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1394393

The other things im slowly looking into is the Cardio progressions etc… its a bit confusing but we’ll get there eventually

Right there with you bro. So from what I hear, if you do cardio is should be light. About 3 Times a week, High Intensity Interval training for no more than 30 mins.

It seams that on the days you lift cardio shouldn’t be done. But then again, just what I have read.

Anyone else wan’t to add, I am confused too!

I?m glad I am not the only person who is confused by the conflicting information. Thanks for your replies and yes I did find your post helpful Sidewinder.

Short story they all work. You need to find what works for you and your goals like everythinmg they ALL have there positive and negative points that need to be adressed and accepted. Like HIIT great but you need to give time to heal from i, recover as well kmake sure your fed prior unless drop in performance and possible LBM loss is a Priority. It may also if over done have and not given proper rest, recovery and nutrition have a negative effect on the weight sessions.

Then again its great for stripping fat off in the post w/o perdiod having the metabolism ramped for hours, it builds explosiveness, hits the fast twicth fibers has a tendency to be anabolic. etc

Pick your poison and find what works for you. They all work just not all with one another and not with every program and diet

Phill

I think it works like this. If you are using energy faster then you are taking it in, then your body will burn a combination of fat and muscle. That is why long distance runners get skinny as they can’t eat enough calories while they are running, so they lose both fat and muscle. So to stop the muscle loss you must take in energy, like having a sports drink. But of course that stops the fat loss also.

Anytime your blood sugar drops you will burn fat and muscle. Any time you eat more calories then you will need in the next few hours the extra is stored as fat. That is why eating more smaller meals during the day gives you more muscle and less fat then eating fewer larger meals, even if both have the same number of calories.

So burning fat without burning muscle does not happen. This is all explained nicely and more accurately in Advanced Sports Nutrition by Dan Benardot.

[quote]onewall wrote:
So burning fat without burning muscle does not happen.
[/quote]

Yes it does go for a nice walk, keep the intensity LOW and you use almost 100% slow fuel FAT and dont tap into the glycogen stores (FAST FUEL) that when run out the body then turns to protein and glycogenesis for making more fast fuel. Under fed keep it slow low and long.

Phill

[quote]onewall wrote:
I think it works like this. If you are using energy faster then you are taking it in, then your body will burn a combination of fat and muscle. That is why long distance runners get skinny as they can’t eat enough calories while they are running, so they lose both fat and muscle. So to stop the muscle loss you must take in energy, like having a sports drink. But of course that stops the fat loss also.

Anytime your blood sugar drops you will burn fat and muscle. Any time you eat more calories then you will need in the next few hours the extra is stored as fat. That is why eating more smaller meals during the day gives you more muscle and less fat then eating fewer larger meals, even if both have the same number of calories.

So burning fat without burning muscle does not happen. This is all explained nicely and more accurately in Advanced Sports Nutrition by Dan Benardot.[/quote]

Wow.

Most of what you say is fairly true, but not in the absolutes like that. Like Phill said there are times when you can burn only fat. There are also times you burn only muscle.

As for eating- just eating smaller meals does not translate into muscle growth. And just because you take in more calories than you need in the next “few hours” you will not necessarily store more fat.