How much cardio?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2009
How much cardio?
33
Fri, 02-18-2011 - 10:05am
Hey guys, what is your idea about how much cardio should we do a week? I used to do two 30 min sessions a day (am+ pm) and also lifted weights every alternate day. That was all steady state cardio. Then I read in a bodybuilding forum that if you're doing serious lifting you don't need that much of cardio each day. One gentleman, who seemed to be pretty expert in this field commented that women who are lifting weights should do 30 min cardios just twice a week. Again some people said in some other forum that do 30 min cardio every alternate days, on your non lifting days that is. Tom venut's book (BFFM) says that you should do 2 sessions of cardio a day ONLY when you're trying to break the plateu. Adding more confusion to the whole matter, there is the issue of steady state cardio Vs HIIT. You'll find hundreds of opinion about the benefits of one or the other. It's all so confusing !! I just can't understand who to listen to! Currently I'm doing 3 days of lifting and 3 days of 30 min cardio. And because I've reduced the cardio time per week now, I'm going with the HIIT. But, I did not lose a single pound in 3 weeks :(. I lost some percentage of bodyfat though. So, it's possible that the scale is not going down due to the muscle gain. But again a voice in my head keeps saying " you are not doing enough cardio, that's why you're not losing weight". Can any one tell me how much cardio we really need to do to keep everything going fine? And should that be HIIT or steady state? I'll really appreciate any help to get over this confusion.

Pages

Avatar for cmkarla
Administrator
Registered: 01-03-2001
Fri, 02-18-2011 - 2:00pm

I recently heard several trainers at my gym talking and they all were saying that if your intention is heart health you need to do at least 80 minutes a week. To maintain current weight it's like 200 minutes a week and to lose weight it's something like about 250 minutes per week. I'm not sure how acurate this is but I'd certainly like to know for sure.

Karla
Community ModeratoriVillage.com

Avatar for earnhardt_jr_fan
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 02-18-2011 - 3:21pm

I truly believe this is different from person to person. I think a lot of it depends on what your goals are - are you trying to lose? maintain? tone up?

When I was in full blown fat burning/weight loss mode I was doing 60 mins of cardio 3 days a week. It's very tough to do a long session of cardio, but for me it definitely worked.

I've heard you should do 30 mins of cardio/30 mins of weight 2 times a week, 45 mins of cardio/15 mins of weight 2 times a week and then 60 mins of cardio at least once a week.

I would do what works best for you. Because I know I have fat to burn - I tend to aim for the cardio more and the weights less. I know I need to do more weight training but the results I see with cardio makes me stick with it.

I guess I should mention that because of all the conflicting information out there -- I tend to do what works for me and my body vs what trainers, articles, etc say. I tried following advice and such I read and didn't lose any weight ... so, I do what works best for my body. We all know our bodies best and I say go with what feels right and gets results.

Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Sat, 02-19-2011 - 8:13am

The information I was given only applies to heart health.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2009
Sat, 02-19-2011 - 10:01am
Thanks for the reply Carol. My goal is to get to the ideal shape, that means lose weight and tone the muscles as well. So I have to pay attention to both cardio and weights. But as much information as I've got, it seems that both cannot be attained at the same time :(. I mean getting all your muscles developed right will eventually take you to your ideal weight, but it'll be slower than doing cardio only. I guess I have to remain really patient (which is THE problem:)).
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2009
Sat, 02-19-2011 - 10:13am
Thanks Brandee. You are right, it works differently for every person. The problem is I cannot quite figure out what works best for me. I mean a plan works fine for me one month, and the next month it doesn't do anything !! I guess my metabolism is very messed up and my body gets adapted to any exercise very soon. Last week my doctor wanted me to take a stress eco. You know you have to run on the TM until you reach 85% of your max heart rate, and then some. You won't believe how my body reacted to it. My heart rate was going up up up and then suddenly it started to love the stress and adapted nicely, made the heart rate come down. I had to work VERY hard to take it to 85%. Even the technician was surprised. I guess I will need to change my plans every 3 weeks or so. The problem is I have really really bad injuries all over my legs, so the only option for my cardio is a stationary bike. It's a bit hard to do variations with the same equipment you now?
Anyways, thanks again for your input. I appreciate it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2009
Sat, 02-19-2011 - 10:20am
Thanks Karla. I've also read in the 'Biggest loser club' newsletter that you need to do 200-300 min moderate to high intensity cardio per week to lose weight. I do my cardios at a decent intensity (gets me all covered in sweat :)). I guess I have to increase my cardio time then? May be 40-45 min on the non weight days and 30 min on the weight days? That'll be 210 min per week. I'm still confused about the steady state Vs HIIT thing. Please let me know if you hear anything about this from your trainers.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Sat, 02-19-2011 - 1:49pm
dior-abraham wrote:
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Sat, 02-19-2011 - 2:00pm
dior-abraham wrote:
Thanks for the reply Carol. My goal is to get to the ideal shape, that means lose weight and tone the muscles as well. So I have to pay attention to both cardio and weights. But as much information as I've got, it seems that both cannot be attained at the same time

Are you saying you can't lose weight and tone muscles at the same time?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2009
Sat, 02-19-2011 - 2:27pm
Steady state cardio is the usual 30-45 min cardio at a a steady moderate intensity.
HIIT is High Intensity Interval Training. You need to do 30sec to 1 min of really high intesity cardio so that the last few seconds feel almost impossible to keep going. It should be followed by a 1-2 min recovery period when you do it at a very low pace. You have to repeat this thing 5-7 times. HIIT generally lasts for 20 min or so. But you'll feel all drained out after it. It has a much higher 'after burn' than steady state cardio. You'll burn calories even at reast after this kind of work out.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2009
Sat, 02-19-2011 - 2:34pm
You're right. What I meant to say is when you're gaining muscles, your scale won't show any weight loss. But I agree with you, I see it or not, good muscles will help me lose the fat after all. Muscle building in women is a little time taking procedure, that's why I should stay away from the scale for a while (and keep from getting discouraged :)).

Pages