Which is the better? Greater frequency or greater duration?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 04, 2008 7:17 PM GMT
    I have a pretty tight schedule week to week, but despite being busy, it's still pretty flexible.

    I really want to increase my cardio time to about three hours a week. I'm wondering if it's better to increase my frequency - go to half an hour six days a week, or is it more effective to go for longer duration - one hour three days a week. I can do either.

    Does it make a difference or is one just as good as the other?
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Apr 04, 2008 7:45 PM GMT
    The problem with a gay site like this is that you take an inocuous thread title like this and I think it refers to something else...

    As to the question at hand, I've got nothing. I suppose it depends on what your goal is. If you're looking to burn fat, I don't think it matters. But if you're looking to increase your stamina, it may make a difference. I just don't know the answer to that part of the question.
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    Apr 04, 2008 8:04 PM GMT
    EricLA saidThe problem with a gay site like this is that you take an inocuous thread title like this and I think it refers to something else...

    As to the question at hand, I've got nothing. I suppose it depends on what your goal is. If you're looking to burn fat, I don't think it matters. But if you're looking to increase your stamina, it may make a difference. I just don't know the answer to that part of the question.


    Haha, I thought the same thing. I was definitely going to opt for "frequency" when I thought this topic was referring to sex.

    Regarding cardio, I'd opt for frequency if weight loss is your goal and longer duration if stamina is your goal.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 04, 2008 8:09 PM GMT
    whats your goal?

    Endurance with a longer run

    Speed and fitness with shorter more frequent

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 04, 2008 9:43 PM GMT
    EricLA saidThe problem with a gay site like this is that you take an inocuous thread title like this and I think it refers to something else...


    LOL icon_rolleyes.gif That hadn't even occurred to me.
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    Apr 04, 2008 9:47 PM GMT
    bfg1 saidwhats your goal?

    Definitely to burn fat. I'm one of those "skinny fat" guys talked about here. I have nice sized arms and legs with skinny wrists and ankles, but sometimes I look at my midsection and if feels like I'm shoplifting a sleeping bag.
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Apr 04, 2008 9:53 PM GMT
    A guy at my gym who has a phenomenal body told me his secret was 20 minutes (but really pushing it) at the beginning of his workout, and 15 minutes at the end. I've been doing that and I can see a difference. It also breaks up the cardio into 2 sessions instead of one long one.
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    Apr 04, 2008 10:01 PM GMT
    Global_Citizen said[quote][cite]bfg1 said[/cite]whats your goal?

    Definitely to burn fat. I'm one of those "skinny fat" guys talked about here. I have nice sized arms and legs with skinny wrists and ankles, but sometimes I look at my midsection and if feels like I'm shoplifting a sleeping bag. [/quote]

    well if you ask whats the most effective then the answer is neither diet is the most efficient use of your time and get your free time arse in the gym lifting heavy and hard icon_cool.gificon_lol.gif

    But if you have this Jane Fonda mentality/propensity to run for your over exuberance in the kitchen then go for shorter runs based on HIIT principles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-intensity_interval_training


    icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

    Either way its a great recipe for weightloss just not the best or indeed the most efficient for fat loss
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    Apr 04, 2008 10:08 PM GMT
    bfg1 said
    well if you ask whats the most effective then the answer is neither diet is the most efficient use of your time and get your free time arse in the gym lifting heavy and hard icon_cool.gificon_lol.gif

    Diet has never been as much of a factor for me as exercise. I already eat very healthy and in sensible portions. The only way I've ever been able to lose weight (fat weight) is doing cardio. I've seen this enough times over the years of my life now to know.

    I can eat a total junk diet or a completely healthy diet and it won't make 5lbs difference on the scales. (However, I choose to eat a healthy diet now because I feel better and I know it's taking care of me on the inside).

    I already lift, but just to maintain muscle.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 04, 2008 11:03 PM GMT
    OK so now more info in the ever alluding puzzle of why is the weight not going ...... icon_wink.gif

    ok one point here: the only way eating a total junk diet or eating a totally healthy diet can have the same impact on the scales is if that healthy diet is far far in excess of what you require and you are therefore not being realistic with those healthy portions ie a deficit is not created. Now that's more like what level you are prepared to go to rather than the diet being squeaky clean. I'm not knocking that or any of what you are saying as some prefer the run fat boy run Id rather let my body work to its advantage.

