How much cardio is too much?

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    Cool How much cardio is too much?


    Hey guys im new to this site as well as body building I was wondering how much cardio to do a week if i am strengh training 5 times a week and trying to get very lean

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    hard to answer without knowing more information about you.

    It will end up being different for everyone, but if you are just starting maybe start with 3 sessions and work your way up
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    I agree with the above poster that it definatly depends. I know guys that can do cardio for hours only to lose a few ounces. I know for a fact that i am actually leaner when i do less cardio. I waste away when i do to much. Your going to have to find out what works best for you. As a general protocol i would start at 20 minutes and work your way up to a half hour. See what your results are and adjust based on that.
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    Real men don't need cardio.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReaperX View Post
    Real men don't need cardio.
    I guess theres a bunch of prior Mr Universes and Arnold Classic winners that aren't real men then.

    Anywho, i've worked my way now up to 1/2 hour cardio on strength days (after strength workout) and an hour to hour and a half non workout days. Its probably too much cardio, but i have a target i'm going to hit by beginning of august.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReaperX View Post
    Real men don't need cardio.
    haha, I'll assume you're being sarcastic...

    I enjoy being able to run 3 miles and then still lift more that rest of the "men" in my gym.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReaperX View Post
    Real men don't need cardio.
    yeah real men just need heart attacks and strokes. J/J
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    Quote Originally Posted by riseboi View Post
    haha, I'll assume you're being sarcastic...

    I enjoy being able to run 3 miles and then still lift more that rest of the "men" in my gym.
    i love my cardio strength also. the feeling after a 5 mile run up a mountain is incredible
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    yeah, I hope he is kidding, but then again he is a noob....

    Its tuff to gague and it depends on your overall goals. If you just want to stay lean/keep strength, a decent 30-45mins session 3-4x/wk should be good. If your trying to gain mass, thats another story....like 20mins 1-2times a week/Max.
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    I would recommend not doing cardio on back to back days. if you are lifting 5 days a week. you might only have one day for cardio. make sure you have at least one rest day. I dont do cardio and weights on the same day. its hard to build muscle and lose fat on the same days.
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    when u start losing more than 2 pounds a week, either slow the cardio or up the cals. I was always told more than 2 pounds a week is more muscle burning than fat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wastedwhiteboy2 View Post
    I would recommend not doing cardio on back to back days. if you are lifting 5 days a week. you might only have one day for cardio. make sure you have at least one rest day. I dont do cardio and weights on the same day. its hard to build muscle and lose fat on the same days.
    I think it really depends on the person. If you are an endomorph taking in 6g of CLA, 6g of HMB, doing a CKD and staying at 1g protein/lb of LBM, why wouldn't you be able to loose fat and gain LBM at the same time? I'm not advocating that it is the right thing for everyone, but its working well for me. I may very well be able to build more lean body mass faster if I wasn't trying to loose the fat at the same time, but the goals I set are what I set. I'm only doing it this way because I signed up for the Body For Life challenge and had a lot to accomplish in the 12 weeks. I'm sure next cycle i'm going to go with light weight gain in hard workouts (plus light cardio) from weeks 1-8 and combo cardio and weights the last 4 weeks to lean out again. I'm doing this as much for overall fitness as for size. It would be nice to be able to do a 5k run for charity or something like that.
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    Cardio immediately after weight training is actually an ideal situation for buring fat.
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    I used to believe that you had to be real careful about burining muscle by doing too much cardio.

    I now know better for myself. I REALLY increased by BCAA intake along with some more carbs and can now do quite a bit of cardio and still maintain the muscle.

    By quite a bit I mean over 20 hours a week at a high intensity. Not saying you need this much (I do triathlons)just saying don't be afraid of doing alot of cardio BUT if it were me I would keep my BCAAs at a high level along with protein.

