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9chambers
5/21/2005 4:31pm,
I was thinking about my cardio program for this spring/summer and I have a new strategy I want to try out. Keep in mind that in addition to cardio I also do weight training one day a week for arms/core, sprints/weight training for legs one day a week, and martial arts training two or three times a week depending on my schedule. None of that effects my weight though. That's all for skill and building strength/stamina and whatnot. All I am talking about here is cardio. Just cardio. Only cardio.

* last year

Last spring I was doing one hour of cardio on four or five days a week depending on my schedule. I didn't get great results. Then, in the summer, I changed my cardio to two hours a day for three or four days a week and I started getting better results. I lost two inches around my waist by winter. This winter I kept it up for a while but slacked off in cardio because I was editing a book and everything. I kept my weight training up and my martial arts training. I sacrificed cardio for the winter because it was too cold to go outside and it took too much time. Now it's spring again and I can do all the cardio I want.. but do I really want to put so much time in for results that aren't that great anyway? I don't know. I've developed a new strategy that might work for me though. Do you think it can work okay?

* 1 hour a day for 5 days a week - no progress

See, when I was doing one hour a day -- and I kept my heartrate up to my target level -- according to all the studies it takes about 20min to a half an hour of that to start burning calories for most people so that means (if I am most people) at one hour a day for five days a week I was only burning calories for about two and a half hours a week total. That's if I am normal. For all I know, it takes me an hour to start burning calories and I wasn't burning any.

* 2 hours a day for 4 days a week - some progress

Then, when I switched to two hours a day for four days a week I was burning calories for a total of six hours a week at best. That's when I started losing weight. That was okay but not too dramatic. What if it takes me an hour to start burning calories though -- that would mean that I was only burning them for four hours during this time which though it started to work might not be that efficient for as much time as I was putting in .. that time being eight hours.

*** My new plan:

What if I started doing cardio on just two days a week for three hours -- like on Saturday and Sunday or Saturday and Monday. Two blitz cardio days a week and the rest of the week just concentrate on weight training and martial arts and whatever with no cardio.

* 3 hours for 2 days a week - [?]

I'd be burning calories for five hours a week if I start burning them after a half an hour or four hours a week if I start burning calories after an hour. That's means I'd be burning calories as much as I did in eight hours a week of cardio but I'd only be training for six hours a week of cardio. That means it would be easier to fit into my weekly schedule but I'd get the same results if not more.

* conclusion

Is this the way to go? Should I keep my weekdays free of cardio and just go for three hours at my target heartrate on two days on the weekend? Wouldn't that be a more efficient way to burn calories?

BSDaemon
5/21/2005 4:51pm,
None of that effects my weight though. That's all for skill and building strength/stamina and whatnot. All I am talking about here is cardio. Just cardio. Only cardio.
What do you do for cardio? I suggest Yoga as a good whole body cardio activity you can do any time indoors.

If you're MA training isn't getting your heart going strong... Consider why that is.

If you're working your ass off but not having success in achieving your fat loss goals... Your diet is probably the problem.

AthleticGirl
5/21/2005 5:23pm,
You seem to be focused on 'more is better,' which is the case with a lot of people. It simply is not the case that if 1 hour isn't working then maybe 2, three or 4 hours will. What you have to remember is that intensity is the most important factor and intensity and duration are inversely related, that is the longer your work out the less intense it will be.

Specifity in cardio exercise is also very important. There is very little carry over from one event to the other, that is, running will not give you much in the way of cardio for swimming, or vice versa. Same for any other events in place of those. This is important unless you are just looking for cardio for health reasons, then whatever activity you want is fine, but if you want cardio for a particular sport then that sport and related drills and exercises are what you want.

Third is duration, you want to find out how long you actually need for competition if that is the case(say a fighter has a 10 minute fight), otherwise 12-20 minutes is more than enough. Jack Lalanne was quoted as saying that doing cardio for anymore than 15 minutes is a waste of time (or something very similar).

Another issue is the number of times a week. On your schedule, once or twice will do. Overtraining effects cardio just as much as weight training. It's always better to under-do it rather than over-do it.

