Cardio Mistakes - AnabolicMinds.com
    • Cardio Mistakes



      By Greg Merritt Bodybuilding . com

      We have to talk about it. As much as youíd rather discuss bench pressing, biceps or just about anything else, most bodybuilders spend more time on a treadmill or StepMill than a leg press or preacher bench. And when dieting down, most iron men and women invest more hours burning calories than pumping muscles. Still, the majority of trainers havenít learned how to maximize their stationary strides. This month, we shed the fat and explain how to get your cardio back on track. Class is in session.

      MISTAKE #1: IMPROPER WORKOUT TIMING

      EXPLANATION

      Cardio has traditionally been thought of as a warm-up activity, thus many bodybuilders do it before weight training. This both robs energy from their iron workout and limits their fat burning. Others prefer to do it in a separate workout. This is also not ideal.

      A 2007 study demonstrated that when trainers did cardio immediately after a weight workout, they burned approximately twice as much fat as when they did cardio in a separate workout. This was due to the subjectsí elevated growth hormone levels after hitting the iron. Research has also shown that when subjects do cardio before weights, their growth hormone levels are significantly lower during the weight workout than when they started right off with the weights. Lower GH levels when you are lifting means limited muscle growth and strength gains.

      SOLUTIONS

      Do the bulk of your cardio immediately after weight training. Research has shown that the fat burning is at its greatest during the first 15 minutes, although we recommend at least 20.

      If you need to crank up the cardio and hit it twice daily, as in the final weeks before a contest, do one of those sessions in the morning before eating any carbs, but have 10-20 grams of fast-digesting whey protein first to prevent muscle loss and actually burn more fat (see mistake #5).

      Toney Freeman is among the bodybuilders who include some cardio action as a warm-up, especially on leg day, to loosen up and prime the pump. Like T-Free, keep your preworkout time on a stationary bike or StepMill to 10 minutes or less.

      MISTAKE #2: INCORRECT INTENSITY

      EXPLANATION

      Bodybuilders tend to be of two minds on cardio: slow and steady, so as to not exhaust their energy reserves, or fast and furious, adopting the same take-no-prisoners approach they apply to barbells and dumbbells. In fact, both approaches will burn fat, but neither is ideal. Studies have demonstrated that the best approach combines both low and high intensity. Itís called high-intensity interval training, and it will not only stoke your fat-zapping metabolism, but it will also reduce the amount of time you spend striding in place.

      SOLUTIONS

      Begin with a three-minute warm-up at a slow pace. Then alternate one minute at a quick pace (fast jog on treadmill) with 30 seconds at a slow pace (walking on treadmill). End with a three-minute cooldown at a slow pace.

      Depending on your endurance, when first doing HIIT, you may need to lengthen the slow-pace intervals, but build up to where youíre alternating quick and slow intervals at a ratio of 2:1 for 20-30 minutes.

      HIIT can be done on a running track, alternating one minute runs with 30 second walks.

      MISTAKE #3: THE TREADMILL BLAHS

      EXPLANATION

      The tedium of standing in the same spot, moving without moving for a half-hour or more, is the number one reason bodybuilders shortchange cardio. Even with all the modern electronic diversions ó phones, iPods, computers, TVs ó plodding along on a treadmill or StepMill is nobodyís idea of fun.

      SOLUTIONS

      Most modern gyms have more than just treadmills, StepMills and stationary bikes. Take advantage of your gymís variety. Ellipticals, rock-climbing machines, tread climbers and rowing machines are just some of the other devices, and higher-tech versions of old machines are released regularly.To stay inspired, use a different type of machine each workout.

      Split your cardio in two. Work a muscle group, do 20 minutes of cardio, work another muscle group, and then finish with 20 minutes of cardio. Recent research comparing a 60-minute cycling session with two 30-minute sessions divided by 20 minutes of rest demonstrates that shorter sessions are more effective for fat loss than one longer session. This strategy also staves off boredom.

      Go outside. Jog, hike, swim, ride a bicycle, jump rope, play basketball. Nobody said you had to do your cardio in a gym. Doing at least some of it outdoors via sports and other aerobic activities will instantly solve your treadmill blahs.

      Pick up the weight. Performing full-body exercises ó such as cleans and snatches with a light-weight barbell or with dumbbells ó is a great way to do cardio, especially HIIT.

      MISTAKE #4: INSUFFICIENT RECOVERY

      EXPLANATION

      The fear of some bodybuilders that cardio will waste away their hard-earned muscle may be exaggerated, but it is not entirely unfounded. After all, treadmills, StepMills and the like will involve lower-body muscle action, just as rope climbers and rowing machines hit the upper body. So if youíre plodding along for too long and/or too often, the extra work may indeed stifle recovery and growth. In fact, studies show that endurance athletes have suppressed testosterone levels due to the excessive miles they rack up. This is another reason to keep your cardio sessions shorter with the help of HIIT.

      SOLUTIONS

      Just as HIT workouts use a minimum amount of iron time, HIIT can reduce your cardio to as little as 20 minutes, three times weekly, thus limiting the muscular workload.

