When I would do hard cardio sessions during a prep. I always regarded them as a push for caloric burn and not part of my “real” training. You see advertisements for cardio machines (ellipticals, steppers…) always touting their “full body” workouts. Of course whenever I would attempt my full bore High intensity cardio bouts the machines would shake, wobble, thump, generally make me feel like they were going to break. The regular bikes would sometimes be an issue as my lower back would occasionally get tweak-y as my body fat levels dropped increasingly low.
One day I tried a recumbent and to my pleasant surprise I found that I had no strain on my lower back, and I could just grit my teeth, squeeze the hell out of the hand grips, make horrible facial contortions and just peddle like my life depended on it without the base of the machine even budging.
yeah I’d get crazy looks from the usual crowd you’d expect to see wasting away an hour a day on the other recumbents, barely moving at all, but those do or die sessions I’d include twice a week were a big part of many successful contest assaults.