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Which Amount of Low Impact Cardio is Best?

im doing cardio everyday, trying to get leaner. i was wondering which are the best amounts of time total in a day without sacrificing muscle?

right now i do 1 session of 45 minutes each day. somedays i will do 2 sessions split up, am and pm…how is that? do you think i can do the 2 sessions 2-3 days a week and 45 min the other days so i can get leaner while adding size? im 15% right now, sorta overweight from eating unhealthy…so im trying to incorporate more cardio to tighten up some.

it sucks not having the “clean” foods to cut down faster, but it is what it is.

if your eating properly and working out hard then i see no reason as to why 30 min to 60 min a day of light impact cardio will strip you of muscle/burn you out. Its not really worth doing super short sessions, other than a 10-20 minute warmup i generally try to keep cardio above 30 min if im doing steady state. Just for the reason that you have to deplete your glycogen stores before entering fat burning phase. Needs about 20 or so minutes to do that. Or you could just do it fasted in the morning and skip all that shit,.

…also eat clean. You dont lose wiehgt on a reduced dirty diet…leasdt not very well.

If you can afford food, you can afford “clean” food.

Steady state cardio is, IMO, pretty lame.
It takes forever, it wastes muscle, and it’s not very effective IME.

Try sprints and jumps if you need some sort of “cardio.”
Honestly though, unless you are pretty gifted genetically, you’re just spinning your wheels without getting that diet in check.

[quote]bignate wrote:
You dont lose wiehgt on a reduced dirty diet…leasdt not very well. [/quote]

FALSE. Hit the right macros and you’ll improve your body comp. Health and performance on the other hand…different story.

^i said least not very well. its also way less filling to eat a dirty 2000 calories than clean, so that was a factor in my statement

[quote]iVoodoo wrote:
If you can afford food, you can afford “clean” food.

Steady state cardio is, IMO, pretty lame.
It takes forever, it wastes muscle, and it’s not very effective IME.

Try sprints and jumps if you need some sort of “cardio.”
Honestly though, unless you are pretty gifted genetically, you’re just spinning your wheels without getting that diet in check.
[/quote]

  1. True dat. I worked out that the 2 fer 1 deal I got on a top quality whey protien powder worked out at 6rmb per 25g of protien compared to 14rmb (I live in China at the mo) per 25g for 90% fat free skimmed milk or a can of mackeral for 25g at around 12rmb.

  2. Steady state cardio does not strip muscle if you consume the right nutrients at the right times. In fact do your cardio first thing in the AM on an empty stomach and it theoretically taps into fat and carb stores.

Conversely, whilst HIIT type sprints and jumps etc DO WORK wonders, they are very joint intensive and could set you up for joint problems in the future if not done in moderation and with good warm ups and stretches etc.

This is why I do HIIT cardio either on the elliptical machine or in the swimming pool (front crawl) which are both easy on the joints. Elliptical HIIT self explanatory but in the pool as easy as doing say five laps at a moderate rate and then one all out lap etc, or 4 mins moderate, then 1 min all out repeated 4 or 5 times. Still need a 5 min warm up at a very moderate pace though. You can also experiment with breaths per stroke etc, but that’s for another forum.

[quote]leon36 wrote:

[quote]iVoodoo wrote:
If you can afford food, you can afford “clean” food.

Steady state cardio is, IMO, pretty lame.
It takes forever, it wastes muscle, and it’s not very effective IME.

Try sprints and jumps if you need some sort of “cardio.”
Honestly though, unless you are pretty gifted genetically, you’re just spinning your wheels without getting that diet in check.
[/quote]

  1. True dat. I worked out that the 2 fer 1 deal I got on a top quality whey protien powder worked out at 6rmb per 25g of protien compared to 14rmb (I live in China at the mo) per 25g for 90% fat free skimmed milk or a can of mackeral for 25g at around 12rmb.

  2. Steady state cardio does not strip muscle if you consume the right nutrients at the right times. In fact do your cardio first thing in the AM on an empty stomach and it theoretically taps into fat and carb stores.

Conversely, whilst HIIT type sprints and jumps etc DO WORK wonders, they are very joint intensive and could set you up for joint problems in the future if not done in moderation and with good warm ups and stretches etc.

This is why I do HIIT cardio either on the elliptical machine or in the swimming pool (front crawl) which are both easy on the joints. Elliptical HIIT self explanatory but in the pool as easy as doing say five laps at a moderate rate and then one all out lap etc, or 4 mins moderate, then 1 min all out repeated 4 or 5 times. Still need a 5 min warm up at a very moderate pace though. You can also experiment with breaths per stroke etc, but that’s for another forum.[/quote]
I disagree with just about everything you’ve written here, but each to their own.

I have noticed a considerable slow-down in muscular gains when adding in any type of steady state cardio, especially if performed in a fasted state. Jogging, treadmills, ellipticals, all have never resulted in any appreciable fat loss, and all have caused noticeable enough declines in both muscle and training quality for both me and every athlete I’ve ever trained to want to throw them out completely. The exception to this is morning walks, and I would still recommend some protein before hand.

