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Thread: Cardio and BodyBuilding

  1. #1
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    Cardio and BodyBuilding

    Hey
    Currently im doing 35 mins on the bike 5 days a week for my cardio my heart rate is around 140 i want to reduce my bf% abit.
    How do you rate this as cardio
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  2. #2
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    I rate that poorly. Cardio is a lean muscle burner. What are you doing in terms of resistance training?


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  3. #3
    El Jefe DoUgL@S's Avatar
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    As cardio it rates equivalent to anyother form of cardio done for 35 minutes at a similar intensity, unless your goal is to get better at riding your bike.

    To reduce your bf% you need to pay more attention to diet and lift heavy things to retain as much muscle as possible. There are many examples on this site that have dropped significant bf with minimal cardio. There is nothing wrong with cardio, but you have to be smart about it.
    Move heavy weight, eat, sleep, repeat.
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    I posted this in it's own thread but it seems appropriate to this discussion:

    http://berzinatorfitnessdesigns.com/...rint-training/

  5. #5
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    My Resistance training

    I usually do
    Shoulders monday 14 sets
    Legs tuesday 14 sets
    back and Bi wed 14 sets
    Chest and tri thur 10 sets
    Fri just cardio
    Abs every second day
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  6. #6
    Senior Member RichMcGuire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevMcGreat View Post
    I usually do
    Shoulders monday 14 sets
    Legs tuesday 14 sets
    back and Bi wed 14 sets
    Chest and tri thur 10 sets
    Fri just cardio
    Abs every second day
    It seems odd to do 14 sets for shoulders and less for chest AND tri's put together. The other problem I see is that shoulders probably get a pretty big hit there also anyways.
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  7. #7
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Cardio will generally make you fat and small. Don't do it to lose weight or burn fat, do it to increase work capacity or improve your ability to, well, do cardio. Diet keeps you lean.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.V View Post
    Cardio will generally make you fat and small.
    You mean skinny and small?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMcGuire View Post
    It seems odd to do 14 sets for shoulders and less for chest AND tri's put together. The other problem I see is that shoulders probably get a pretty big hit there also anyways.
    Yea i usually keep shoulder day and chest day as far away as possible because i am using similar muscles on both days. Mt 10 sets on chest and tris usually gives me a good workout i am quite sore the next day
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  10. #10
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slim Ryan View Post
    You mean skinny and small?
    No, fat. As in, bodyfat up.
    "Except Belial. He knows everything. This isn't a sarcastic attack, either. He really knows everything." -----Organichu
    "Alex is all knowing and perfect"-----Jane (loosely paraphrased)
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    Current mile time: 4:23
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  11. #11
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    Alex,
    why? What is the mechanism in place?

  12. #12
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Mechanism?

    Probably several thousands, if not tens of thousands of mechanisms in place.

    As for why- Any physical activity beyond lying comatose requires glycogen and protein to fuel- this activity can either go towards stimulating the growth (or retention) of muscle, as in resistance training, or steady activity that does not require larger muscles to power. Incorporating cardio will tend to accelerate muscle loss when dieting. Yes, it can help create a caloric deficit, but it is not the best way to lose weight. Note that circuit training and GPP/intervals are even worse in that regard, since they negatively impact your resistance training (regardless of what some "experts" will tell you, 200 meter sprints do NOT require the same muscle size or adaptations as heavy squatting, and will in fact hinder your squats and leg development unless you are a beginner)....

    Bottom line is, do cardio because you want to increase your work capacity and not be a well built but utterly out of shape individual, but do NOT do it to "keep fat off" while bulking or to help shed fat while maintaining muscle while dieting.
    "Except Belial. He knows everything. This isn't a sarcastic attack, either. He really knows everything." -----Organichu
    "Alex is all knowing and perfect"-----Jane (loosely paraphrased)
    -515/745/700 bench/deadlift/squat
    Current mile time: 4:23
    Marathons: 3
    Century races: 3
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  13. #13
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    Thanks for the explanation.

    "Experts"...let's not get there...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.V View Post
    Incorporating cardio will tend to accelerate muscle loss when dieting.

    Bottom line is, do cardio because you want to increase your work capacity and not be a well built but utterly out of shape individual, but do NOT do it to "keep fat off" while bulking or to help shed fat while maintaining muscle while dieting.
    That's are rather forceful blanket statement to make.