    But it strikes me then from what you are saying that you are then looking at the following scenarios:

    1) we are talking a few extra pounds on that skinny fat frame. In which case it comes down to is your body not releasing the fat because your diet is cleaner than a nuns chuff? ie you are actually eating too little for the demands you are placing on it.

    2) Your dietary intake is inconsistent ie do you tend to either eat less some days and eat more others or train inconsistently ie some days are a far greater energy expenditure than others, (a danger of relying on exercise for fat burn)?

    The problem here you face is that the training versus the calories is inconsistent. So the body will not be optimal for releasing the fat as from day to day it doesn't know the calorie demands that will place on it. It could be that some days you are pushing those calories way way down so the body is screaming conserve conserve conserve.

    It would be interesting to see what your workout week looks like in detail. Is your eating symbiotic to your training.

    I apologise if ya feel like this is not constructive and just tell me to butt out if it isn't helping but losing fat is down to math. Somewhere there is a piece to this puzzle that answers that equation and I am trying to get to the bottom of it by posing issues at ya

    Either way good strength icon_smile.gif
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    Apr 04, 2008 11:21 PM GMT
    I appreciate your insights. I'd say both 1 and 2 are probably true. I see the formulas for the caloric intake that will supposedly lead to weight loss (12-13 calories per pound of body weight) and I think "yeah, right".

    Right now, I'm at 192. At 12 calories per pound of body weight I should be eating 2300 calories a day to lose weight. I know I don't eat that many on most days. But I feel like if I did eat that many I'd be at the upper end of my usual weight and would not have a chance to lose any.

    There are days where I go out to eat or meet friends for drinks after work, but those are rare. When I do eat out, I still am very selective about what I order.

    On a normal day, I typically have probably 200-300 calories for breakfast, a snack two hours later (a yogurt cup or granola bar), then lunch a couple hours after that. Lunch is usually a sandwich, homemade soup, or stir fry veggies and rice. Typical lunch is 300 calories on the low end and 600 to 700 on the high end. I have another snack in the afternoon before going to the gym after work. Usually another granola bar or beef jerky.

    Dinner is more varied, but is usually some kind of a mix of veggies, meats, greens, maybe pasta or rice, or beans.

    On days I go to the gym, I drink a whey protein shake made with a glass of fat free milk.

    I also will admit I usually have a sweet snack after dinner (usually Little Debbie fudge rounds), but I'm trying to cut back on those. And I also have a glass of wine or a beer about three days a week.

    So tell me what's not working and why?
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    Apr 04, 2008 11:38 PM GMT
    Well to me its pretty clear its your diet thats stopping you achieving

    A margin of 300 calorie on lunch and potential for more variance on the evening meal add probably a few other variations in the day and we are talking 500 calorie differential a day. That added up over a week then you are talking a lb of potential fat loss a week may have been lost.

    The difference between wanting and achieving is knowing the variables are right and how to manipulate them, your skinny frame is as a result of that variance. The body is literaly stripping the excess away fom the extremities but the last place it goes from in most guys is the very place we want it to go from our bellies and our love handles or as I prefer to call them our turbo packs :-).

    I personaly go to the degrees of dietary manipulation when I cut, for want of a better word as I dont profess to be a body builder. I dont do static diets I adjust weekly up and down so that I always have a refeed in sight, for you the equivelant would be less activity one week and upping it a subsequent week. Many body building sites champion the daily calorie cycling approach personaly I find that way too cumbersome and complex to be of value.

    Anyhow I digress.

    Two things I would say: breakfast up that Mr to roughly 500 calories as you have been a long while without food. Go for an unprocessed cereal like oatmeal.

    Try and go for a week of keeping that food intake consistent. Humans being creatures of habit mean we dont actualy eat that varied a diet so my best advice would be: for the next two weeks keep an honest account of what you eat. Use a tool like fitday at the end of the week and crunch those numbers up.

    I think you will be shocked at the results.

    Add a diet variance to a training variance and the body will struggle to release body fat, follow that with a day of potential excess the next thing you know thats glycogen going from the muscles and this will only compound the issue.

    I may have to revisit the post tomorrow ha ha as its late now OH my god is it late! and I am going boss eyed! icon_lol.gif

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    Apr 04, 2008 11:52 PM GMT
    bfg1 saidWell to me its pretty clear its your diet thats stopping you achieving

    A margin of 300 calorie on lunch and potential for more variance on the evening meal add probably a few other variations in the day and we are talking 500 calorie differential a day.