    I have also found that by doing just one weight workout per week I can maintain both my strength and size. Don't buy into all of the old school info because it just isn't true IMO


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    I have also found that by doing just one weight workout per week I can maintain both my strength and size. Don't buy into all of the old school info because it just isn't true IMO
    Yeah the 'no cardio for weightlifters' myth is such a load of BS and it just WONT die. Being in great cardiovascular health actually improves your performance in the gym and your overall physical health as well.

    In truth, I think doing over 60 minutes of cardio at time can have a negative impact on your anabolic goals - but like Crowler said account for it through diet and you'll be fine.

    BV
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVrunga View Post
    Cardio immediately after weight training is actually an ideal situation for buring fat.
    I agree! I used to think that cardio shouldn't be done after weight training. These days, I do 30 minutes of cardio after lifting almost every time. Then I'll do up to an hour of total cardio on non-lifting days. I had to work up to that much over the past year or so, but it is really a great thing for staying lean and just for overall health.

    For young hard-gainers just starting out, though, I'd just stick to doing cardio on non-lifting days.
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    From the Body for Life site
    Body-for-LIFE Cardio Sample Workout
    Cardio workouts are indispensable to an effective training program and general good health. By definition, cardio workouts can be any exercise—jogging, running, biking, swimming, elliptical machine, stairs, even jumping rope—that raises and maintains your heart rate over a predetermined amount of time. By doing so, you strengthen your heart and lungs and lower your resting heart rate, which means that over time the same effort that produced a 10-minute mile will produce a 9-minute mile. Cardio workouts burn fat. And cardio fitness is what gives you endurance and the ability to persist in sports and in life.
    The bolding is mine.
    So for instance doing ANY excersize, including powerlifting could be cardio if its done for a certain amount of time, and the goal is heart rate based, rather than necessarily weight based. BB.com has one I'm thinking about trying

    Bodybuilding.com - Mike Mahler - High Repetition Clean And Jerks: Intense Cardio For Serious Athletes!

    high rep high speed clean and jerks. kill 2 birds with one stone, some amount of strength workout with some amount of cardio.
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    I love running sprints as much as lifting.I recomend to keep cardio days seperate,and not after leg day .I find sprints much more effective in burning fat and saving muscle.Done properly with a heart rate monitor 20 mins max is all you need.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVrunga View Post
    Cardio immediately after weight training is actually an ideal situation for buring fat.
    And muscle
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    Can't say I agree.

    I do my weight workout on Mondays followed by a 50 mile bike ride then a 3 mile run and have not burned any muscle.


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    Quote Originally Posted by CROWLER View Post
    Can't say I agree.

    I do my weight workout on Mondays followed by a 50 mile bike ride then a 3 mile run and have not burned any muscle.


    CROWLER
    Are anabolics involved??
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    As long as you have proper nutrition, fat will be burned and, sometimes, you can add muscle. When I started my journey from 210 to 185, I ran sprints 3x/wk and lifted 5x/wk and actually got stronger. Monitoring strength levels is the easiest way to tell whether or not your diet/training is where it needs to be..
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    Quote Originally Posted by TripDog View Post
    Are anabolics involved??
    Nope

    BCAAs 50 grams a day another 150 grams of protein from food and another 150 grams of protein from protein powder. A total of 5000 cals a day the rest is mostly complex carbs and healthy fats.

    I doubt I could gain muscle on this schedule of so much cardio but then again I didn't think I could maintain muscle with this much cardio so who knows. I will find out this winter when I try to put on some muscle.


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    I agree! I used to think that cardio shouldn't be done after weight training. These days, I do 30 minutes of cardio after lifting almost every time. Then I'll do up to an hour of total cardio on non-lifting days. I had to work up to that much over the past year or so, but it is really a great thing for staying lean and just for overall health.

    For young hard-gainers just starting out, though, I'd just stick to doing cardio on non-lifting days.
    If you're a real 'hard gainer' then yeah, minimizing that kind of aerobic activity may help gain weight, but at what expense? Adding extra calories to cover the calories burned from that post workout 20 minute session should be enough to keep the body in an anabolic state.