    I've personally experienced opposite results. I dropped from 250 to 210 (27% to 16.5%) while only losing 6 pounds LBM (or about 15% of the total weight loss). All of this was checked with bod pod testing and all tests were done under similar circumstances (all tests done in the morning after fasting for ~12 hours).

    My "main" tool for fat loss was 30+ miles of running per week. Naturally, I also cut back on my calorie intake as well and didn't "fully refuel" after my runs. But I was eating between 70%-100% of my calculated "maintenance".

    I'm sure you've witnessed or experienced opposite results that support your view. Which to me means that results will be highly variable and dependent on the individual in question, how things are implemented, and a host of other variables I probably haven't thought of.

    I'd argue that a large percentage of "muslce loss" people experience while cutting is the result of poor bodyfat testing. In other words, I think people grossly underestimate their bodyfat (ie; overestimate their muscle gain) when they are "fat", and then falsely assume that all this "muscle" was "lost" when they cut.

    Well, that's what my testing and personal experience suggests to me anyway. As always YMMV.

  15. #15
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    r2473, your results, if accurate, are highly unusual. The body's adaptation to distance running is certainly not to build muscle, it is to shrink it. To only lose 6 lbs of lean muscle mass while losing 40 lbs of body weight and evidently not resistance training is most definitely a freak occurrence.

    Do you have a before and after picture?


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  16. #16
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    I did resistance training as well.

    No before and after pics, but I do have copies of the test results. Not sure I want to post them.

    And just to finish the story for the sake of completeness, I started lifting with 156 LBM, was 180 LBM at 27%, and 174 LBM at 16.5%. I was between 35-39 years old when I put on the muscle / lost the weight. I say this so you understand that I wasn't a physically immature kid (the kind we'd expect to "fill out", thus explaining some of the LBM fluctutions). I also have added some muscle, so I'm not dieting as a strict "untrained" individual (in which case we might expect less LBM loss).

    The first "diet" I ever did, I went from 19% to a little less than 10% (again, fully bod pod tested) while GAINING 1.5 LBM. This was what I did when I first started lifting, so I was fully untrained during that diet.

    But during all diets, I still do resistance training. Usually fairly moderate, as I'm not trying to gain strength or build muscle. Just "stay in shape".

    To only lose 6 lbs of lean muscle mass
    I'd suggest that I didn't lose mcuh "lean muscle mass". I think the LBM loss was mostly "other stuff" that isn't muscle or fat (but shows up in the LBM numbers because it isn't fat). This is just pure speculation however. Obvioulsy I have no way of knowing this.
    Last edited by r2473; 09-06-2012 at 11:09 AM.

  17. #17
    OVERCOME krazylarry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r2473 View Post
    That's are rather forceful blanket statement to make.

    I've personally experienced opposite results. I dropped from 250 to 210 (27% to 16.5%) while only losing 6 pounds LBM (or about 15% of the total weight loss). All of this was checked with bod pod testing and all tests were done under similar circumstances (all tests done in the morning after fasting for ~12 hours).

    My "main" tool for fat loss was 30+ miles of running per week. Naturally, I also cut back on my calorie intake as well and didn't "fully refuel" after my runs. But I was eating between 70%-100% of my calculated "maintenance".

    I'm sure you've witnessed or experienced opposite results that support your view. Which to me means that results will be highly variable and dependent on the individual in question, how things are implemented, and a host of other variables I probably haven't thought of.

    I'd argue that a large percentage of "muslce loss" people experience while cutting is the result of poor bodyfat testing. In other words, I think people grossly underestimate their bodyfat (ie; overestimate their muscle gain) when they are "fat", and then falsely assume that all this "muscle" was "lost" when they cut.

    Well, that's what my testing and personal experience suggests to me anyway. As always YMMV.
    How advanced of a lifter were you?

    As it's been said if you are a beginner you can burn the candle at both ends and make gains, as you progress its gets harder and harder until it's just about impossible.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by krazylarry View Post
    How advanced of a lifter were you?

    As it's been said if you are a beginner you can burn the candle at both ends and make gains, as you progress its gets harder and harder until it's just about impossible.
    I think I was pretty clear on my level in the post just prior to yours. I gave my actual LBM numbers and other useful information.

    How advanced is that? I have a good idea of how advanced that is, but I am understanding that everyone has a different idea of what is possible or even normal in the world of muscle building. Mine probably differ from yours.