    I'm not sure what you're saying here. You think I'm going over the number of calories I should have per day? I really doubt it. My calories may vary meal to meal day to day, but in total, I rarely have more than 2000 calories a day.

    I'm not as strict about watching my calories as some, but I am knowledgeable about nutrition and not delusional about the calories in the food I eat.

    Go for an unprocessed cereal like oatmeal.

    Very often that is what I eat for breakfast. One cup of oatmeal about two to three days a week.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 04, 2008 11:52 PM GMT
    btw similar size to yu cant say for frame as I am very broad shouldered but my calorie starting figure is 1800 but it also matches my training I will cycle that down as follows:


    week 1 1800
    week 2 1900
    week 3 1700
    week 4 1800
    week 5 1600
    week 6 1700
    week 7 1800
    week 8 1600
    week 9 1700
    week 10 1500
    week 11 1600
    week 12 1400
    start again

    now a 200 variance is what? A glass of milk and a banana roughly

    a 100 pretty much the glass of milk so altho it sounds complex its really not all that when you get used to it
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    Apr 04, 2008 11:54 PM GMT
    Global_Citizen said[quote]
    I'm not sure what you're saying here. You think I'm going over the number of calories I should have per day? I really doubt it. My calories may vary meal to meal day to day, but in total, I rarely have more than 2000 calories a day.

    I'm not as strict about watching my calories as some, but I am knowledgeable about nutrition and not delusional about the calories in the food I eat.

    Go for an unprocessed cereal like oatmeal.

    Very often that is what I eat for breakfast. One cup of oatmeal about two to three days a week.


    No what I am saying is that some days yes you may possibly go over that but others you are dropping way below that level so the body is screaming preserve preserve preserve

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    Apr 06, 2008 4:04 PM GMT
    bfg1 said[quote][cite]Global_Citizen said[/cite][quote]
    I'm not sure what you're saying here. You think I'm going over the number of calories I should have per day? I really doubt it. My calories may vary meal to meal day to day, but in total, I rarely have more than 2000 calories a day.

    I'm not as strict about watching my calories as some, but I am knowledgeable about nutrition and not delusional about the calories in the food I eat.

    Go for an unprocessed cereal like oatmeal.

    Very often that is what I eat for breakfast. One cup of oatmeal about two to three days a week.


    No what I am saying is that some days yes you may possibly go over that but others you are dropping way below that level so the body is screaming preserve preserve preserve

    [/quote]



    Physiologically, that shouldn't happen to the average person. Even a 300-500 calorie deficit within a 24-hour period from your normal range of ~2000 Calories/day isn't enough of an insult to homeostasis to shift your metabolism completely into starvation/survival mode. You might feel hungry that day or even light headed which would be due to hypoglycemia and not keto-acidosis. After 3-4 days or as long as a week of severe caloric restriction, then you will start stripping down protein and conserving as much fat as possible. Of course, your intensity and duration of physical activity and supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals will greatly affect your body's response to major chronic alterations in your caloric intake.


    As for me, if I do anything resembling a HIIT routine my metabolism jumps back to my sports days in high school and college when I needed ~3800 Calories/day and my stomach actually starts burning. I even wake up in the middle of the night with sharp hunger pains and feeling like I haven't eaten in weeks! Now I only do 1 hour of very low intensity cardio on the bike but at very high RPMs to keep my HR up. Recently I've been able to add grooving on the erg for 20mins without experiencing any increases in appetite.
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    Apr 06, 2008 4:27 PM GMT
    As to the original question, I don't think it matters except longer runs will build more endurance, as the guys have already said.

    Do you use a bike/treadmill/gadget that allows you to monitor your heart rate during cardio?

    If not, you might want to try one and see if you're keeping it in the "fat burning" zone. One problem I've seen with guys that aren't getting cardio results is that their bodies have adjusted to the stress of their favorite cardio routine (i.e. can maintain it with very low effort = lower caloric burn), but they keep doing the same routine. Your body is amazingly adaptive, both with respect to cardio and lifting, so you constantly have to keep an eye on it cause it's going to outwit you if you don't!

    Of course all the detailed diet math is another possible avenue, but I find that's much more difficult to diagnose over the net without a full dossier on you that would run into thick booklet length.

    K