Now the program-High Intensity intervals-simply the best way to build cardio fitness. There are literally hundreds of ways to do it, but to start out a good time to do is 20-1:00 or 20 seconds of sprinting (for whatever activity) and 1:00 minute of rest. This will give you a base line to start with, in the upcoming weeks you will want to increase the time of the sprint portion and (up to a point) decrease the time of the rest. You can do these either for numbers of sets or for a given time, which will be nearly impossible once you get to a level to do for very long. Just remember it's the intensity that matters most.

BenwaMandelbrot
5/21/2005 6:51pm,
You seem to be focused on 'more is better,' which is the case with a lot of people. It simply is not the case that if 1 hour isn't working then maybe 2, three or 4 hours will. What you have to remember is that intensity is the most important factor and intensity and duration are inversely related, that is the longer your work out the less intense it will be.

Specifity in cardio exercise is also very important. There is very little carry over from one event to the other, that is, running will not give you much in the way of cardio for swimming, or vice versa. Same for any other events in place of those. This is important unless you are just looking for cardio for health reasons, then whatever activity you want is fine, but if you want cardio for a particular sport then that sport and related drills and exercises are what you want.
....

Now the program-High Intensity intervals-simply the best way to build cardio fitness. ...

Given the first patr of your answer, this begs the question - won't doing HIIT only make you better at doing HIIT?

9chambers
5/21/2005 8:59pm,
Bud,

>If you're MA training isn't getting your heart going strong... Consider why that is.

Because I only train for two hour sessions and some of that is drilling and practice. Think about it. Do you ever spar for two hours straight in your classes? Is it intense for the full class time. I don't think it is. Most martial arts classes I've seen (BJJ and MT included) have people standing around or paired up doing drills half the class. Do you really consider that intense cardio?

You have to stay at your target heartrate for about a half an hour before you even start burning calories. Unless you are doing bag work or jumping rope that entire time it isn't going to happen. Burning calories isn't about intensity. It is about keeping your heartrate at a certain level continuously for a long period of time. You aren't doing that if you spar for two minutes and then get back in line to wait for the other three guys to spar and then spar again for two minutes. You start over every ten minutes (resting in between) and end up burning no calories during class. If there are classes in a dojo where people are doing intense cardio for two hours straight then I've never seen them. Boxers and wrestlers do the most cardio out of just about any martial artists on the planet. You know what they do for cardio? It isn't sparring. It's jump rope, bag work, road work, calesthenics on top of their sparring and drilling. I do that stuff on my cardio days rather than wasting valuable class time on it. Class time is for skill development not aerobics.

Even professional MMA fighters don't train at full intensity for the whole time. They train four to eight hours a day but that includes drills and hitting focus pads and what have you. That stuff is important but not intense enough to burn calories. They aren't doing cardio for eight hours every day. That would be counter-productive. They wouldn't be able to hold onto their muscle mass due to catabolism. The only people who do cardio for eight hours a day straight are marathon runners. Skinny little dudes.

Look around your martial arts class. Odds are there are a few fat people in there. Why is that? Shouldn't they all be skinny if dojo training is all the cardio you'll ever need? Why is it that even though they are building endurance and muscle tone and skill through intense bursts of activity they maintain that spare tire around the middle? It's because they are training in intense and often anaerobic fashion in the dojo but not in any continuous aerobic exercise. It is short bursts of activity rather than maintaining an acceptable level of intensity for a long period of time -- something you have to do in order to burn fat.

Seriously, you can lose more weight riding a bike than kickboxing. I know it sounds wrong but it's true. Kickboxing might be better for your overall fitness level. You'll build muscle and get tone and build endurance and skill but it won't burn fat anywhere in the same ballpark as someone doing Taebo for the same amount of time. That's just the way it is. *shrug*

>What you have to remember is that intensity is the most
>important factor and intensity and duration are inversely
>related, that is the longer your work out the less intense
>it will be.

No. You are talking about weight training. That doesn't apply to cardio. We aren't talking about building muscle mass or strength here. To lose weight all you have to do is stay above your target heartrate for the duration of the session. It doesn't even matter what you do, let alone how intense it is as long as it is enough to get your blood flowing. You could ride a bike or speed walk for one hour and burn as many calories as you would running an obstacle course for an hour. Intensity has almost nothing to do with burning fat.