    My point is that cardio doesn't somehow eat away your muscle and I simply gave my personal experience to explain my belief. I'm only basing this on my experience. For all I know, I'm an anomaly. But I find it somewhat hard to believe that my body type and therefore my personal experience will differ significantly from what is probably "statistically normal". I've found myself to be pretty "normal" in most other respects.

    Look, I understand what the literature says. I know cardio is supposed to burn away all your muscle. I understand that you "need" to eat a lot of protein when you diet or all your muscle goes away. I'm just saying that I've kept careful tabs on my personal situation and have found that this simply isn't true for me.

    I like to find out how things apply to me through experience, rather than read what the "experts" say happens. Afterall, the only person I really care about is me. I want to know what works and doesn't work for me. I could care less about some abstract ideas of "right and wrong", "good or bad".

    So when I find things in my experience that seem to differ from what we read in the "bro science", I toss it out there. But as always, YMMV.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    Cardio can be used but most of the time its overused. I always tend to add another weight training session during the week to increase fat burning, I do this with clinets as well and it works more efficiently than just doing more cardio to burn fat. Now the extra weight training day needs to be properly programed into your current program, you can't just randomly do more work, you have to take in account the other traning days volume and intensity.

    Also nutrition is a key component!

  20. #20
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r2473 View Post
    That's are rather forceful blanket statement to make.

    I've personally experienced opposite results. I dropped from 250 to 210 (27% to 16.5%) while only losing 6 pounds LBM (or about 15% of the total weight loss). All of this was checked with bod pod testing and all tests were done under similar circumstances (all tests done in the morning after fasting for ~12 hours).

    My "main" tool for fat loss was 30+ miles of running per week. Naturally, I also cut back on my calorie intake as well and didn't "fully refuel" after my runs. But I was eating between 70%-100% of my calculated "maintenance".

    I'm sure you've witnessed or experienced opposite results that support your view. Which to me means that results will be highly variable and dependent on the individual in question, how things are implemented, and a host of other variables I probably haven't thought of.

    I'd argue that a large percentage of "muslce loss" people experience while cutting is the result of poor bodyfat testing. In other words, I think people grossly underestimate their bodyfat (ie; overestimate their muscle gain) when they are "fat", and then falsely assume that all this "muscle" was "lost" when they cut.

    Well, that's what my testing and personal experience suggests to me anyway. As always YMMV.
    You’re right- it is a forceful statement to make. And you make a good point- with so many individual variables my “n” of 50-60 (athletes including myself that I have trained/coached either through weight loss or while increasing aerobic activity) isn’t all that statistically more significant than your n=1 (you). Certainly these were all individuals of different shapes, sizes, and goals, and what I commented on is, in part, based on an observed trend- those individuals who retained the MOST lean body mass while losing overall mass were those who either minimized their cardio and maximized their weight training, or were relatively untrained and did lower intensity cardio mixed with moderate resistance training.

    In the absence of thousands of individuals participating in a controlled study (I think the chances of anything other than an imperfect meta-analysis of existing studies would be near impossible), we’re reduced to looking at what is already well known- adaptations to aerobic training.

    Generally speaking, for a trained individual, aerobic training alone results in a net loss of skeletal muscle mass- type II fibers atrophy, while type I fibers actively reduce in size to improve efficiency. Note that individuals who resistance train as well do not lose this size in type I fibers… reason number 5,302 that I have any endurance athlete NOT aiming for a top finish (and therefore looking for a loss of mass) or looking to maintain speed and power (i.e. soccer forwards and mountain bikers) incorporate resistance training.

    Aerobic training also does not necessarily dictate a loss of adipose tissue. Certainly it is a fuel source, but in any higher-intensity aerobic training, glycogen is utilized just as much- and more importantly, significant numbers of muscle proteins which must be restored. Even if intake perfectly matches what is lost while engaged in aerobic activity, the body still has some net inefficiency in rebuilding what was torn down during exercise. The only truly lean endurance athletes are those with VERY low overall BMI- their bodyfat is low simply because there is no further tissue to lose. (Look at shots of Bradley Wiggins during the TDF… http://25.media.tumblr.com/4bh9iE0E6...HRfIo1_400.jpg , or Mutai the marathoner who broke the Boston course record. http://media.onsugar.com/files/2011/...er.preview.jpg )

    What it comes down to, then, is how does one maximize the body’s lean muscle mass retention while also losing overall body mass?
    The answer would be pure resistance training- though these workouts burn nothing BUT glycogen, they tend to be relatively low in terms of caloric expenditure- very little muscle protein is used during activity, and overall catabolism is relatively low and short-lived. At the end of the day, it is best to avoid any further inherently catabolic activity (that would cause further loss of muscle protein), and maximize the body’s need to retain skeletal muscle (through consistent heavy loading). If cardio MUST be used to aid in the deficit, then it should be as low intensity as possible to minimize glycogen/amino acid utilization. Bodybuilders are a prime example- the best of them cut by simply walking long distances- this is as low intensity as you can possibly get.

