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~To Cardio or NOT to cardio: That is the question!~

Discussion in 'Fat Loss/Cutting' started by aimforcute, May 15, 2011.

  1. aimforcute

    aimforcute Active Member

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    Simple question really, for a weight loss plan (cut), should I be doing cardio (at the very least on non lift days)?

    I noticed John Stone did cardio almost daily and saw rapid success (double of my current pace :mad:). As long as I eat high protein and lift hard (on lift days), will cardio benefit me? Is it specific from person to person?

    Am I just getting greedy? lol :jumping:

    Here's my diet (general overview)

    [​IMG]
    Higher calories and protein on lift days. Other for non-lift days.

    And a little about my progress for further background information if needed at : http://forums.johnstonefitness.com/showthread.php?p=853429#post853429
     
  2. xygote

    xygote Active Member

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    So to clarify, you are pondering whether
    "tis nobler in the mind to suffer the sweaty gasping of outrageous heart-rates,
    or to take arms against a room of olympic weights,
    and by your supersets? to gain hypertrophy: to increase LBM;"

    (sorry, your thread title was just begging for that lol)

    I won't presume to comment on the specifics of your nutrition (there are others here far more knowledgeable than I am). I will however add that as long as you are using an effective workout routine, and taking in enough calories with the "right macros", you are on the right track.
    The rest just takes time. Everyone's body responds slightly differently, so the only honest comparison you can make in your fitness progress is with with yourself.
    Keep at it, be as consistent as you can manage, and find a way to pick yourself back up when you "fall off the wagon" (because you probably will at some point to some degree). Some think of it as an endurance race, some a lifestyle change, either way, it takes time

    Besides, the only way to sped things up beyond what your body is ultimately capable of is withe the 3 month supply of little magic pills sold at www.we'lltakeallyourmoneyandpromiseyouamiraclethatwillneverhappenbutifyouwantyourmoneybackwecanblameyoufornotfollowingthedirectionsproperlybecausethereisnorealscientificevidencesupportingyourclaims.com

    (sorry, I'm at it again) But I'm sure someone will pop by to give real feedback on your diet... great progress by the way, keep up the good work.
     
  3. aimforcute

    aimforcute Active Member

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    LOL! Very nice!

    Yea, I see John Stone's progress rates and I just think to myself, "What can I do to improve?" The obvious difference I can see is the absence of cardio in my routine. However, too often I hear that cardio will only burn off muscle and possibly create another plateau. Inquiring minds want to know!
     
  4. FatLenny

    FatLenny Active Member

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    Cardio is not a bad thing, depending on how you do it. If you are doing some long distance runs or just taking on a long time frame, your body will end up needing to convert your muscle into energy. That isn't good. If you decide to do traditional cardio, make sure you are getting enough protein (it looks like you are) and enough rest. You may want to consider separating your weight training and cardio by a few hours.

    My personal opinion would be to turn your resistance training into a cardio workout. All you would need to do is shorten your rest intervals between your lifts. If you normally rest for 2 minutes between sets, shorten it to 90 seconds. You can easily adjust the rest interval after any workout to make sure you maximize the cardio aspect of it.

    You may need to lower some of your weights at some point depending on how short you want your rest breaks to be and how much you want your work to be cardio based. I like the control that adjusting rest intervals gives, because you can tweak things quickly on any given day. Just be sure to track your results.

    :)
     
  5. Zilla

    Zilla Well-Known Member

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    While I admit that I don't read John's blog very often, I'm almost willing to bet that his diet doesn't consist of hotdogs on a regular basis.

    As for whether to do cardio or not, if there is some form of cardio you enjoy doing, then do it. If you're that worried about muscle loss, then do it on your days that you don't lift. If that doesn't make you happy, lift in the morning, then do cardio at night. The third option is to skip the traditional cardio and use shorter rest periods between sets as it has already been suggested. Lifting this way turns the workout into more of a endurance lift which burns more calories.

