PDA

View Full Version : Implementing cardio


Brian Negrotto
11-14-2010, 11:11 PM
I've recently changed up my workout and am putting a lot of emphasis on (in my opinion) the four big lifts: the bench press, the back squat, the press, and the deadlift. My current plan is to do one of them a day on a M-T-T-F schedule. My question is that I want to do some sort of cardio, however I don't want to hinder my strength gains if at all possible. Would appreciate some opinions as far as, should my cardio complement the daily lift, for example sprints on back squat day, or should this be avoided, are metcons recommended, tabatas maybe, and should they complement or contrast the workout, etc. Any advice is appreciated.

Derek Weaver
11-14-2010, 11:48 PM
I had a post I was typing out and then remembered this:
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/cardio-and-mass-gains.html

Unless you have Joel Jamieson's book on Mixed Martial Arts conditioning where he discusses cardio work in a general context before sport specific applications, this is the best work I've seen on this very subject.

Intervals are overblown. You simply won't get the same effect, and won't be able to maintain them for long doing HIIT. Lyle's got an article series on Intervals vs. Steady state, and has mentioned many times that intervals only work for a few weeks at a time for their intended purpose, then something else needs to be programmed.

Getting a prowler would be a good idea if you've got a place to push it, and weight to load it with.

Jarod Barker
11-15-2010, 08:01 AM
Prowler sleds are awesome!

I like dragging it too. I strap on the harness, get low, and just drive for 20-40 yards, really works your hamstrings and glutes.

In any case, in answer to your question, any cardio will take away from your strength to some degree, but the cost to benefit ratio is more important. I remember reading Dave Tate talking about how his cardio was the walk from his car to the gym. If your only goal is strength, then just do strength. But if you want to be healthy, hit some cardio in small doses. Long cardio sessions are definitely something to be avoided though if you're interested in maximizing strength.

Derek Weaver
11-15-2010, 12:15 PM
Prowler sleds are awesome!

I like dragging it too. I strap on the harness, get low, and just drive for 20-40 yards, really works your hamstrings and glutes.

In any case, in answer to your question, any cardio will take away from your strength to some degree, but the cost to benefit ratio is more important. I remember reading Dave Tate talking about how his cardio was the walk from his car to the gym. If your only goal is strength, then just do strength. But if you want to be healthy, hit some cardio in small doses. Long cardio sessions are definitely something to be avoided though if you're interested in maximizing strength.

On the contrary, properly programmed it can enhance recovery. It's all in that article, as well as covered well in Joel Jamieson's book, and a couple articles he wrote for EFS.

If taken to excess, cardio will certainly be detrimental. From the recent 5/3/1 article on T Nation (http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/531_reloaded)

"I think most guys even guys with all kinds of time to train would be better off stripping down their volume and stepping up their conditioning," says Wendler.

"Something almost magical happens to the body when you get in great condition. You look better, feel better, and you perform better.

This is essentially what we did when I played football and I seem to recall that everyone on the team was in shape."

Samuel Hughes
11-15-2010, 12:23 PM
On the contrary, properly programmed it can enhance recovery. It's all in that article, as well as covered well in Joel Jamieson's book, and a couple articles he wrote for EFS.

If taken to excess, cardio will certainly be detrimental. From the recent 5/3/1 article on T Nation (http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/531_reloaded)

Yeah I agree, the right cardio definitely helps more than hurts. If you can figure out something that works, it can open tissue up for repair while doing minimal additional trauma.

Jarod Barker
11-15-2010, 02:15 PM
On the contrary, properly programmed it can enhance recovery. It's all in that article, as well as covered well in Joel Jamieson's book, and a couple articles he wrote for EFS.

If taken to excess, cardio will certainly be detrimental. From the recent 5/3/1 article on T Nation (http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/531_reloaded)

I didn't know about enhanced recovery, is that something like the hard/easy training for marathon prep where the easy days actually make you recover faster than just taking the day off? I'll have to pick up Joel's book.

I know any higher volume cardio will start to cut into your available calories and stimulates catabolism, but how much cardio are we talking about here being beneficial? If I were training for strength, I don't think I'd do much more than two 20 minute sessions a week. But maybe my understanding is antiquated.

Derek Weaver
11-15-2010, 03:41 PM
Chad,
Read the article I linked to in my initial response to this thread.

