T Nation

Help with cardio?

I need help with my fatloss program. In John Berardi’s writings he talks of 65% VO2MAX for 30 min. durations…How do I relate this to BPM (heart)? I lift 3X/week and now sit at 31 yrs old, 188lbs at 15.5% after a severe neck injury. How much cardio after training? Non- workout day cardio durations? Thank you in advance…

Example: If you are 31 years old. (220-31)*.65 = 123 bpm The formula is 220 minus your age times .65 because you want to be at 65% of your max. I would go 70% for 30 minutes

You might want to note that VO2MAX does not equal heart rate, so training at 65% of your maximum heart rate does not necessarily mean you are training at 65% VO2MAX. JB’s approach to finding your VO2MAX involves setting a treadmill’s speed and incline until you fall down and fly off the machine. There are other ways to calculate it, low-tech using a bike ergometer test and high-tech methods measuring your actual oxygen consumption. Think about your goals (fat loss) and determine which targets are most motivating for you. Personally, I’m currently doing 15-20 minutes of cardio after lifting (various machines and movements, but always interval-type training), and 30-45 minutes on off-days (2x/week). Even though I don’t use VO2Max to pace my training, my style is similar to what JB recommends. I’ll do 1 minute on the treadmill at 9mph, then two minutes at 5mph…working towards the goal of longer intervals at 9mph and shorter rest breaks. This approach seems to be increasing my cardio fitness dramatically. For example, when I started, my jump rope intervals were only 3 minutes long…I had to do a bunch of intervals to make up for being so out of shape. Now I can coast through 20-30 minutes of jumping rope without stopping or even getting very tired…and this is only after about 6 weeks of this type of cardio training. As for optimizing this for fat loss…I think whatever cardio you can do that burns the most calories is best, mixing up your types of exercises. Now you’ve only got 90% of the equation left to figure out (diet)!