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  #1  
Old 12-02-2011, 09:42 PM
zacharyspop zacharyspop is offline
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Default Running for cardio

Ho far should I be running for cardio in between my weight lifting workouts? Currently I run 3 miles in about 30 minutes every other day that I am not lifting? I have heard recently that cardio can hinder my bulk and I want to find out how much cardio to lifting ratio is good.
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Old 12-03-2011, 03:38 AM
bigbear6708 bigbear6708 is offline
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i have found good success with doing a "distance day" by going 2.5-3 ish miles..MAX at about 80% pace, and doing a sprinting day..various distances..i do 1/4 miles one day at my 100% pace, or ill do tire drags, prowler work, etc..just mix it up. I have a journal here, so you can follow..my lifting does not seem hindered by it..I am sure gains are coming slower than possible..but I must stay in shape for the army. i also run a 12:30 2 miles...so the cardio plan keeps me fast too...its all about maintaining!
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:58 AM
Charles Izzo Charles Izzo is offline
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Unless your training is some how related specifically to something that you need to train for such as a sport or activities you plan on doing regularly in your life, I would have to argue that it isn't necessary at all.

There really is a lot of misconceptions on this topic. To begin with, "cardio" isn't even a real word and when people do use it its meaning remains rather vague. Anyhow, let's just realize that the term is typically associated with exercise that gets the heart going. But let's also be real. You can't separate the cardiovascular system and workout on that alone and not the rest of the body. The cardiovascular system is there to support all movement that we do. And that includes weight training.

On top of that, people typically think of cardio to be exercises such as running and cycling. Again, there is nothing that magically makes such movements different than anything else that we do. Your heart and lungs can't tell the difference if you are running or doing leg presses. In fact, many other types of exercise will jack your heart rate up much higher than what can typically be achieved from running.

And with exercises such as squats, you really do get a benefit for your effort. Let's compare:
Running (steady state) doesn't do a good job of working your cardiovascular system, it wears you out and cuts into your recovery capabilities, its catabolic in nature, and it takes time out of your day.
Squats build muscle and strangth (are anabolic), they can get your heart and lungs pumping real hard, and while they will also wear you out and take some time out of your day I would definitely say they are worth the time. Examples of other good exercises are strongman events such as tire flips and farmers walk.

Another thing to note is your typical "cardio" type training simply isn't needed for good health or fat loss. I never do it. I have proven in my life that fat can be lost without it. I happen to be quite lean. I also went to the doctor last week and turned out to be quite healthy. My blood pressure is healthy and my resting heart rate is lower than average which is an indicator that I happen to be in good shape. The nurse asked me if I was a runner and my reply was that I only lift weights twice per week.

All that "cardio" stuff is nonsense. And once you look into it you will realize it. Your time will be better spent doing anything else, resting, spending time with your girlfriend or family, or what ever.
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Old 12-08-2011, 07:28 PM
bigbear6708 bigbear6708 is offline
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I agree, I have noticed sufficient "cardiovascular endurance" gains from lifting intense weights (intense refers to elevating your heart rate for breif periods, repeated). on that note, I do not think interval training is completely useless. It can be good to lower body fat, and also has a place in generally preparing your body for intense lifting, especially with the legs. I only do "distance runs" (no more than 3 miles usually, only once a week) because I am in the Army, and tested on a 2 mile run.
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:58 AM
Charles Izzo Charles Izzo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbear6708 View Post
I agree, I have noticed sufficient "cardiovascular endurance" gains from lifting intense weights (intense refers to elevating your heart rate for breif periods, repeated). on that note, I do not think interval training is completely useless. It can be good to lower body fat, and also has a place in generally preparing your body for intense lifting, especially with the legs. I only do "distance runs" (no more than 3 miles usually, only once a week) because I am in the Army, and tested on a 2 mile run.
I have heard the point about intervals many times. But again, let's just be smart and realize that there isn't anything magical about typical interval type training when compared to other methods. It all comes from an old study that compared intervals to low intensity exercise to see which one was better. All that proves is which of the two is better, but it doesn't prove anything else. That data has proven over the years to be a great marketing tool for various exercise programs. But if we're rational about our thinking we can realize that there still are much better ways to train. And I would further go on to argue that exercise isn't needed for fat loss at all.