>running will not give you much in the way of cardio for swimming

We are not talking about building endurance, mass or strength. We are talking about losing weight. That means burning calories. If you have a super intense workout for 20 minutes every day you will not burn any calories. If you have an even moderate intensity routine for an hour then you might burn some. It's about continuous activity at above the target heartrate.

>Jack Lalanne was quoted as saying that doing cardio for anymore
>than 15 minutes is a waste of time (or something very similar).

I seriously doubt he ever said that. If he did he was drunk at the time. Prove it. Better yet, show me where someone using techniques from the past two decades said that. Jack was popular in the 1950s but I really don't see a lot of people praising him these days. I just see his infomercial once in a while. If Jack is your guru when it comes to cardio then you need to update your program just a little bit.

* Some links on cardio intensity, target heartrates and burning fat:

http://www.weightlossforall.com/exercise-best-way.htm
http://www.weightlossforall.com/exercise-best-aerobic.htm
http://www.primusweb.com/fitnesspartner/library/weight/win01.htm
http://www.heartmonitors.com/heart_rate_basics.htm

BSDaemon
5/21/2005 9:57pm,
You have to stay at your target heartrate for about a half an hour before you even start burning calories.
Wrong. You burn calories any time you move.... You even burn calories sitting still. Maybe you meant to say burning fat?


You aren't doing that if you spar for two minutes and then get back in line to wait for the other three guys to spar and then spar again for two minutes. You start over every ten minutes (resting in between) and end up burning no calories during class.
So you spar 2 minutes then rest 8? That is WAY too much rest. At my dojo's Kickboxing classes sparring is a continuous thing and you only get seconds of rest when you rotate partners. Maybe you could shadowbox, skip rope, do BWE’s or something to keep active instead of sitting around?

If there are classes in a dojo where people are doing intense cardio for two hours straight then I've never seen them. Seriously, quit giving me that BS.
At my school we roll almost non-stop... By the end you’ve either quit or you are completely exhausted. It is a hell of a workout.

Even professional MMA fighters don't train like that. They train eight hours a day but that includes drills and hitting focus pads and what have you.
No fighter trains eight hours a day... Don’t buy the bullshit ken shamrock pro-fighter propaganda. It’s just not humanly possible unless your training methods are extremely wimpy.

Look around your martial arts class. Odds are there are a few fat people in there. Shouldn't they all be skinny if dojo training is all the cardio you'll ever need?
I NEVER suggested that. Yes there are some fat out of shape people at my dojo. They gas out, tap out, and quit early. The shape they’re in holds them back from performing well in class. It’s a demanding workout; if you’re not challenged by it... you’re in extremely good shape.

You are talking about weight training. That doesn't apply to cardio.
ST and Cardio are not mutually exclusive. Your hear pumps the blood that makes your muscles do work. If your not getting a good cardio workout from your ST you need to revamp it as well.

We are talking about losing weight.
I thought we were talking about a cardio program? Cardio and fat loss are not the same thing.

You can burn calories until your heart explodes and not shed a pound of fat unless you eat right. What is your diet?

BTW: I’m currently pushing my training to the max while on a reduced calorie diet... I’ve lost seven pounds in the last month. Check out the last couple pages of my training log for details.

Hannibal
5/21/2005 10:15pm,
Huh ?

9Chambers.
Let me understand this correctly. Your martial arts training is kickboxing and wrestling. I assume you get a good workout from that.

Yet on top of regular martial arts training you do cardio workouts for 2hours a day and you weights at the gym aswell. How can you find time for all of that ? Thats alot of training. Firstly, thats a good way to burn out. Secondly, you must not have a demanding day job. No one can train that much all the time and still be able to perform at work.

Lights Out
5/21/2005 10:16pm,
9chambers, due to the amount of work you´re doing right now (not counting that extra cardio) you should be getting enough to lose fat, unless there is something with your diet. I´m siding with Bud shi Dist on this.

And I don´t know what kind of drilling you do that doesn´t give you a good workout.

Equipoise
5/21/2005 10:49pm,
Hmm, I have to agree with the troll on this one. More is definitely not better.