    I love running sprints as much as lifting.I recomend to keep cardio days seperate,and not after leg day .I find sprints much more effective in burning fat and saving muscle.Done properly with a heart rate monitor 20 mins max is all you need.
    Tom Platz would ride his bike 20+ miles after his leg workout...I find that light cardio after leg training actually helps alleviate DOMS. You're right about sprints being great for anabolism and fat burning...

    I suppose the point Im trying to make is - if 20 minutes of cardio a few days a week is causing you to 'lose muscle', then you're doing something else wrong. Id like someone to explain to me the mechanism behind this muscle loss...
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    One of the most influential articles I have ever read was over at M&M by Loki about sprints and their impact of the physique. Although not true "cardio," HIIT are very effective and help with nutrient repartitioning and GH levels, plus their effect EPOC and metabolism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVrunga View Post
    If you're a real 'hard gainer' then yeah, minimizing that kind of aerobic activity may help gain weight, but at what expense? Adding extra calories to cover the calories burned from that post workout 20 minute session should be enough to keep the body in an anabolic state.



    Tom Platz would ride his bike 20+ miles after his leg workout...I find that light cardio after leg training actually helps alleviate DOMS. You're right about sprints being great for anabolism and fat burning...

    I suppose the point Im trying to make is - if 20 minutes of cardio a few days a week is causing you to 'lose muscle', then you're doing something else wrong. Id like someone to explain to me the mechanism behind this muscle loss...
    ?????? i never said i was loosing muscle from 20 min cardio sessions......
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    Quote Originally Posted by TripDog View Post
    ?????? i never said i was loosing muscle from 20 min cardio sessions......
    BV was talking about the whole "cardio burns muscle" myth, he wasn't saying that you said that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    BV was talking about the whole "cardio burns muscle" myth, he wasn't saying that you said that.
    ahhhhh,............good post on the sprints
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    Quote Originally Posted by TripDog View Post
    ahhhhh,............good post on the sprints
    I do what I can...
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    Quote Originally Posted by CROWLER View Post
    Nope

    BCAAs 50 grams a day another 150 grams of protein from food and another 150 grams of protein from protein powder. A total of 5000 cals a day the rest is mostly complex carbs and healthy fats.

    I doubt I could gain muscle on this schedule of so much cardio but then again I didn't think I could maintain muscle with this much cardio so who knows. I will find out this winter when I try to put on some muscle.


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    sweet...Good luck this winter
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    Quote Originally Posted by TripDog View Post
    ?????? i never said i was loosing muscle from 20 min cardio sessions......
    Yeah sorry man should have been more specific - I wasnt quoting you there...
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVrunga View Post
    Yeah sorry man should have been more specific - I wasnt quoting you there...
    well i guess i can put away the voodoo doll of you i was making
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    well i guess i can put away the voodoo doll of you i was making
    Aw man that was my idea...I had him on a treadmill and everything
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    So guys, can we get a consensus on what someone bulking and training for strength could be safe to do cardio wise? Not to loose fat, more so just to have better conditioning and heart health.

    Like what is the most cardio I could probably get away with, without impacting my muscle / strength gains?


    I just want to get my heart back into good shape and keep my awesome gains coming....

    So like 20mins 3x a week after lifting? Suggestions??

    no anabolics involved btw
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    So guys, can we get a consensus on what someone bulking and training for strength could be safe to do cardio wise? Not to loose fat, more so just to have better conditioning and heart health.

    Like what is the most cardio I could probably get away with, without impacting my muscle / strength gains?


    I just want to get my heart back into good shape and keep my awesome gains coming....

    So like 20mins 3x a week after lifting? Suggestions??

    no anabolics involved btw
    I think 20 min 3x a week is a good idea when you're eating big and training hard for strength and size. I'll usually warm up with a 10 min cardio session and then hit 20 min 2-3 times a week. It helps keep the fat off, and also provides for greater recovery, less risk of injury, and most of all keeps your heart in good shape.