Many will argue with me on my last statement. But once you look at all the factors you will realize which is better worth your time. Exercise makes you hungry which psychologically will make it so you are more likely to eat more. At any given day you could go and exercise for an hour to burn calories, maybe a few hundred if you're lucky, or you could simply just subtract a few slices of cheese from your food intake for the day. Furthermore, if you eat the right foods, you could easily create a deficit of 1000 calories and still be satisfied. You would have to do A LOT of exercise in order to equate for the same amount of calories. Again, that takes energy to do so and time out of your day.

Not too long ago a friend of mine switched from being a mechanic to a landscaping job. He said he ended up losing like 20 lbs or more. This is just one example that demonstrates how physical activity can help one to lose weight. But again, we must look at the numbers. With a landscaping job you're performing physical activity pretty much 40 hours out of the week or more. You're easily burning up to a few more thousand calories per day than what a typical office worker does. Compare that to the measly few hundred calories that you burn in a workout and you'll see why it isn't going to be enough to make a difference. In reality, the construction worker gets a free workout all day long while they are working. But anyone who needs to lose weight and wants to make a calorie deficit to do so would have their time outside of work much better spent finding a comfortable way to reduce calories as opposed to going for the workout.

I actually feel bad for people who don't realize that. I had one guy recently tell me how well running regularly worked for him in the past. He lost 15 lbs from running 5 times per week, equating to a total of 16 miles per week. But when he didn't have the time to do it because he had a wife and kids and all that, he got fat again. And how he's just looking to find the time when he could run again to lose the weight. Poor guy. It doesn't take any time at all to eat less. That works too. Most naturally skinny guys know it intuitively. That's why you never see them exercising.

We then have the argument of the after burn you get from exercise. I'm not so sure how much this is. But I would further go on to argue that we can still try to make better choices with our training so that our time in the gym is better spent. I would much rather do workouts that build muscle such as high rep squats or strongman events such as tire flips and farmers walk. Such activities increase your conditioning much better than intervals and they also build the most muscle, which will make you look better.

As for your running, I absolutely agree with you. If you have to do it for the test, then continue to practice it regularly.
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Old 12-09-2011, 04:00 AM
bigbear6708 bigbear6708 is offline
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I was agreeing with you...I absolutely agree cardiovascular training is not needed for fat loss. The simple argument is to look at a marathon runner vs either a sprinter or pro football player. Yea the runner is smller...but in reality they have about 15 lbs more fat than a sprinter or pro athlete.
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:01 AM
Charles Izzo Charles Izzo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbear6708 View Post
I was agreeing with you...I absolutely agree cardiovascular training is not needed for fat loss. The simple argument is to look at a marathon runner vs either a sprinter or pro football player. Yea the runner is smller...but in reality they have about 15 lbs more fat than a sprinter or pro athlete.
I admit though that it is a tough concept to accept. It isn't hard to understand or grasp once you see the facts or numbers and think rationally through it. But the problem is that people keep trying to market programs that go for the calorie burn. Its on going dogma. And I'm learning that you have to just ignore it all and stick with what has been proven to work.

I can't argue with results though. This summer I got down to around 13%, which is the leanest I've been in a decade, and I did it from dieting only. The only workouts I was doing was 1-2 HIT workouts per week. And I still kept my strength.

If I did that good this year I know I can do even better next year. I'm thinking single digits and getting all my old best numbers back.

By the way, I saw your deadlift videos. Quite impressive!
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:50 PM
bigbear6708 bigbear6708 is offline
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Thanks Charles! only after I started ignoring pop culture and how working out "should be", and started doing the basics have I made the most gains...I try to stay under the barbell as much as possible...I recently did leg press to help my squat, but have backed away from it and started doing front squats/cleans, etc....like I said, I only run because I have to..and was answering the OP's question with what I knew...if he wanted to do cardio, I was utilizing an effective method..
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:20 PM
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Nice discussion bigbear and charles.

OP, as bigbear and charles have mentioned, "cardio", i.e. running, isn't necessary. If you want to get lean, keep your barbell training going strong and watch your carb and calories intake.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:01 AM
jannet jannet is offline
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I would also agree with that he cardiovascular is not necessary for the fat loss it is only of the runners ...
to maintain the stamina...
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