If you're up for trying something new, do what I do with the 5/6 day split focusing on 80%+ of your 1rm with a system of 10x3 total for lifting. Such as 5x3 Flat Bench, 5x3 DB Bench and the supplement it with a 5x3 of tri pull downs, etc. I don't do ANY cardio and I had to take a physical standards test last week. I ran a 550 in 1:28, a 1 1/2 mile in 11:30, did 76 pushups in a minute and then 50 situps in a minute. Remember I just do basically HIIT training with a focus more on the Waterbury methods of high weight, lower repetitions for the maximum recruitment of FB and FOG fibers.

Main point is, don't over do it. It'll hurt you more than help. When I was doing an 8x3 in for 3-4 lifts at one time, it was hindering my progress rather than helping it. Same goes for the aerobic training.

AthleticGirl
5/21/2005 10:51pm,
If you are talking about losing weight then it's all about diet. Cardio is nearly a non issue due to how few calories are actually spent, not to mention the time investment. Losing weight is 99% diet, that's why you have fat people in the sports/activities you mentioned. Cardio only adds a fraction to the equation.

BSDaemon
5/21/2005 11:00pm,
Absolutely!

No processed sugar. Only low glycemic index fruits.
No bleached flower. Only whole grains.
Stay away from hydrogenated oils.... Very difficult.
Only skim milk. High fiber veggies.
Small portions but many of them.... seven meals a day.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Hydration is critical.
Don't skip meals, you will get hypoglycemia.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
5/21/2005 11:00pm,
If you are talking about losing weight then it's all about diet. Cardio is nearly a non issue due to how few calories are actually spent, not to mention the time investment. Losing weight is 99% diet, that's why you have fat people in the sports/activities you mentioned. Cardio only adds a fraction to the equation.

Is that why the people who are in the best shape are the ones that eat like pigs and sweat like dogs?

AthleticGirl
5/21/2005 11:42pm,
Given the first patr of your answer, this begs the question - won't doing HIIT only make you better at doing HIIT?

Not at all. HIIT isn't running, cycling, swimming, etc. It is a protocal for Cardio endurance training. It can be used with any 'event'. It is the event that is specific in cardio, not the protocal.

9chambers
5/22/2005 1:21am,
Bud Shi Dist

>Maybe you meant to say burning fat?

Yea. Sorry.

>So you spar 2 minutes then rest 8?

I was being hypothetical. Most dojos don't spar for extended periods of time. I used to get together with friends and spar for hours on end but it's not like you are in constant motion al the time. I know that boxing and kickboxing are considered more anaerobic than aerobic due to the short bursts of moevement rather than continuous effort. Wrestling and BJJ might be considered more aerobic, yea. Still, if it takes you two hours to tap someone then maybe you need to spend more time doing drills. :P

>At my school we roll almost non-stop...

Your teacher never lectures or goes through moves with the class? You never do technique drills? You just roll non-stop with no coaching or instruction? When I pay for a class I want to learn new things sometimes. You roll around applying the same old stuff over and over for practice during sparring but some of the class has to be devoted to instruction or at least coaching, right?

>If your not getting a good cardio workout from your ST you need to revamp it as well.

I sweat when I lift but I don't really pay attention to my heartrate. I just do my sets and have fun. I'm sure it works the heart but I am not expecting to burn fat when I lift weights unless I am doing circuit training.

>Cardio and fat loss are not the same thing.

Well, fat loss is what I want. I have endurance. I just want to get rid of these nagging inches around my middle. I hate it. I want to saw it off! Argh! .. um, *cough* .. sorry.

>You can burn calories until your heart explodes and
>not shed a pound of fat unless you eat right. What
>is your diet?

I don't have a specific diet.

>Check out the last couple pages of my
>training log for details.

cool

Hannibal,

>Yet on top of regular martial arts training you do cardio
>workouts for 2hours a day and you weights at the gym
>as well. How can you find time for all of that ? Thats alot
>of training.

I am not doing my cardio right now. I didn't have time to keep it up all winter. I am doing my weight training, sprints, and MA training. Total that is 6 hours a week. I am trying to fit my cardio back in and I want to be able to get the most out of the least time possible. I am thinking one three hour day for now. Two three hour days would be awesome. I might do that until I get to my desired weight and then eliminate one day.