    With that being said, since you read John's blog, I'd suggest you take a few notes on his eating habits and make some of them your own.
     
  6. Chopaholic

    Chopaholic Well-Known Member

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    Hee. That's popped into my mind, too. :nod:

    There are a gamillion ways to combine (or not combine) different tools to meet your goals. My advice would be to engage what you love, as this is a long-term event.
     
  7. aimforcute

    aimforcute Active Member

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    They are not your traditional "Farmer Johns" hot dogs. They are kosher organic variety from Trader Joe's.Very very low calories and fat with decent protein. It's a nice injection of protein with low calories to fit in. I mean, he had Pizza in his diet (John Stone). To each his own.

    My main concern is this, I do not want to plateau. If I do add cardio, will this "speedup" the process. I would go with the general consensus on this one!

    I do not care about what pain or adversity I need to overcome in order to reach my goals. I've been at this for over a year, I will never give up or go back to a lazy lifestyle. I am a stubborn guy when I make a goal for myself. I will not stop until I reach it!
     
  8. Irons

    Irons Well-Known Member

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    I personaly do cardio on off days, but thats just because I want to get well better at running and less out of breath, not sure wheter or not it speeds up much or not really, but I feel that since I started adding more cardio (20-25min) on offday mornings my weight has been dropping quicker..
     
  9. Zilla

    Zilla Well-Known Member

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    :lol:

    Okay, well then use your stubborness and eat a better diet which was the whole point. Eating well makes up about 80% of effective fat loss. Your body will respond and eventually demand cleaner food as you progress.

    Just because people eat organic potato chips, that doesn't mean they won't end up becoming a lard butt after using the bag of chips as a feed bag night after night while sitting in front of the TV. Anybody that shops at Whole Foods knows the people I'm talking about. Not a veggie to be found in their cart, but they'll load up on all the "healthy" junkfood and you know what, they look it.

    Garbage in, garbage out....
     
  10. jbivens

    jbivens Active Member

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    Totally depends on your approach to lifting, in my opinion. If you are lifting with intensity, your heart will race and you will get the cardiovascular workout you are looking for. I know you said that you do not want to plateau, have you yet? If you haven't yet plateaud, why change anything? Aram's plan for me included no cardio at the beginning. One of the reasons is that if you go with all out weight training AND cardio, when you plateau, what will you add? When he started to see plateaus or wanted to jump start something, he added it in. It's a trump card for when progress stalls.

    Cardio can't hurt you. It is great for your heart. And it will help you shed some fat. Just make sure you are timing it correctly to avoid it affecting your weight training and that your body is properly fed.

    So in conclusion, if you want to add cardio, go ahead. See what it does. I wouldn't though. I would wait until you hit the point of plateauing in fat loss.
     
  11. xygote

    xygote Active Member

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    Keep in mind, when people see "hot dog", they have a hard time getting away from the typical
    (from fitday)
    calories 176 fat: 14.99g carb 2.4g protein 7.6g ... salt 711mg :eek:

    not what you have showing as:
    calories 80 fat: 2g carb 6g protein 12g no mention of salt?

    If your "hot dogs" really are what you have listed the macros for, they might actually be healthy, but generally the less processed a food is, the better it is for you.
    Why is this such an issue? Well you are looking to "optimize" your weight loss. That means looking closely at EVERYTHING, and eliminating as many of those little compromises we all make between practical and optimal as possible.

    I know you were originally asking about feedback on doing cardio in addition to your lifting, but keep in mind that diet trumps exercise. (you can screw up an absolutely perfect exercise regimen with a crappy diet, while the perfect diet is still the perfect diet even if your exercises are just a waste of time)
     
  12. aimforcute

    aimforcute Active Member

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    I don't know why you're getting so hanged up over the hot dog thing. Replace it with 1 egg if you want more traditional sounding foods. I'm not saying "organic chocolate sundae". Your potato chip analogy does not fit.
     
