Least amount of cardio needed?

  1. Least amount of cardio needed?


    Iím interested to hear opinions on what the minimum amount of cardio (and what types) is when training goals are purely for hypertrophy/strength aka bulking for me.

    I am trying to maintain and even possibly increase my cardiovascular fitness but Iím having a hard time figuring out how much I should do since Iím so exhausted from my lifting sessions. And also donít want it to hinder my strength progress.


  2. 20 mins on the elliptical make it pretty easy. Great warm up before heavy compound movements.
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  3. I ride my bike to the gym.

  4. Quote Originally Posted by hambone2493 View Post
    20 mins on the elliptical make it pretty easy. Great warm up before heavy compound movements.
    Yup, this... when i include cardio before lifting, lifts are much more productive! Compared to times when my younger self tried lifting without cardio.

    Feels much better to have warmed up, for the blood pumping, and have hit THR 130-160bpm - for a few mins at least.

    15-20mins, or 2-3 miles depending how fast one goes. If the joints are feeling good, can increase as needed to assist fat burn.

  5. With the cardio and lifting, look into a joint support supplement to aid in recovery and to protect yourself. SNS CISSUS and Joint Support XT would help. I perform cardio before I lift and itís advantageous to take a joint supplement to prevent injury.
    Serious Nutrition Solutions Representative
    Jgntyce@seriousnutritionsoluti ons.com
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  6. I like to do a 10 min warm up on the stairmaster (level 5) or treadmill (15.0 incline/2.5 pace). Depending on the situation (time, motivation, goal, etc), post lifting I will hit the stairmaster, treadmill, or a combination of both at the same settings for 10-30 minutes plus another 5 min of cool down if time allows. The warm up and cool down has helped me a lot now that I am getting older.

  7. Thanks for all the input guys. So I think I have settled on this:
    since I lift 5-6 times per week... will do 15 minutes before each session on elliptical or other machine
    and on 3-4 of the days after the lifting session I will do 15-20 mins HIIT.. prob not on the leg days.. should be fine for any upper body stuff
    Plus all my walking that I have to do during the day which is sometimes a few miles.

    That should do it I think?

  8. Quote Originally Posted by bigdavid View Post
    Thanks for all the input guys. So I think I have settled on this:
    since I lift 5-6 times per week... will do 15 minutes before each session on elliptical or other machine
    and on 3-4 of the days after the lifting session I will do 15-20 mins HIIT.. prob not on the leg days.. should be fine for any upper body stuff
    Plus all my walking that I have to do during the day which is sometimes a few miles.

    That should do it I think?
    That looks good, but IMHO you should start adding in cardio slowly and increase gradually so that your body can get used to the increased workload. Maybe start with 5-10 min warm ups for a few weeks, and then add in 1-2 sessions of HIIT for a few weeks, then increase to 3 for a few weeks and then 4, etc. If you add in too much all at once it may be too taxing on your CNS which could impact performance, recovery, and body composition.

    Unless you really enjoy cardio or want to be able to burn some extra calories to allow for a certain amount of caloric intake, try to do as little cardio as you can possibly get away with while still getting the benefits.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by hsk View Post
    That looks good, but IMHO you should start adding in cardio slowly and increase gradually so that your body can get used to the increased workload. Maybe start with 5-10 min warm ups for a few weeks, and then add in 1-2 sessions of HIIT for a few weeks, then increase to 3 for a few weeks and then 4, etc. If you add in too much all at once it may be too taxing on your CNS which could impact performance, recovery, and body composition.

    Unless you really enjoy cardio or want to be able to burn some extra calories to allow for a certain amount of caloric intake, try to do as little cardio as you can possibly get away with while still getting the benefits.
    Great idea! I do tend to jump into things prematurely lol. Hopefully will get up to the goal cardio in 4-6 weeks. Like you I hate cardio and I like efficiency. But I also hate being winded walking up a few flights of stairs. I mean, Iím not a powerlifter or anything :P so I canít let myself get that out of shape lol

  10. Quote Originally Posted by bigdavid View Post
    Great idea! I do tend to jump into things prematurely lol. Hopefully will get up to the goal cardio in 4-6 weeks. Like you I hate cardio and I like efficiency. But I also hate being winded walking up a few flights of stairs. I mean, I’m not a powerlifter or anything :P so I can’t let myself get that out of shape lol
    The stairmaster and treadmill if done properly are quite effective and efficient on the settings I laid out. A little goes a long way. Just like with lifting, it comes down to your form and technique when using these machines. I see lot of cardio queens using these machines improperly using advanced/challenging settings while holding onto the handle bars for dear life and all while maintaining horrible form and posture. Slow and steady wins the race.