I really want to get rid of these last few pounds. I'll sacrifice MA training for a while here and there if I don't have time for both. I hate being overweight. It effects everything. I'm about ten pounds over what I should be. It sucks.

>Secondly, you must not have a demanding day job.

I have a demanding job, it just isn't set on traditional hours. I take care of my parents 40 hours a week plus. That's my job right now and it's five hours here, one hour there, a half hour here, etc. I also help my dad write a weekly column and stuff like that. I am still waiting for the fire department to have their next testing. If I get on there I will have time to train both at work and at home. That will be a cool job.

Anyway, I have time in between everything right now for an hour or two of training. I don't get it done every week. I try. I am not saying I train constantly. This is my agenda. I miss days here and there. I am concictant with my weight training since it's once a week and everything else revolves around that. I get most of it done most of the time because my weird schedule with my parents keeps me from ever seeing my friends and I don't have a girlfriend.

I'm not trying to sound like super-man here. I'm not. I don't train any more than the average guy. I'm just trying to find a cardio schedule that will allow me to burn the most fat possible in the least hours per week. *shrug*

AthleticGirl
5/22/2005 1:37am,
Once again, it's all about diet when it comes to weight loss, there's no two ways about it. You could do cardio 24-7 and not lose a pound if your diet isn't on.

9chambers
5/22/2005 1:51am,
AkiraMusashi

>If you're up for trying something new, do what I do with the 5/6 day split
>focusing on 80%+ of your 1rm with a system of 10x3 total for lifting.

Whoa.. math..

>Such as 5x3 Flat Bench, 5x3 DB Bench and the supplement
>it with a 5x3 of tri pull downs, etc. I don't do ANY cardio and
>I had to take a physical standards test last week. I ran a 550 in
>1:28, a 1 1/2 mile in 11:30, did 76 pushups in a minute and then
>50 situps in a minute.

So, you are saying to do 80% of my max for 3 sets of 5 on two major lifts and another one or two minor lifts? How many days a week are you talking about? How many days would I do this? 5 days on and 6 days off?

>Main point is, don't over do it. It'll hurt you more than help.
>When I was doing an 8x3 in for 3-4 lifts at one time, it was
>hindering my progress rather than helping it. Same goes for
>the aerobic training.

Wait .. okay, my lifting program typically looks like this. I do weights for arms/core once a week and sprints/lifts for legs once a week. These are typical arms/core routines I do:

* Example 1

dips 3x30
bent over rows 3 sets of 5
upright rows 3 sets of 8
arnold press 3 sets of 5
stick crunches 1 set of 40
bicycle kicks 1 set of 100
stretch

* Example 2

snatch 3 sets of 5
bench press 3 sets of 6
hammer curls 3 sets of 6
concentration curls 3 sets of 8
v-ups 3 sets of 20
crunches 1 set of 200
stretch

* Example 3

pull-ups 4 sets of 15
bent over rows 2 sets of ten, 2 sets of 5
arnold press 3 sets of 5
bench db butterflies 3 sets of 6
stick crunches 1 set of 40
bicycle kicks 1 set of 100
stretch


* Example 4

racoon pull-ups 4 sets of 15
db rows 3 sets of 5
cable rows 3 sets of 8
lat pull 3 sets of 8
crunches 1 set of 200
bicycle kicks 1 set of 100
stretch

I try to mix it up every week but usually there are some rows involved. I want to focus on my lats and back with triceps being second in priority and then biceps and chest.

You are the expert on weight training. Does my routine suck? Should I be doing less reps or more reps? Should I be splitting up arms and core training, and training twice a week for upper body? I've heard so many things that I am confused. My questions are these:

1. What is the best way to build strength while also building mass during upper body weight training?
2. What is the best way to burn fat with cardio, period?
3. How can I get the most out of my fat burning cardio with the least investment in time?

My martial arts training is going fine. I don't need advice there. My sprinting is fun and I like it. No problem there. I've added weight training to that day. I do two exercises when I get home from the track. Usually: snatch and db squats (or hack squats, I don't have a spotter) or deadlift and leg press. My big questions are: how to lose this fat and whether or not my upper body weight training makes sense.