T Nation

Getting Big, Doing Cardio for Health

Alright, I need help. I was lifting weights seriously for 2 years before I got very sick and lost a ton of weight. To give you an idea, I went from 180 to 129 and now I sit at 145.

Now I am alot better but back to square one. For health reasons, I must do 200-400 mins of cardio per week and this is most important. How should I structure my weight lifting and cardio?

(BTW I know I have to eat a ton and am really working on that).

Oh yeah, right now I am training 4 days a week. 1 hour cardio then weight lifting. I do a lower and upper body split.

Just a thought, doing cardio prebreaky I’ve found helps a lot with appetite so you can make up for it by eating a lot.

Absolutely, wake up, do fasted cardio for 45 minutes or so, or whatever based on your needs, and then just pound back the food all day.

Like WTP said, it’ll probably make you hungry as hell.

Just a thought, but have you tried just doing some HIIT for 20 minutes or less rather than one hour? What are the specific reasons for the cardio, i.e. fat loss, stamina, or what?

Its gonna be actual cardio-vascular health i would imagine, due to the post, so i think that the early morning thing is great advice, it will keep your fat in check too, a FANTASTIC habit to start IMO.

Joe

Honestly, that amount of cardio really won’t make a difference. Stop worrying.

The only thing that amount of cardio will do is give you an excuse to not try enough, because you think you will fail before you even try. Eat enough, sleep enough, train hard.

[quote]GetSwole wrote:
Absolutely, wake up, do fasted cardio for 45 minutes or so, or whatever based on your needs, and then just pound back the food all day.

Like WTP said, it’ll probably make you hungry as hell.[/quote]

If this is strictly for cardiovascular reasons (which I would love to know the specifics of), there is no reason to do it fasted.

He does need to make sure he compensates for it with his food intake.

I am more worried about what the problem is as added weight gain may affect it in some way.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
GetSwole wrote:
Absolutely, wake up, do fasted cardio for 45 minutes or so, or whatever based on your needs, and then just pound back the food all day.

Like WTP said, it’ll probably make you hungry as hell.

If this is strictly for cardiovascular reasons (which I would love to know the specifics of), there is no reason to do it fasted.

He does need to make sure he compensates for it with his food intake.

I am more worried about what the problem is as added weight gain may affect it in some way.[/quote]

The reason I suggested fasted was for the appetite effect, I’m hungry all day when I do it and end up eating way more than if I’d done the same cardio not fasted. Good point about needing to know the problem though, I didn’t think about that.

There’s been a ton of studies recently showing that long, steady state cardio is no more effective for increasing cardiovascular health than short interval sessions. I perssonally do a 12 minute cardio session after my workouts and the fat peels off of me, and it gets noticeably easier each week.

Everybody’s opinions will help. here is another if you want more on your plate. lol You can lift earlier in the day and do cardio later. I know guys opposite with what you said. lol Cardio post workout or “after” the workout any time in the day will also help with recovery as long as it’s not an over intense cardio session. The cardio helps flush muscles of lactic acid thus resulting in faster recovery. This only works if your cardio sessions aren’t too difficult. lol I agree with the cardio in a fasted state. I actually like the idea better. The only thing you will want to make sure of here is that you are eating enough for growth throughout the day. If you don’t then that cardio in the fasted state will keep you the same or make you smaller. It does to me anyways. my .02

Gerdy

[quote]SSC wrote:
Just a thought, but have you tried just doing some HIIT for 20 minutes or less rather than one hour? What are the specific reasons for the cardio, i.e. fat loss, stamina, or what?[/quote]

I second this opinion. A good 10-15 minute session of HIIT after a 5-minute warmup should do the trick just as 40-70 minutes of steady cardio, sometimes even better.

It doesn’t even have to be hard-as-balls true tabata sessiosn. Simply by taking hard sprints on a treadmill (say 40 second-sprint, 40-to-60 second-walk) for 10 to 15 minutes. That would do the trick. In fact, I’ve seen it work nicely on people doing these 3-4 times a week (in addition to weights) in less than three weeks.

The OP should look into Tabata/Taku intervals, unless he has a medical condition that precludes him from doing so (which then COULD explain the need for steady cardio for 40+ minutes.)

Good points. Keep in mind though that I do the cardio strictly for cardiovascular reasons. Thus, I don’t think I need to do it fasted? My goal is not to lose weight but gain muscle, shit I weigh 145lbs right now… The cardio is strictly for the heart.

I think in my case it is better to warmup with cardio at least.

Or I could do 2 sessions a day (cardio in AM weights in the evening) like someone suggested. Or do cardio and weights different days?

Keeping your body from rejecting the new heart will be your #1 training goal for probably the rest of your life. To be honest your situation is beyond the scope of this forum, given your medical history. If you want to put on size even with your obstacles, you should consult either one of the regular authors here, or an extremely knowledgeable trainer in your area (Thibs perhaps?).

If possible, have that trainer consult with your doctor and figure out what your boundries are. Yeah it could be a bit complicated, but so is your situation. Best of luck to you.

[quote]Doug Adams wrote:
Keeping your body from rejecting the new heart will be your #1 training goal for probably the rest of your life. To be honest your situation is beyond the scope of this forum, given your medical history. If you want to put on size even with your obstacles, you should consult either one of the regular authors here, or an extremely knowledgeable trainer in your area (Thibs perhaps?).

If possible, have that trainer consult with your doctor and figure out what your boundries are. Yeah it could be a bit complicated, but so is your situation. Best of luck to you.[/quote]

Agreed. I would avoid any advice outside of that context. Your overall health takes priority on this one.

Also, no one is feeling sorry for you. It takes a strong spirit to deal with what you have and hold onto the same motivation.

Last time I checked weight lifting was pretty good for your heart.

[quote]tw0scoops2 wrote:
Last time I checked weight lifting was pretty good for your heart.[/quote]

Absolutely correct, weight lifting can help YOUR heart, if it doesn’t have any inherited defects or other issues. The op falls under “other issues”. Normal rules do not apply in this circumstance.

Same thing I said to a pregnant woman… don’t look to this forum for advice. Speak with your doctors only. Hell doctors mess up often enough, just imagine what the people here could do to you.

If it’s possible to put on some size and maintain your healthy heart so be it. But please do not choose size over health!

Right I understand, thanks. Ill keep lifting weights though and strive to get bigger while doing my cardio. But the physios are the ones that were supposed to help me with exercise. I did a rehab class and they were suppposed to help me but I really felt like I wasted my time. The doctors leave the exercise part to the physios.

In their defense, they are more used to dealing with 60 year old patients that are out of shape. And technically, I’m not supposed to be doing this well I guess. According to the doctors, eating well and exercising regularly just might have saved my life. But Ill figure it out and yes I know what my number one priority is.