  11. realistically... none is "required"... my suggestion, go for a 15-30min brisk walk firs thing in the morning. Just enough to get the blood flowing. I got into the best shape of my life with a great diet and no more cardio than 25min brisk walks 4-5 days a week (had a torn hamstring so literally all that was possible ha)
    Serious Nutrition Solutions Product Rep - db77 @ seriousnutritionsolutions.com

  12. Last off season and the start of this prep I was doing 12 HIIT fasted and it proved well to keep me lean and pretty heart healthy. Like most said kinda depends
    Serious Nutrition Solutions Representative

  13. Quote Originally Posted by bigdavid View Post
    I’m interested to hear opinions on what the minimum amount of cardio (and what types) is when training goals are purely for hypertrophy/strength aka bulking for me.

    I am trying to maintain and even possibly increase my cardiovascular fitness but I’m having a hard time figuring out how much I should do since I’m so exhausted from my lifting sessions. And also don’t want it to hinder my strength progress.
    If you're exhausted from lifting and don't want to impede on strength, make sure you are eating more calories than you normally would if you add the cardio. Remember, by performing cardio, you are potentially putting yourself in a deficit, so make sure you are eating more to put yourself into a surplus. If you do not, strength will not be negatively affected. If you are drop dead tired after training, just do very light cardio post workout, but if you are trying to increase your cardiovascular level, a light session will not do much.

    To increase cardiovascular fitness, HIIT or something of moderate intensity would be better. I would not perform HIIT after a lifting session, I would instead do it on an off day. John Meadows actually has a good video on HIIT vs. LISS and his reasoning behind doing HIIT when in a surplus is great.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4uz3paAU5w
    Performax Labs Product Specialist
    Follow My Journey: http://anabolicminds.com/forum/workout-logs/269588-antms-lean-bulk.html

  14. As an alternative to elliptical, I also like the rowing machine, 10-15 good minutes at a high resistance gets the heart up and muscles warm. Rowing / crew is good, low impact.

  15. I think if you want to up cardiovascular fitness but not do a lot of cardio then go for HIIt instead of SS.
    While ellipticals and rowing machines are useful, not much benefit if it just a little. Better to do HIIT (sprints, jumps , burpees etc) for 10-15min and then 5min (HR still high when you start) on elliptical of rowing mach to cool down slowly. And that 3-4 times a week.

  16. It depends on your current level of training mostly. If you are an elite endurance athlete then reducing your training frequency will diminish your fitness noticeably within 4 or 5 days. If u r just an above average gym fit dude you will probably be able to maintain by training once or twice a week.

  17. Quote Originally Posted by hsk View Post
    The stairmaster and treadmill if done properly are quite effective and efficient on the settings I laid out. A little goes a long way. Just like with lifting, it comes down to your form and technique when using these machines. I see lot of cardio queens using these machines improperly using advanced/challenging settings while holding onto the handle bars for dear life and all while maintaining horrible form and posture. Slow and steady wins the race.
    For the past two workouts I have done a 10 minute warmup with the treadmill on incline 10 and speed 2.5 (over 10 was too difficult for now). I must say I had great workouts both times. It was the perfect amount of increased blood flow without fatiguing my muscles like warming up on a bike usually does to me. Definitely something I am going to keep doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by booneman77 View Post
    realistically... none is "required"... my suggestion, go for a 15-30min brisk walk firs thing in the morning. Just enough to get the blood flowing. I got into the best shape of my life with a great diet and no more cardio than 25min brisk walks 4-5 days a week (had a torn hamstring so literally all that was possible ha)
    Yeah, I used to be of the mindset that I didn't need any cardio when I was trying to gain weight. But looking back at that decision I realize it was a poor one...at least for me... because I would feel like **** both physically and mentally, but when I added some in I felt better overall....How did you tear your hamstring if you don't mind me asking? I knew a friend that tore his deadlifting. He was out for months.