    Ive read that anything over an hour can starrt leading to catabolism for a bodybuilder, especially while dieting for fat loss. Personally, I dont like to go over 30 minutes.

    BV
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigCasino View Post
    So guys, can we get a consensus on what someone bulking and training for strength could be safe to do cardio wise? Not to loose fat, more so just to have better conditioning and heart health.

    Like what is the most cardio I could probably get away with, without impacting my muscle / strength gains?


    I just want to get my heart back into good shape and keep my awesome gains coming....

    So like 20mins 3x a week after lifting? Suggestions??

    no anabolics involved btw
    Its largely dependent on your body type. I'm doing crazy amounts of cardio on a restrictive diet, and still gaining lean muscle mass without prohormones or steroids. But I've always been an endomorph, so I'm just lucky that way (it didn't feel lucky when I was at 245# at 40% bf).

    The above sounds reasonable, but the real answer would be to wear a heart rate monitore during your lifting. if your heart rate is already in the zone while lifting, and fluctuates up and down in that zone, well heck then you are already doing cardio I'd say a level of cardio that you don't feel strained during shouldnt impact muscle building at all.

    Given your age, i'd say any half hour of cardio where your heart rate is between 110-125 shouldn't impact muscle building at all. And mind you that 125 is PEAK. Starting to get much higher than that and you increase the odds of protein used for energy. If you are of average fitness though, just a light walk should put you there, so just stroll around after your lifting

    The other thing is making sure to take enough CLA, HMB, ZMA + chromium. Those are all the supps with the strongest evidence of fat burining support. Maybe yohimbine and forskolin too

    I do the Body for Life strength routine, and even during the 2-4 minute rest between muscle groups, my pulse never drops below 120. During the most intense portions of leg workout segments i've seen my pulse hit 170. I never would have realized that my 45 min of strength training was cardiovascular too if i wouldnt have used the heart rate monitor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVrunga View Post
    I think 20 min 3x a week is a good idea when you're eating big and training hard for strength and size. I'll usually warm up with a 10 min cardio session and then hit 20 min 2-3 times a week. It helps keep the fat off, and also provides for greater recovery, less risk of injury, and most of all keeps your heart in good shape.

    Ive read that anything over an hour can starrt leading to catabolism for a bodybuilder, especially while dieting for fat loss. Personally, I dont like to go over 30 minutes.

    BV
    how long do you guys lift weights? I lift for an hour and 20 min of cardio afterwards I would be too much for me. I agree with anything over an hour gets catabolic. I think loading the muscles with glycogen to build muscle defeats burning fat and depleting glycogen from muscles to burn fat defeats building muscle. I think cardio for weightlifters is a good idea. I need very little cardio (ex cross country and track runner) I also think when you do the cardio makes a difference.

    what is the body type and experience of the person we are trying to help?
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    As far as I'm concerned, as long as you're not destroying tendons and joints doing it running on concrete or tarmac, you can never DO TOO much cardio. The way I've been taught, is that cardio is never muscle starving unless you're not feeding yourself or your muscles enough. If the point of cardio is just for heart health, do an hour of cardio.

    Except to the point that you're hurting your recovery time. If you're so sore from doing cardio that you're not recovering to lift, then it's seriously detrimental.

    But if you're consuming plenty of calories and carbs, I don't know of any reason why cardio would hurt your ability to gain size. Now I may be completely wrong, and a nutter, but I've never had problems gaining mass while busting my chops on the elliptical for an hour a day. But then again I was consuming 5-6k calories and a truckload and a half of protein (4-5 burgers for lunch anyone?).

    But I burnt off all of those fat ass calories in the gym everyday. I was poor in college, and the all you can eat at the college cafe was the cheapest protein source in town.
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