T Nation

Walking for Cardio... That's Right


Whoa there, hardass....

I know there are plenty of you ready to chime in and say that walking is "for pussies"...


Here are a few main points from the article:

"Many who focus on just "calories" and the slash and dash mentality end up with destructive patterns -- extreme calorie cuts and/or excessive aerobics. This sets off an alarm state in the body where the body sheds muscle tissue to lessen energy demands and stores/hoards body fat as a survival response"

"The calories burned during an exercise session are relatively small compared to the amount burned the other 23 hours of the day during the recovery process (at rest). Most fat oxidation occurs between training sessions, not during. As such your exercise sessions should primarily be geared towards building muscle and boosting the metabolism, not "burning fat"

..I am currently "bulking" aka eating to gain lean muscle. I have been incorporating walking into my schedule every day..

Let the discussion begin. What are your opinions on walking as opposed to all out 20 or 30 minutes on the treadmill?
Do you think it is better for a bulkers cardio?


If ur bulking I think sprinting is the way to go.

There are a couple of articles on here for sprinting. With arthurs like TC and CT haha.
Sprinting is suppose to increase growth horomones and increase lean muscle mass.

I don't knock walking. I walk my dog up and down an incline road a lot. Its good for recovery.
Atleast your up moving around.

Make sure you still lift weights on that day. Jus walking isn't going to do anything. Try to find a decent hill/incline to walk on.


Article also says ". And I don't mean walking on a treadmill or anything"exercise" specific. I just mean real, outdoor walking as an informa activity"

He also states "And when it was time to move, we frickin' moved, baby. We sprinted away from predators or towards prey. We climbed trees, hoisted objects, swung weapons, and clubbed stuff to death with maximal exertion. These are all predominantly anaerobic activities"

I think he jus thinks we should walk more and not include it in our "log books"
Sprinting is the way to go


As with everything else in the lifting game, it will depend on how it fits in with your current goals, your food intake, your exercise program, your recovery ability, etc...

I pretty much have to do cardio in the "off season" otherwise my waist line BLOWS up. Even with 3-4 cardio sessions a week I still get love handles. I keep it to fairly high intensity 16 minute sessions, but am now running a 3 month prowler-only-cardio experiment to see how it goes.

Walking is a time tested cardio measure, it works, and it doesn't impede recovery in the slightest (might even help) - Many BBers get absolutely shredded doing 30-60 minute walks

Bottom line is whatever works FOR YOU is what you should be doing, some experimentation will be required. I wish there was an easier answer, but there is a reason people who have been doing this 10 years are better than those who have been doing it 5


Since ur bulking I take it that your not fat. One reason why he wants fat people to walk is because

  1. If you're fat, you're probably putting a lot of extra weight on your joints, are out of alignment, and are suffering from some type of chronic pain. I'd check out one of Mike Robertson's mobility/stability, corrective exercise routines.

If ur not fat he suggests....

  1. Interval cardio essentially means alternating periods of sprinting/ maximal exertion with periods of recovery. You go hard for something ike 30-60 seconds, then back off for 60-120 seconds, and then repeat,.e. wind sprints. Do a 5-minute warm-up, 20-40 minutes of intervals, and a 5-minute cool down.

Hope that helped you establish a good sense of cardio.
Don't forget to walk, but always add interval cardio into your program.

And squat squat squat.......


99% of the time I'm doing cardio for conditioning, thereby I don't really like walks. Fat loss is always taken care of in the kitchen for me.

I don't have problem with light walks or incline walks, they're refreshing, and yes, it can help recovery if it isn't excess.

Walking is proven to be extremely effective for those who know how to eat while on diet. Most of the BB-ers got stage-cut with proper diet and steady state walks for cardio.

But! Those who eat pizza-chocolate-ice cream and all type of shit, drink their coffee with 20grams of sugar and cream, powder, drink their share of soda and juice while sitting at a desk and on the couch 12hours a day...

Well, these fucked up folk usually think that hopping on the treadmill for 2.5 kph walks for 20 minute a day will help them to loose fat.. Everyone knows their results: "ahh, I go to the gym, but it aint worth nothing.. I quit!"

So walking is GREAT if the other parameters of the equation are in the right place with the right values.


first post.interesting topic.

bulking and walking([preferably not a leisurely walk) is a great combination in my opinion.

allows maximal muscle retention while still keeping excessive fat build up at bay.also great for the heart while you push the envelope chasing your goals.

tougher cardio will always be there when your goals change and you neede to ''shred'' lol.

way to go imo.


Great repsonses-
I would like to mention I have started gaining a little bit of fat over the past months by not eating right (hamburger helper, mac and cheese, 3x a day) and doing NO exercise whatsoever (besides weightlifting). It is frustrating to have extra fat around the mid section, especially with a hip structure that already take away from a natural V figure.

It seems that some of you stick by short cardio bursts (16+ minutes) and some like walking (longer amounts).

I am going to keep giving walking a try, along with a clean diet and see how that has worked in a few months.


Interesting, care to elaborate on how sprinting increases lean muscle mass?


It was took from an article I think by CT. Try to find it in the search bar.
If you have excess fat and haven't done sprints in a long time you will def. Feel it the next day.

Do 10 sets of 25 yard sprints. 1 minute rest in between sets.
Warm up first however u like. Just warmup, sprints can be harsh on the body.
Remember to run as fast and as quick as you can.

The sprints also create a different workout to your legs. They can fix hamstring imbalances, and possibly jus leg imbalances all together.
I wouldn't do it a lot. Id say once every 10 days.
Let it take the place of one leg workout.

So squats on Monday, then sometime the following weekend do the sprints. (People tend to eat more junk or get lazier on the weekends)
Then when ur not really sore do legs and just keep up with the cycle.

Maybe add a set to your sprints every workout to keep progression up.....


Walking is just pleasant. I would never consider it cardio anymore, unless I'm hiking up in the Rockies or something like that... in which case there's a little more to it than just "walking."


I walk all the time for cardio both outside and treadmill.

Cardio is just calorie burning so I think walking is perfectly acceptable and definitely won't interfere with recovery (legs).