T Nation

Whats Wrong with Cardio!?

Just a few questions.

I keep seeing negative comments on cardio. In my personal situation, i’m in the process of losing a lot of weight. Around 40-50lbs of it.

Here is my workout…

Monday
30 min eliptical
Lower Body

Tuesday
30 min eliptical
Upper Body

Wednesday
30 min eliptical

Thursday
30 min eliptical
Lower Body

Friday
30 min eliptical
Upper body

Saturday
30 min eliptical

Sunday
Football

From what i’ve read, this is too much cardio. Which boggles the mind because I thought thats what you did to lose the weight.

Anyways. just asking

Well, you should be lifting too. I lost 50lbs. Most if came off with only diet and an active job. When I started lifting the last 30 melted off, and I did very little cardio during that time.

That said, a 30 minute walk or something is probably good for both your sanity and health. So go with it.

If it works, then why the fuck would anyone care what “they” say?

[quote]boyscout wrote:

If it works, then why the fuck would anyone care what “they” say?[/quote]

I understand that but I also understand that most newbies who have limited knowledge of healthy living tend to ‘waste’ time doing certain things. I just want to make sure I didn’t waste any efforts

Just take it easy, like a walk or something, on Wed and Sat and you should be fine.
On the other days, do your lifting first then cardio, OR have at least 8 hours in between cardio and lifting. On those days smash the cardio real hard as if you are training for a long distance event. Personally I would lift, and then cardio.

[quote]From what i’ve read, this is too much cardio. Which boggles the mind because I thought thats what you did to lose the weight.
[/quote]

If it boggles your mind, you are better off smashing it hard, then resting a day, and consuming a better quality food plan rather than eating the same and doing more and more work.

I have seen you in the Velocity Diet thread. Maybe you should do this: use this thread as a temporary food log.
For the next three days log every single skerrick of food you put into your mouth (we don’t want to know what you put in other orifices) and it will help you find out what you actually are eating. Do not lie, you are only kidding your self, and anyways, we will only be constructive and won’t bag you out if you are eating something wrong. We all know how hard it is to begin to change :slight_smile:

A logbook can be the best, or the worst thing in the world for someone trying to change. As long as you don’t get into a habit of weighing every calorie of food it shouldn’t drive you insane. It is important, though to weigh the food for the first three days, otherwise what is the point?

Goodluck.

Just curious, do you have the energy to do weight lifting AFTER half an hour of cardio? if it were me, I’d do the reverse, weightlifting THEN cardio. But, if its working for you why stop?

[quote]FatAss2008 wrote:
boyscout wrote:

If it works, then why the fuck would anyone care what “they” say?

I understand that but I also understand that most newbies who have limited knowledge of healthy living tend to ‘waste’ time doing certain things. I just want to make sure I didn’t waste any efforts

[/quote]

What boyscout said is spot on. If what you’re doing is working (presuming you’ve been doing it for several weeks, to notice a difference), then stick to it. You’re not exactly “wasting any effort” by lifting weight four days a week and doing cardio six, but that is on the high end of the spectrum.

However, like forevernade and forbes said, it’s going to be more effective to switch things and do the weight training first, followed by 20-30 minutes of cardio.

That lets you put even more energy into lifting (which will help to build strength and muscle, which boots the metabolism even further), and then you can follow it up with some lower intensity cardio.

On the non-weight training days, you can break the cardio monotony so you’re not just going in and hopping on the elliptical for 30 minutes at level 10, day after day, for six days a week.

Try alternating one minute forwards with one minute backwards throughout the workout. Or increase/decrease the resistance by 5 or 10 every two minutes.

Any reason you’re just using the elliptical? Try using different equipment, either some incline treadmill work, the rowing machine if they have one, or just get outside and do your cardio outdoors.

You could also look into barbell or dumbbell complexes as a cardio workout, but that’s another level of training and depends a lot on your weight training sessions.

I agree with Chris, mix it up a bit. Preferably do it after your weights and vary the modes and the intensity on different days.

If you are overweight, then to protect your joints all the lower impact stuff is good, eliptical, rower, bike, incline walking, swimming.

Cardio is not ‘bad’ per say, it’s just that people have in the past become overly reliant on it as the only way to lose weight. Doing endless low intensity cardio on it’s own is not the most efficient way to burn cals.

However at the end of the day, if you’re burning more cals than you are consuming you will lose weight. If you also do some form of resistance training like you are, you will be able to preserve some muscle at the same time…so you don’t just end up skinny fat.

So yeah, keep on trucking, just think about a bit more variety in your cardio work.