    “Fasted morning sprints” are no answer either- the arguments that the sprinting in any way could improve measures of strength by mimicking squats (for example) are spurious. Certainly these can reduce appetite, but you are better off dealing with the hunger and doing a heavy leg workout instead (within reason- no high volume while in a deficit). Some people like to point to sprinter’s physiques and illustrate how muscular they are. Tyson Gay at about 6’0” and 168 isn’t exactly huge, nor is Bolt at 6’5”, 205. And quite frankly, none of those folks are natural (not to get sidetracked).

    Anyhow, carry on, good discussion.
    "Except Belial. He knows everything. This isn't a sarcastic attack, either. He really knows everything." -----Organichu
    "Alex is all knowing and perfect"-----Jane (loosely paraphrased)
    -515/745/700 bench/deadlift/squat
    Current mile time: 4:23
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  21. #21
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r2473 View Post
    So when I find things in my experience that seem to differ from what we read in the "bro science", I toss it out there. But as always, YMMV.
    I'd like to think I don't quote bro science....
    "Except Belial. He knows everything. This isn't a sarcastic attack, either. He really knows everything." -----Organichu
    "Alex is all knowing and perfect"-----Jane (loosely paraphrased)
    -515/745/700 bench/deadlift/squat
    Current mile time: 4:23
    Marathons: 3
    Century races: 3
    Ironmans: 1
    Ultramarathons: 1
    Current supps: http://www.atlargenutrition.com/prod...covery/results

  22. #22
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    What has your personal experience been Alex? I know that you have gained considerable muscle and I know that you also run/bike long distances.

    Have you noticed muscle loss?
    Last edited by r2473; 09-17-2012 at 01:11 PM.

  23. #23
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    I would play more with the calorie intake and also with your training.
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  24. #24
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r2473 View Post
    What has your personal experience been Alex? I know that you have gained considerable muscle and I know that you also run/bike long distances.

    Have you noticed muscle loss?
    Significant when I'm not careful. If I am lax on the calories at all, or lifting intensity decreases, I start shedding it fairly quickly. I did lose it much faster in between my two centuries earlier this year when I was doing more interval cycling and spending more time doing hill repeats and the like (versus the LSD workouts).... though it did pay off cardio-wise, my lifts stagnated or dropped and I set myself up for a few injuries.

    Interestingly enough, slow running is the LEAST destructive of all the cardio I've done when it comes to lifting and retaining muscle mass.
    "Except Belial. He knows everything. This isn't a sarcastic attack, either. He really knows everything." -----Organichu
    "Alex is all knowing and perfect"-----Jane (loosely paraphrased)
    -515/745/700 bench/deadlift/squat
    Current mile time: 4:23
    Marathons: 3
    Century races: 3
    Ironmans: 1
    Ultramarathons: 1
    Current supps: http://www.atlargenutrition.com/prod...covery/results

  25. #25
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    Really. That's interesting.

    I read about people "gaining tons of muscle during their bulk" and "losing tons of muscle during their cut". It just hasn't ever worked that way for me. I didn't gain tons, but I didn't lose tons either (my LBM loss was ~15% of my total weight loss during each of the 2 "cuts" I've done).

    The point in my initial post wasn't to say "this idea that cardio will make people lose muscle is BS, etc.". I really think that people are very different and will react differently.

    For example, we know that in the general population, the mix of slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers covers the spectrum (some having a high percentage of fast, some instead having a high concentration of slow, and others somewhere in-between). We also know that fast-twitch fibers respond much better to hypertrophy. This could be one factor. I suspect there are many more.

    That's why, though I do read the literature, the ultimate test is what happens in my own body. I only use the literature as a rough guide. A starting point. But I'm really only concerned with how my body reacts to different things I throw at it. Sometimes I react "by the book", other times I don't.

    I guess things seem to me more "a matter of degrees" than hard and fast rules. So it pays to experiment rather than take what you read a face value.

    Anyway, thanks for posts and replies. You always have interesting, well reasoned opinions.

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