  13. aimforcute

    aimforcute Active Member

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    This is the answer I was looking for. Makes perfect sense. Thank you.
     
  14. jbivens

    jbivens Active Member

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    Glad I could help. Good luck and keep us posted on your results.
     
  15. CharlesDance

    CharlesDance Member

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    Just to throw in my opinion:

    I started training with Mastover a little over a week and a half ago. I won't divulge any details of the training really, but one of the tenants has been recomping without the use of cardio. I'm losing weight and inches so far only rigorous weight lifting and diet alone, no cardio yet.

    I went to the park and walked 2 miles yesterday because it was nice out, but I would hardly call that cardio, as it was a pretty lax speed, and my heart rate didn't get high at all.

    I think if you want to do cardio just for the hell of cardio, it's fine, but the least amount of cardio you can do, and still lose bf/gain muscle, the better you will look in the long run. More cardio will probably accelerate fat loss at a higher level, but depending on how much you do can probably affect your recovery time and gains of muscle.

    I personally am saving cardio for if I hit any sticking points in my progress, and if I do end up using it, it will be something minimal like 2-3 times a week tops. Not to mention, I hate cardio more than dieting or anything. I have horrible shin splints if I try and run anywhere, and its just a new level of boring.
     
  16. Irons

    Irons Well-Known Member

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    This is basicly what I did to, when I hit my first plateu this time I started running more (I'we added 10min twice a week before, now I do 25min 3-4 times a week). and it's hellped, when I hit my next plateu I'm taking a week of from the gym to rest and eat more before starting with just weights again.

    Also the shin pain and boredome I had in the start, those are gone and I'we actually started to like it, this hit me only a week ago after 15min of running I was completly zoned out, my breating had become stable and deep and it was almost like a epiphany :P
     
  17. That_Muscle_Guy

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    To be honest it's all about how your body reacts to the diet.

    Everyone's body is different, to some people cardio is absolutely necessary in the process of losing weight and there are others that don't have to do any type of cardio activity and still have rapid fat loss.

    The best advice that I can give you is that you should test how your body reacts if you cut out cardio. If you find that you are still losing the amount of fat that you want to when not going cardio then of course you can stop doing cardio altogether and keep shedding pounds.

    But, then again cardio does of many advantages if it is applied, outside of just burning calories.
     
  18. RyanTheOne11

    RyanTheOne11 Member

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    I think cardio is always important to have somewhere in your routine ...even if you are trying to gain weight such as my self. Cardio work outs are good for your health all around and will really help strengthen your heart. You gotta remember that your heart needs to be in shape as well!
     
  19. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    First you have to define the "cardio" you are envisioning....because there are all sorts of types of cardio.

    To many, "cardio" is getting on the treadmill or the bike or eliptical for a sustained drawn-out session.

    This will burn calories and raise heart-rate allright.

    But IMO it won't do a hell of a lot for muscle.

    I do short intense sessions of bike, eliptical or treadmill.

    I combine this with quite a few forms and routines of circuit training.
    I have many "eclectic' routines which are a combo of several styles/forms of moving weight.

    As a matter of fact I could do these routines without the bike,eliptical and/or treadmill....and my heart rate would still be as high.

    And.....I get the benefit of all-over muscle strength and conditioning as well.

    Straight bodybuilding and powerlifting do work the heart.....but in a different way than bona-fide cardio.

    People that do not like doing cardio will say to not do cardio.

    Depends on your overall goal IMO.

    In terms of getting fit......anything is better than doing nothing.

    We aren't all going to be ending up as pro-bodybuilders or powerlifters....but we can all definitely get our fitness thing going by getting active.
     
  20. spatzcat_11

    spatzcat_11 Active Member

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    Why has nobody mentioned HIIT?> IMO, perfect for fat loss. do 15 minutes of HIIT on your off lifting days.

    and hot dogs? NO! avoid processed foods.
     

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