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7/18/13 7:27 P

The recommendation is for 30 minutes of non specified activity. A proper strength training programme will provide the same health benefits as cardio based on the current research. I was in fact addressing fat loss and will stand by my statement concerning the benefits of cardio done 5 days a week being limited except in the area of physical endurance.

My opinions are based on my reading of the research and not anecdotal information. If the individual chooses to do cardio 10 times a week I say go for it but do not assume it is either more beneficial or productive from a physical fitness point of view.

SINGERA9 SparkPoints: (4,307)
Fitness Minutes: (8,109)
Posts: 105
7/18/13 5:27 P

I agree with the last two posters. There is an absolute advantage to cardio workouts! Your heart is the most important muscle in your body.

But perhaps what @SERGEANTMAJOR is writing about is more the weight loss benefits of strength training, in which case, I agree. Strength training has a bigger impact on weight loss than cardio does, but there's room for all of it in a well-balanced exercise program.

NSMANN Posts: 976
7/18/13 5:20 P

@SERGEANTMAJOR, what about cardiovascular health and improvement of chronic diseases (cholesterol, blood sugar) that comes with cardio? Recommendations I've seen is to cardio 30 minutes for at least 5 days a week. Thoughts??

FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (29,946)
Fitness Minutes: (64,745)
Posts: 748
7/18/13 4:24 P

SergeantMajor - I am going to respectfully disagree with your comment about there not being any benefits to doing cardio 5 days/week. Yes, diet is first, strength training is second, and cardio is last. Maybe doing 2 to 3 days of cardio/week works for some people, it may not work for everyone. If someone wants to do cardio the same day they do strength training, perhaps the cardio could be less intense (like swimming instead of running or using the rowing machine instead of the elliptical) and could be 30 minutes. I think that a lot depends on what works for people. I can only speak for myself, but I my emotional and mental well being are better (as well as my physical well being) since I do cardio 5 days/week. The intensity and exercise is different each day, but it helps get my day started.

Personally, I think that there is no harm in doing cardio 5 days/week as long as the workouts aren't going over board. For example, if someone was on the elliptical for an hour 5 days/week and pushing it to the max everyday, then that might be overdoing it. So, maybe do the elliptical 3x/week for 20 to 30 minutes and then choose another cardio activity (like indoor cycling) for the other 30 minutes (or for how ever long you are doing the cardio). Then 2x/week, use the rowing machine and the treadmill. If you've never used the rowing machine, it would take some time to build up endurance (to go longer but aim to go for 20 to 25 minutes/session). Rowing is great because it helps with endurance and flexibility. Then you can go to the treadmill and spend the rest of the time walking at various speeds and at different inclines. The elliptical and rowing machines are great for low impact workouts. The rowing can be felt in the lower back and abs if you're doing it right.

With the cardio things that I mentioned above, you could do one of those activities first, then do the strength training, and then end with the the other bit of cardio. These are also things that you can do at high or low intensity and still leave knowing that you had a wonderful workout.

Yes, diet is important but is the hardest one to tackle. For me, it is still a work in process (2.5 years into weight loss & maintaining muscle mass - about 15 lbs to go to be within normal weight range). If you want to maintain your lean muscle mass be sure to get a lot of protein.

7/18/13 12:06 P

There is no need for nor benefit from doing cardio 5 days a week. Beginning running programmes do not have the individual training doing cardio 5 days in a row. The trifecta for fat loss in order according the the most current research is nutrition (diet) in first place, strength training second and cardio third and last. At this stage in your fat loss journey three days of strength work and two of dedicated cardio is the best training sequence to follow.

7/18/13 1:20 A

Indeed. I saw a nutritionist about a year ago and she had me login to my spark & she adjusted my intake goals to what she thinks they should be so that is what I'm following right now. It is really hard to stay under 2,000 sodium, even with healthy foods it seems. Here are my intake goals,
Calories: 1390-1740
Carbs: 156-283
Fats: 31-68
Protein: 60-152
Sodium: 2,000 or under

I'm doing ok food wise, just adjusting. The cardio has to be 5 days a week right now. I am focusing on longer times instead of intensity until I'm comfortable "going hard" for a full 30 minutes. :) Didn't know about the strength training being hard so you can only do 8-10. That sounds better, thanks for the tip!

7/17/13 6:36 P

Contrary to the current urban myth popularized by the multitude of infomercials cardio is not the answer to losing weight. The trifecta for losing weight in ranked order of importance is nutrition (diet) number 1, strength training number 2 and cardio last at number 3. Basically you can not out run a bad diet. For fat loss two or three cardio sessions a week is adequate if done at the proper intensity meaning you are going hard enough that thirty minutes is all you can handle. Add three sessions of full body and compound movement strength work, again of thirty minutes duration and you will make progress is you track your nutrition. Your strength work should be using challenging enough resistance that you can not complete more than 8 to 10 repetitions with proper form in each set,

RENEE4614 SparkPoints: (57)
Fitness Minutes: (70)
Posts: 3
7/17/13 6:22 P

Congrats on getting back into the gym ...I myself just went back on monday after being off track for at least 6 months and i am doing 30 minutes on the tread mill and 20 minutes on the bike and 10 minutes on the elipitical trainer 4 days a week i am also following a low carb eatting plan i was told that i should expect to to loose 3-5 pounds a week .

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,408
7/17/13 12:30 A

For most people, losing weight is 80% nutrition and just 20% exercise. Your post doesn't mention intake, but without tackling your intake as well, exercise alone is unlikely to lead to large drops in weight.

One rule of thumb is that you can expect to lose about 1% of your body weight a week - so at 383 lbs, 3-4 lbs per week might not be unrealistic (of course, weight loss is rarely linear, so you might see 5-6 lbs some weeks, 0-2 lbs other weeks.. Unfortunately, this will slow over time, as your body weight continues to drop.


7/17/13 12:03 A

So I'm back at the gym after a year off the wagon.. I'm doing 35 minutes on the elliptical trainer (dripping sweat), & then I'm doing 10 minutes on the treadmill with a 5 minute cool down included. I'm doing this 5 days per week. I'm also doing strength training 3 days per week & packing around a 10 lb weight at home when i'm bored.
How much weight can one expect to lose per week following this kind of cardio program at my weight? I'm feeling ok besides my feet hurting a bit. Is anyone else around my weight doing a similar program?

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