Nothing cuts weight like building muscle.
Building muscle CREATES fat burning enzymes. How f*#&^ing incredible is that? You are promoting the birth of living organisms that boost your metabolic burn! With every bench press or squat, I think about this. So:

Increasing muscle burns more fat than anything else.

Weight training is the absolute best way to lose weight.

Cardio is good for your vascular system which in turn helps blood flow to the broken muscle to help the strands build up thicker and quicker, which in turn: Burns more fat. Not to mention, cardio is healthy for you, but you’ll burn more fat overall by prioritizing weight training.

Not sure how else I can put it.
Bottom line: Increase your lean muscle mass. Eat healthy, and very very often. Your body will do the rest automatically.

Nothing is wrong with cardio, but for those ‘all cardio, no weights people’ that think if they run 8 miles a day they will look like a cover model are gunna be sorely disappointed.

I ran 5 miles a day for a year and ended up looking like skinny fat biotch and I could never get lean enough for a 6 pack. That’s when I decided to pack on the muscle and try that way. It’s way easier to get lean with you have 20 more pounds of muscle on your frame than trying to run off the fat.

They’re not exactly useless, but when trying to lose a lot of weight, nutrition and weight training are the two things that you should put your priorities on. Cardio will help speed up the rate of fat loss but they shouldn’t be the main form of exercise.

Try doing it after your weights session, it worked better for me that way. And if possible, don’t just do one form of cardio (elliptical in your case), try the other machines or jogging outside as well. All the best with you quest.

There is nothing wrong with cardio, but there are somethings wrong with excessive cardio.

If your goal is weightloss then cardio is beneficial assuming you are weight training and not consuming a very low calorie diet.

I lost 75lbs in 3 months by running all day everyday practically. I was young, dumb, did a lot of ignorant unhealthy things Im not too proud of, but I totally ran my ass off. The last two months I did 3 miles a day. So, if you actually eat food and dont run in 2 sweat suits in the middle of august, you could lose 30-50 in just a little while by doing a bunch of cardio. I personally am trying to gain 30-50 lbs over the course of… my life haha, so cardio is not a big factor anymore. Id hate to see me run 3 miles haha

Hi-

This is a really good article~

I lost several inches all round but maintained my weight doing mostly cardio but I did mix it up with HIIT, sprints, intervals, 5ks and some distance running. I still run everyday but now I lift 4x a week sometimes 3. It takes a lot to get me winded now. I love that.

Adapt as your needs change. Increasing lifting and cutting out the long distances has improved things a fair bit. It all depends on your goals.

Love the replies guys (and girls).

The reason I do eliptical is that its easy on my joints because I haven’t been active at all and I’m tryin not to screw my lower body up.

And thanks for the advice on doing weights before cardio. Not sure why I didn’t do that in the first place.

As far as my diet, it has been a struggle. Its the number one thing and unfortunately the hardest. I eat a shit ton of chicken breast but the seasoning i’m using is starting to get old.

Anyways, thanks again for the advice.

Oh and about the V-diet comment. When I first came to this site I looked into it but I’m not ready for it. I’m struggling too hard with the diet as it is. I’m going to get some of the ‘easy’ fat off first then see what happens.

I think the too much cardio stems from fears of too much cortisol and adrenal fatigue.

Here is an interesting article:

http://www.theiflife.com/2008/10/02/is-your-exercise-keeping-you-fat/

If this is a hijack, I apologize & will move it to another thread, but I have some beginner cardio questions too, so here goes.

I too have about 40 lbs of fat to lose. I’m doing a basic 5x5 3-4 times a week. I’ve improved my diet (I eat breakfast now, drink 1.5 gal of water a day, evening meals are still a bit large, but getting smaller).

Where I’m seeking advice is:
I’ve been including cardio after & on off days about 10x a month & have been varying it.
Does anyone have ideas on which are good, which can be tweaked?
(these aren’t done all in one session of course)

  1. jump rope: 1 minute jumping (120rpm), 30 seconds rest for 8 sets (usually 1 minute of rest for the last 2 sets.

  2. 55# kettlebell swings/high pulls (about 210 1 hand swings in 15 minutes) - I vary this; ie max swings in 10 minutes/20 minutes, least rest, etc

  3. 3.2 km run on treadmill; usually 400m sprint, 200-300m rest, repeat, though occasionally steady state.

  4. 1/2 hour stroller push/dog walk. (I know, too aerobic, I should drop it. jk ;’)

Doi’h

[quote]RebornTN wrote:

Doi’h[/quote]

Forehead slap me!
That article is just about perfect.
I swear, I did search cardio stuff on this site, but there is a LOT to sift through.
thx