  18. Quote Originally Posted by AntM1564 View Post
    If you're exhausted from lifting and don't want to impede on strength, make sure you are eating more calories than you normally would if you add the cardio. Remember, by performing cardio, you are potentially putting yourself in a deficit, so make sure you are eating more to put yourself into a surplus. If you do not, strength will not be negatively affected. If you are drop dead tired after training, just do very light cardio post workout, but if you are trying to increase your cardiovascular level, a light session will not do much.

    To increase cardiovascular fitness, HIIT or something of moderate intensity would be better. I would not perform HIIT after a lifting session, I would instead do it on an off day. John Meadows actually has a good video on HIIT vs. LISS and his reasoning behind doing HIIT when in a surplus is great.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4uz3paAU5w
    thanks so much. This is a great resource. The irony is that the more cardio I do the less of an appetite I have... but I'll just force it for a week or two then hopefully ill reflexively just eat more..

    Quote Originally Posted by PoSiTiVeFLoW View Post
    As an alternative to elliptical, I also like the rowing machine, 10-15 good minutes at a high resistance gets the heart up and muscles warm. Rowing / crew is good, low impact.
    Dude, that would suck. I hate the row machine... Im too lazy for that!

    Quote Originally Posted by bosskardo View Post
    I think if you want to up cardiovascular fitness but not do a lot of cardio then go for HIIt instead of SS.
    While ellipticals and rowing machines are useful, not much benefit if it just a little. Better to do HIIT (sprints, jumps , burpees etc) for 10-15min and then 5min (HR still high when you start) on elliptical of rowing mach to cool down slowly. And that 3-4 times a week.
    Yeah I am going to start doing more HIIT in the next few weeks for sure. But for now I am just starting with 10-15 min warmups before workouts...because before this I was basically doing no cardio at all. I used to do HIIT a lot in the past when I was cutting. I deff felt better.

    Quote Originally Posted by BennyMagoo79 View Post
    It depends on your current level of training mostly. If you are an elite endurance athlete then reducing your training frequency will diminish your fitness noticeably within 4 or 5 days. If u r just an above average gym fit dude you will probably be able to maintain by training once or twice a week.
    I used to be an endurance guy. In high school I was on track and cross country. But I was 130 lbs then and I could run for hours lol. Now I can barely run half a mile... sigh. But I almost doubled my weight... so I have an excuse? lol

  19. I do mine active cardio three times a week, 15 minutes. One is calve cardio , and the other two are interval where I get my heartrate up to 140 then bring ti down to 120 or so then repeat. It changes. I do mine after weights.

    I used to think doing this was bad for muscle, as long as you get bcaa;s in intra weights, its fine. You can separate cardio as well. I live near the strip , and I walk to stores to grocery shop, like yesterday I could have drove but a thirty minute walk was unplanned, but I got even more cardio.
    Millennium Sport Technologies Representative
    Mind and Muscle Code AM10
    Classic Physique competitor, Facebook- Great Physique Fitness, Online coaching

  20. I'm also 5 weeks out now and doing zero cardio. There's no right amsweev
    Serious Nutrition Solutions Representative

  21. I do think getting cardiovascular hit cardio is important for health benefits , even if its twice a week 10 minutes getting heart rate up to 150 . I used to not know this. Lots of health benefits
    Millennium Sport Technologies Representative
    Mind and Muscle Code AM10
    Classic Physique competitor, Facebook- Great Physique Fitness, Online coaching

  22. It hasn't been suggested yet but jump rope. Need only 10 minutes a day. Equivalent to 30 minutes of running. https://michaelwoodfitness.com/2013/09/21/850/
    I do it as part of a pretty high strung schedule to save time and my level of cardiovascular fitness is great.

  23. Quote Originally Posted by ericos_bob View Post
    It hasn't been suggested yet but jump rope. Need only 10 minutes a day. Equivalent to 30 minutes of running. https://michaelwoodfitness.com/2013/09/21/850/
    I do it as part of a pretty high strung schedule to save time and my level of cardiovascular fitness is great.
    I used to do this when I boxed. It gets heart rate for sure

    The only reason Im doing cardio right now, which Im not competing anymore this year, is to get my heartrate up to 150-160, like I did today. I did six minutes of higher hit , and some full out hit, three times in a six minute period, after chest and abs.
    Millennium Sport Technologies Representative
    Mind and Muscle Code AM10
    Classic Physique competitor, Facebook- Great Physique Fitness, Online coaching
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