Any able-bodied person should be able to perform sprints and jumps without injuring themselves. It’s a fundamental movement of Human Physiology, if you can’t do them, something is wrong with you that you need to address. Yes, you need to properly warm-up, and yes you shouldn’t be sprinting all-out for 20 100’s a day, but that doesn’t change the fact that when properly performed they blow steady state cardio out of the water for fat loss, athletic performance, and in some, they can even result in muscular gains.

There are a bunch of articles on this site about how to incorporate sprints and jumps in to your routine effectively, there are also plenty on properly warming up so as to avoid injury. Unless OP is really old, dealing with lingering injury issues, or extremely overweight, I don’t see why they shouldn’t sprint and jump.
I assume because this is posted in the Bodybuilding Forum, that OP probably doesn’t fall in to any of the above categories, otherwise he would have posted in either the Beginners, Conditioning, or even the Injuries and Rehab forums. For maximum muscular development and leanness, I think sprints and jumps are just superior.

Again though, each to their own, just because something works for me and the kids I train, doesn’t mean it’ll work for everybody, and just because something doesn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.
If you can Jog your way to the Olympia, then by all means!

[quote]bignate wrote:
^i said least not very well. its also way less filling to eat a dirty 2000 calories than clean, so that was a factor in my statement [/quote]

That has nothing to do with your original statement, so how can it factor in? Hit your macros on any reduced calorie diet and you’ll lose weight…period.

[quote]jskrabac wrote:

[quote]bignate wrote:
^i said least not very well. its also way less filling to eat a dirty 2000 calories than clean, so that was a factor in my statement [/quote]

That has nothing to do with your original statement, so how can it factor in? Hit your macros on any reduced calorie diet and you’ll lose weight…period. [/quote]

youre right.

[quote]leon36 wrote:
Conversely, whilst HIIT type sprints and jumps etc DO WORK wonders, they are very joint intensive and could set you up for joint problems in the future if not done in moderation and with good warm ups and stretches etc.

This is why I do HIIT cardio either on the elliptical machine or in the swimming pool (front crawl) which are both easy on the joints. Elliptical HIIT self explanatory but in the pool as easy as doing say five laps at a moderate rate and then one all out lap etc, or 4 mins moderate, then 1 min all out repeated 4 or 5 times. Still need a 5 min warm up at a very moderate pace though. You can also experiment with breaths per stroke etc, but that’s for another forum.[/quote]

Oh please. As if everyone’s joints were falling apart before the current reign of cardio machines and fitness clubs. As if swimmers joints are better off than ground-based athletes.

In fact, I’d argue the other way: that weight bearing cardio is BETTER (both on one’s joints and overall) than any machine crap period. (and of course, that does assume no biomechanical/postural issues and not being overly fat)

Swimming is excellent though, that’s certainly true.

[quote]iVoodoo wrote:
Any able-bodied person should be able to perform sprints and jumps without injuring themselves. It’s a fundamental movement of Human Physiology, if you can’t do them, something is wrong with you that you need to address…

Unless OP is really old, dealing with lingering injury issues, or extremely overweight, I don’t see why they shouldn’t sprint and jump…[/quote]

Well said.

[quote]bignate wrote:
^i said least not very well. its also way less filling to eat a dirty 2000 calories than clean, so that was a factor in my statement [/quote]

Not to piss in your cereals but this has been proven wrong by Skip, at least as far as the carb source is concerned

I’m starting to believe the T in T-Nation stands for the word describing a small creature living under a bridge.

[quote]newNimproved wrote:
im doing cardio everyday, trying to get leaner. i was wondering which are the best amounts of time total in a day without sacrificing muscle?

right now i do 1 session of 45 minutes each day. somedays i will do 2 sessions split up, am and pm…how is that? do you think i can do the 2 sessions 2-3 days a week and 45 min the other days so i can get leaner while adding size? im 15% right now, sorta overweight from eating unhealthy…so im trying to incorporate more cardio to tighten up some.

it sucks not having the “clean” foods to cut down faster, but it is what it is. [/quote]

If you are overweight doing cardio won’t strip you off muscle at all. The very idea is laughable. The reason people say they feel a reduction in training quality from doing cardio is because they are so unfit in the first place cardio takes a bit of getting used to.

By and large its just an excuse many people use because they don’t like doing cardio.

Hiit is an excellent concept if you go to an athletics or a sports club and actually do high intensity interval training with them.

If you’re just a normal bloke who goes out to the park, sets up some cones and does 10 sprints then you aren’t going to be pushing yourself enough to make a difference. Same with jumps.

If you have to some sort of high intensity training you’d be far better off doing parkour/freerunning for two or three nights a week for an hour.

[quote]chillain wrote:

[quote]iVoodoo wrote:
Any able-bodied person should be able to perform sprints and jumps without injuring themselves. It’s a fundamental movement of Human Physiology, if you can’t do them, something is wrong with you that you need to address…

Unless OP is really old, dealing with lingering injury issues, or extremely overweight, I don’t see why they shouldn’t sprint and jump…[/quote]

Well said.
[/quote]

Meh… I mean I agree with your points, but I think that if LIT works then why sprint and jump instead? And the real answer is that they both work based on genetics and proper applications, but I would do the former to prevent any sort of recovery issue.

nothing does the job better than riding a bike for atleast 90 minutes and do it really slow-moderate.