T Nation

Question for Bill Roberts

How much cardio is needed to get into competition shape (5% bodyfat)and when is the best time to do it (empty stomach, afterworkout, etc). I have tried supersets and dropsets to raise gh and get lean and sprints. (although I am no where near contest shape 12%) Charles Poliquin says that cardio increases fat, and because the body wants to preserve the chosen form of fuel, he uses aerobics instructors for examples (ie fat asses). The only problem is I cant drop any more bodyfat and I have never ever seen a bodybuilder get into contest shape without cardio?

I’m sorry, but I’m not a cardio expert. I don’t do it and agree with Charles that from the athlete’s point of view, it isn’t needed to get bodyfat down to where it needs to be. From the competitive bodybuilders point of view, for that last few percent (which the athlete need not lose) it does seem aerobics are necessary. I’m not the guy to ask on that though as to the details of what is the minimum.

From a bodybuilder’s perspective, aerobics can be VERY effective while using a form of the low carb diet. I’ve had great success dropping the bodyfat while using the Anabolic Diet’s cutting phase and including aerobics twice a week. I’m not quite sure why everybody’s so down on aerobics. It might very well make it a little tougher to put on muscle, but if calories are increased, i don’t even see it as being a limiting factor. And aerobics do in fact, offer a lot in the way of general health. Is this increase in health and aerobic capacity worth the small “muscle building potential” you lose? The answer is sometimes… During dieting phases for competitive bodybuilders, and for guys who want to be big AND healthy all the time, I would say including aerobics a couple times a week is well worth it. But of course if you do nothing to build muscle mass, follow the antiquated high carb, low fat diet and perform aerobics twice a day six days a week like all those aerobics instructors, you’re gonna look like a pig. And don’t forget, one of the most important lessons you can learn in this endeavor is to separate your bodybuilding goals into cutting and bulking… so when you’re dieting and including more aerobics, you’re not trying to gain mass anyway, you’re just trying to hold on to as much as you can. Try the anabolic diet/metabolic diet and include some aerobics in there… you won’t be dissapointed.