T Nation

Do I Really Need That Much Cardio?

I’m 5’8’’, 166 lbs, and 22% bodyfat. In other words skinny-fat. Now I’ve always had the mind set that I need plenty of cardio to ditch the fat that I’m carrying. However, I really don’t have much muscle to speak of. So, what I’m wondering is should I skimp on the cardio and focus more on weights in order to build more muscle?

As of right now my routine is like this:

Workout A
One Arm DB Row (10~12 reps until I reach a total of 35 reps)
One Arm Shoulder Press (10~12 reps until 35 reps total)
Squats (4~6 reps until 20 reps total)

Workout B
Chin Ups (4~6 reps until 20 reps total)
Dips (4~6 reps until 20 reps total)
One Leg RDL (10~12 reps until 35 reps total)

Workout C
T-Bar Rows (4~6 reps until 20 reps total)
BB Shoulder Press (4~6 reps until 20 reps total)
Bulgarian Split Squat (10~12 reps until 35 reps total)

Workout D
Lat Pull Down (10~12 reps until 35 reps total)
DB Decline Bench Press (10~12 reps until 35 reps total)
Sumo Deadlift (4~6 reps until 20 reps total)

I lift weights Monday, Wednesday and Friday and I cycle though these four workouts. After each workout I do thirty minutes of cardio on the elliptical. Every four workouts I up the intensity of the elliptical work. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I do 40 minutes of light cardio (walking on an incline). I plan on implementing sprints on Tuesday, however I recently got pretty sick and have yet to be able to try it.

So like I was asking, should I totally revamp my workout and ditch some of the cardio? Perhaps add more exercise to the weight training?

do the damn cardio. fatty.

You need both cardio and weights.

Anyhow, you need to be dieting at 22% bodyfat. It doesn’t need to and probably shouldn’t be a strict diet. But even if you were only focusing on weights [and you should be lifting HARD whether or not you choose to incorporate cardio] you probably won’t add a lot of muscle at this point. But you may well add a bit and should maintain it with a MILD caloric deficit and solid lifiting program.

I don’t think I was very clear with my topic title. I intend to continue to do cardio. But should I do as much as I am doing to cut back and focus more on weights?

I lost weight just fine not doing any cardio. I hate it. :slight_smile:

Watch what you eat, and you won’t need cardio. That’s my opnion. :slight_smile:

Take your medicine and do your cardio. If your 22% body fat, you’re probably a little out of shape. Your workouts don’t look particularly taxing and you should probably add some more work. The fitter you get, the more lifting you will be able to do and the faster your recovery will be up to a point.

I have a couple suggestions, if you don’t mind hearing them. First add some interval work and sprints. A rowing machine, jump rope, running, tabatas, they all work. Just get your heart rate way up. It should take 8 - 15 min and that is all the cardio you will have to do. Do it after your workouts, and do a grinder on Sundays.

Something like 30 min of constant full body/big compound movements light load lifting, with the intent of doing as much work in that 30 min as possible. I like the light cardio, but only as a form of active rest when you are sore. Start eating a lot of vegetables and you should probably start monitoring your caloric intake.

I started in January at 19.5% BF according to Tanita and I’m down to about 17.5%. It took me awhile to work out my diet, and now I weigh and record everything I eat. I’m in the same place as you are, trying to lose fat and gain muscle. Its going good though and it sounds like you are on the right track.

Okay so I won’t change the cardio (other than working in sprints/interval work). Thanks everyone for the help.

I know you said the lifting part looked a little light, theuofh. Do you (or anyone else) have any recommendations for my weight training? What would be a solid program to follow?

Rippetoe’s Starting Strength


Stronglifts 5x5

or any number of other strength building routines

Thanks TheDudeAbides and thanks everyone else for the help.