Advice about developing a proper cardio routine

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 06, 2010 7:14 AM GMT
    Hello members of RJ. I've been weight training for a long time now and I'm finally happy with my current growth of muscle. Of course, Now I'm ready to slim down and finally get my abs showing (I always wanted a flat tummy ^_^).

    Now this is where I get trapped. Of course I'm not used to doing a cardio workout but I can stick anything if I have the right mind set. However, the problem is I don't know what a cardio based workout scheduled looks like. I would like to do cardio at least 3 times a week and I've already changed my diet towards eating every 3 hours. I was thinking cardio on Mon/Wen/Fri and weight train tues upper body and thurs lower body. If any one have a better idea, please do not hesitate! I need a bit of guidance.

    oh yeah! I was thinking about doing HIIT (treadmill) for my carido workout.
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    Mar 06, 2010 10:17 AM GMT
    Ok I just posted this on a thread which I then noticed was over a month old, but it answers your question. It was about a guy who got an elliptical trainer.

    (1) try doing some fartlek. Fartlek is "speed play" and works better in nature as you can run really fast til that tree, or overtake that woman or whatever. On the elliptical you could say run hard until the chorus comes on your ipod. The idea is to mix up all sorts of speeds in a training session. Makes it much harder, but is also quite fun as you can go slow or fast depending on how you feel. you know: 5 mins slow to warm up, then pick up the pace for a few minutes, 30 seconds really hard, 2 mins easy, 10 second "fuck that dog is going to bite me RUN" speed, etc.

    (2) More formalized and harder are intervals. try a 5-10 min warm up then you could do 1 min hard, 2 easy for a total of 15 mins (5 sets) then cool down.

    These will make your sessions more enjoyable, pass quicker and be more profitable than just running slow for 30 mins.

    hope it goes well

    Lostboy: Recycling posts since 2010.
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    Mar 06, 2010 1:15 PM GMT
    Lostboy saidOk I just posted this on a thread which I then noticed was over a month old, but it answers your question. It was about a guy who got an elliptical trainer.

    (1) try doing some fartlek. Fartlek is "speed play" and works better in nature as you can run really fast til that tree, or overtake that woman or whatever. On the elliptical you could say run hard until the chorus comes on your ipod. The idea is to mix up all sorts of speeds in a training session. Makes it much harder, but is also quite fun as you can go slow or fast depending on how you feel. you know: 5 mins slow to warm up, then pick up the pace for a few minutes, 30 seconds really hard, 2 mins easy, 10 second "fuck that dog is going to bite me RUN" speed, etc.

    (2) More formalized and harder are intervals. try a 5-10 min warm up then you could do 1 min hard, 2 easy for a total of 15 mins (5 sets) then cool down.

    These will make your sessions more enjoyable, pass quicker and be more profitable than just running slow for 30 mins.

    hope it goes well

    Lostboy: Recycling posts since 2010.


    Thanks I'll keep this in mind.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 06, 2010 8:01 PM GMT
    BTW HIIT on the treadmill always sounds like a recipe for disaster. I hate treadmills and (1) fall off and (2) get sick after using them.. spinning bikes are safer, as are rowing machines.. but if you have a good relationship with treadmills I guess it would be OK...

    think intervals, remember with intervals that hard 30 secs with 2 mins 30 rest is harder than 1 min with 2 mins rest as the shorter the interval the harder "hard" is. It seems counter intuitive, but try it.. You don´t need to spend a lot of time on cardio for it to be effective. Google Tabata protocol (and go old school... it´s for cardio activity, not so much the crossfit "let´s do everything tabata".... as I said, the longer you spend on "hard" the easier it is. your 4 min tabata workout SHOULD leave you on the floor unable to move for 10 mins. This is what it did to the elite skaters it was developed for.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 07, 2010 7:05 AM GMT
    If you're brand new to running and want to give that a world, I would HIGHLY recommend the c25k method

    It starts you off so you can build up to longer runs so you don't hurt yourself right off the bat.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 07, 2010 9:48 AM GMT
    Um thanks for the advice but I understand what HIIT is and I'm sure I could handle the conditioning for cardio quite well. My question at hand more focused on is the new cardio workout routine good enough for me to reach my flat stomach goal. Once again that plan is this:

    Mon/wen/fri = cardio

    tues = upper body strength

    thrus = lower body strength
  • MrPeanut

    Posts: 11

    Mar 30, 2010 9:46 AM GMT
    I posted this in another thread but it answers your question.

    A good cardio workout consists of excersises that hit a number of joints and muscle groups all at once while at the same time keeping your heart rate up. You don't have to stick to running and cycling as your only cardio, you can easily add it in to your current workout regimen.