      Regularly alternate machines, weight exercises and outdoor exercises to stimulate different muscles.

      Donít do leg-intensive cardio on leg day, and you may also want to avoid it the day after an especially intense leg workout.

      MISTAKE #5: RUNNING ON EMPTY

      EXPLANATION

      Many bodybuilders think they must wake up first thing in the morning and jump to cardio while their body is in a fat-burning mode with no food in their system. There is some truth to this, but running completely on empty first thing in the morning could be compromising your muscle mass.

      SOLUTIONS

      If you do cardio first thing in the morning, avoid all forms of carbs, including slow-digesting fruit, whole grains and fast-digesting sugars.

      Donít compromise on protein. Having 10-20 grams of a fast-digesting whey protein shake before your morning cardio will save your muscle mass and will not compromise fat burning. Research from Japan suggests that the amino acids found in whey protein may actually enhance fat burning during cardio.

      Boost morning cardio intensity without compromising fat burning by sipping on a sports drink, such as Gatorade, and spitting it out (donít swallow it). One study from the University of Birmingham (Edgbaston, United Kingdom) found that when trained cyclists covered a certain amount of mileage as fast as possible while rinsing their mouth with a carb drink and spitting it out every seven to eight minutes, they were able to cover the mileage three minutes faster than when they rinsed with water. Increasing cardio intensity will boost the amount of calories burned during and after cardio. If you try this technique, rinse your mouth about every 10 minutes with a sports drink, and then spit it out. Of course, if you do your cardio indoors, bring a spit cup.

      - See more at: http://www.flexonline.com/training/h....0gCY0Jm2.dpuf
      Comments 10 Comments
      1. EatMoar's Avatar
        EatMoar -
        And people always say you burn muscle if you do cardionsessions after lifting. Pft I knew I was in the right with that one.
      1. mik14's Avatar
        mik14 -
        I think I would need a stretcher to carry me out of the gym if I did 20 mins of HIIT after a weight session!
      1. JD261985's Avatar
        JD261985 -
        Originally Posted by EatMoar View Post
        And people always say you burn muscle if you do cardionsessions after lifting. Pft I knew I was in the right with that one.
        May not burn muscle but AM has studies showing it drives testosterone levels down quite a bit...newer studies show that testosterone levels are highest when cardio is done before a weight session and remain high throughout the workout. So many conflicting studies **** this
      1. EatMoar's Avatar
        EatMoar -
        Originally Posted by JD261985 View Post
        May not burn muscle but AM has studies showing it drives testosterone levels down quite a bit...newer studies show that testosterone levels are highest when cardio is done before a weight session and remain high throughout the workout. So many conflicting studies **** this
        Hence why do what you feel. I can't do HIIt before lifting lol. Plus you forget cardio drives cortisol down, doing it post lifting isn't a bad idea in that case.
      1. warbird01's Avatar
        warbird01 -
        Can you post a link that shows HIIT is superior to high intensity or low intensity cardio? And that it ups your metabolism? I used to believe this but the latest research I have seen goes against this...very dissappointing.
      1. Othello1276's Avatar
        Othello1276 -
        Lately, I've started to do my cardio during my weight training but only maintain that for 6-8 weeks. If I do separate my cardio it's HIIT done after training. I find it helps.
      1. juniorab's Avatar
        juniorab -
        In regards to having a whey shake before morning cardio, I wonder if they have done studies comparing a whey shake before and just a BCAA drink before and if it will do the same.
      1. bannosantoro's Avatar
        bannosantoro -
        Originally Posted by JD261985 View Post
        May not burn muscle but AM has studies showing it drives testosterone levels down quite a bit...newer studies show that testosterone levels are highest when cardio is done before a weight session and remain high throughout the workout. So many conflicting studies **** this
        I read a very detailed study in m&f a while back which proved that doing 20 mins hiit before a weights session (not legs) actually increased muscle growth compared to doing cardio after a weights session. It detailed all the chemical reactions taking place and all of the enzymes, hormones etc that were working..... Very interesting read. It also showed how the cortisol from the cardio somehow worked with an enzyme produced during weight training to provide a seemingly paradoxical muscle building effect!! I started doing 20mins hiit on my turbo trainer at home before I hit the iron and tbh the difference it made in just a month was amazing!! Try it guys, what have you got to lose??
      1. liftthingsup's Avatar
        liftthingsup -
        "I read a very detailed study in m&f" = crap for gym rat wanna-be. Don't read that garbage.

        Everything I read from reliable sources and studies agrees with the above.
        Even when doing HIIT, you need to figure out what your "fat burning" range is in order to maxmize fat burn.
        Enjoy!
      1. bannosantoro's Avatar
        bannosantoro -
        This is the truth - everyone is different - end of. For 10 years I have been reading studies and found that there are studies to contradict studies all over!! Just keep experimenting till something works! Tbh I rarely see any difference whatever I do?! Maybe an initial change, then no different!

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