Andrew Wilson
11-15-2010, 08:26 PM
I like to climb trees.

Derek Weaver
11-16-2010, 01:33 AM
I like to climb trees.

If that's an attempt at humor, you know you've got to come with better material than that. Come correct or wait for a better spot.

If it's not, then cool.

Garrett Smith
11-16-2010, 07:17 AM
If that's an attempt at humor, you know you've got to come with better material than that. Come correct or wait for a better spot.

If it's not, then cool.
I don't know, I thought it was random enough to be funny. Got a chuckle out of me.

Jarod Barker
11-16-2010, 08:59 AM
Chad,
Read the article I linked to in my initial response to this thread.

My fault, I read it the first time, but I didn't read it all the way through. Stopped after I read the drawbacks.

After reading the rest of the way through, I still think 20-30 minutes 3x a week seems like alot to me, that'd be like jogging a 5K 3x a week. I would think that much cardio would interfere with strength gains to a noticeable degree.

Ryan Hagenbuch
11-16-2010, 11:56 AM
After reading the rest of the way through, I still think 20-30 minutes 3x a week seems like alot to me, that'd be like jogging a 5K 3x a week. I would think that much cardio would interfere with strength gains to a noticeable degree.

It's all in how you perform it, which is why heart rate monitoring is so important. Running 5k at an avg. HR of 165 is much different than running it at an avg. HR of 140.

I wrote an article about my experiences using Joel's method's for EliteFTS. I did not lose strength, I felt better, slept better, recovered quicker between workouts and sets within the workout because of my increased work capacity.

Properly done (which is why HR monitoring is so important), this type of work would do nothing but enhance your workouts. Most people push their HR too high during this type of work (usually because they don't monitor it) and that leads to the belief that steady state negatively affects strength work.

Derek Weaver
11-16-2010, 12:34 PM
Fully agree Ryan. People get this notion that cardio work of any kind other than high intensity sprint/interval work, will make them look like a refugee. It's simply not true.

Chad,
From the article:
I simply feel that most of the problems with cardio training start to come into play when either the intensity or volume get excessive. As long as the amounts are kept moderate and the intensity is kept under control I think most of the concerns are mostly a non-issue.

At a bare minimum, 20-30 minutes of cardio performed three times per week will maintain some basic cardiovascular fitness, burn off a few calories, act as active recovery, and help to keep the fat burning pathways active so that the shift to dieting is a little bit easier; all of the good things that I mentioned. And it should do that without having any really major impact on progress in the weight room.

In terms of intensity, I think keeping things in the low to moderate range is going to be best. More specifically, a maximum intensity of 70% of maximum heart rate (140 beats per minute for someone with a maximum of 200 beats) or even lower should achieve some benefits without cutting into recovery or growth.
As I referred to in the first part of this article, it’s damn near a bodybuilding tradition to walk on the treadmill for an hour every morning and, while I think that amount is overkill for most, the intensity is definitely going to be low with that type of activity. That bodybuilders have done this successfully for so many years would seem to be an important lesson, especially for those folks who think that the only type of metabolic work worth a damn is high intensity stuff.

Jarod Barker
11-16-2010, 02:22 PM
I get that the intensity is lowered and that's why I used the work "jogging" for the 5K. Derek, the second quote you listed from the article is the one I took issue with. It says a minimum of 20-30 minutes cardio 3x a week. I focused in on that, and I'm pretty sure I could cover 5K in under 30 minutes without cracking 140bpm. Last time I ran a 5K for time, I clocked in at 18:53 with an average HR of 172. I don't have an aversion to LSD training, I do too much of it, but that's another issue. I just felt that adding any cardio would take something away from strength or mass gains, and personally, I've just accepted that trade off.

However, Ryan, I went and read your article Elite FTS (and I had a lightbulb moment), and I believe the way you implemented it is ideal. I could see walking at 120-130 bpm being positive since the increased blood flow could speed healing, and to pull from something Robb told me once, "people always forget about adaptation." I could see how slowly working up from walking at 120 could, over repeated exposure, become a situation where you could be sustaining 140 bpm for 20-30 minutes without putting undo stress on your body.

So, mea culpa, thank you for explaining it in that way. Perhaps I should start monitoring my heart rate more often.