    Squats, lunges and presses are all great cardio workouts especially when they are combined together.

    http://www.active.com/fitness/Articles/How-to-Do-a-Dumbbell-Squat-Curl-Press.htm

    I also really like plyometrics for burning calories.

    http://www.realjock.com/article/391/

    http://www.xlathlete.com/view_exercise2.jsp?exercise_id=716



  • tennsjock

    Posts: 349

    Mar 30, 2010 10:37 AM GMT
    When I really want to start burning fat without losing muscle, I've found two routines that work for me:
    1. P90X, from www.beachbody.com -- it's a set of 12 at home workouts that require very little equipment. you just need a pullup bar and either workout bands (cheap) or a set of dumbbells (a little more expensive). they're all super intense and fun. they alternate weightlifting routines with plyometrics, yoga, and kenpo, but even the weightlifting routines are so fast-paced (and use mostly body-weight exercises) that it's really HIIT. the downside is it's easier to lose focus/motivation when home.
    or
    2. A more traditional MWF lifting routine, with TTh reserved for cardio. For the weightlifting routines, I try to keep rest periods around 1 min, never more than 75 sec. Follow it up with 10-20 min cardio doing sets of 30-45 sec intervals followed by 75-90 sec rest. Do any routine you like as long as you work the full body over the course of the week, and keep it short but intense. My routines, which include warm-up followed by stretching, are usually 30 min to an hour. Then for the TTh cardio, I alternate between two workouts that I found a few years ago. They're not what people normally think of as HIIT - intervals are much longer - but they keep the "high intensity" component:
    Workout A:
    5 min warmup
    1 min pushups
    5 min High Intensity (think the speed at which you'd run a competitive 5K)
    1 min situps
    5 min HI
    1 min squats
    5 min HI
    1 min bench dips
    5 min Higher Intensity
    1 min lower back extensions (supermans)
    3 min even Higher Intensity
    1 min decline pushups
    5 min HI
    5 min cooldown
    * I prefer ellipticals because I get shin splints when I run, but do whatever piece of equipment you like. Or mix it up.
    Workout B:
    5 min warmup
    10 min HI
    2 min cooldown
    10 min HI
    2 min cooldown
    10 min HI
    5 min cooldown

    Notes: Intensity is more important than completion. If you can complete these routines your first try, you're probably not pushing hard enough. When I switch from any other routine to one of these two, I cut these workouts in half but apply enough intensity that I can't do more at the end. Then each subsequent workout I try to keep that same intensity but go longer. Once I complete the entire workout I start increasing the intensity but don't lengthen the workout.
  • tennsjock

    Posts: 349

    Mar 30, 2010 11:10 AM GMT
    Caveat: I'm no expert. Nor, I think, is anyone else. After trying so many of the routines from Men's Health and other fitness magazines, and too often being unhappy with the results, I've changed my approach. Instead of searching for "what works," I've focused on the question "what works for me?" I believe that our bodies are so different, and health and fitness research is such an inexact science, that the best routine is one that's individually tailored. These routines work very well for me. They may not for you. The best way to find out what works for you is to treat your workout like an experiment and follow a rigorous scientific method. I can't back any of the routines I've mentioned above, but I guarantee the following process:

    1. Seek out a variety of routines from different sources -- magazines, websites, advice from other gym rats, personal trainers, etc.
    2. Choose a routine (or create one) that you think will meet your goal. Put the other routines in a drawer.
    3. Make a solid commitment to follow the routine faithfully for 4-6 weeks.
    4. Keep a workout log! Record everything you do. Record how you feel. If you're really hardcore, track your diet and take measurements (your weight, circumference of waist, etc.), but that's always been too much work for me.
    5. Always do a little more - more weight or reps or miles run - each time you workout. You can't do this unless you keep a workout log that allows you to refer to previous workouts.
    6. At the end of the run, evaluate the workout. Did it work? Where there extenuating circumstances that interfered with your ability to follow Step 3 (life happens)? If something like school or sports interfered, you may want to try this workout again. If you gave a solid commitment but saw no results, toss this routine.
    7. Identify new goals and go back to Step 1.

    You can conduct 13 four-week experiments in a year! Good luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 30, 2010 12:17 PM GMT
    Lost boy's two responses are the first class advice of experience and will get the results you want. Just remember your high intensity bursts really do need be just that - if you use heart rate monitor your rate needs to be above 70% of calculated maximum heart rate. This will enable you to keep your muscle shape with great definition ( and eventually get those elusive abs!) because you will be targeting your fast twitch muscle fibres which is what you do in weight training. Lower intensity cv training uses our slow twitch fibres and so we tend to lose the muscle strength we gained before
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 01, 2010 4:04 AM GMT
    it's almost a month since the thread was created, so i don't know where you're at now.
    But if you were completely new at cardio stuff, i.e. treadmill, stairmaster, ellipse, bike etc... i hope you haven't injured yourself by plunging into high intensity workouts right from the start.
    No matter how strong, muscles need adaptation, and even more so tendons and ligaments .


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 01, 2010 5:03 AM GMT
    Lostboy said(1) try doing some fartlek. Fartlek is "speed play" and works better in nature as you can run really fast til that tree, or overtake that woman or whatever.


    There is apparently a lot of Fartlek in the life of a commuting student.