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CARISSA81 Posts: 1,456
1/13/13 10:08 A

Thanks for the feedback, I think I may use the videos as cardio, but only twice a week and stick to my bike the other two cardio days. I think as long as I use lighter weights and modify the range of motion I'm getting my heard rate out without interfering with my strength routine.

MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (79,230)
Fitness Minutes: (79,333)
Posts: 2,170
1/8/13 3:55 A

In my opinion, it is better to stick with the exercises that are known to be safe and effective for either strength training or cardio type exercises. Many professional people try to reinvent the wheel, but often the results are suboptimal (e.g. neither full strength benefits, nor full cardio benefits), and in the case of people who are not trained, it can even be totally dangerous.

I would suggest indoor cardio equipment for cardio (I have an elliptical machine at home in case I can't go out) and body weight exercises or resistance bands for strength training.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
1/7/13 10:29 P

Nothing is purely strength without cardio, and nothing is purely cardio without strength.

To maximise the cardiovascular benefits of strength-type movements, you would do much as you are with limiting the weights, repeating quickly, and not worrying too much about form or range of motion (beyond "safe" - always "safe" as a minimum!).

But also, you would ensure you're working your entire body at once, eg combine squats with an arm movement, never do "just a bicep curl" etc. And also do not rest. With ST we can rest between sets, and this is beneficial. With a lighter weight you shouldn't need to and you can continue the cardio effect by ensuring you work consistently, which the DVD almost certainly does for you.

Technically, cardio is defined as:

1. Uses (all or mostly) whole body movements as compared to single muscle movement
2. Raises your HR to 65-85% of your max, and sustains that
3. Lasts 10 minutes or more

If you feel the DVD is matching that, it's good to count it as cardio. As for tracking it, just use a generic "low impact aerobics" (or high impact, if both feet are constantly leaving the ground together).

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
1/7/13 8:57 P


If it is a circuit based program where you are able to elevate your heart rate between 60-85% of your max heart rate and sustain it for a period of 20 minutes or more you can count it as a cardio program. However, if it just strength training with a rest period in between, I would track this as strength training. SparkPeople will give you calorie burn credit for your strength training exercises.

Remember calories burn is based on the amount of oxygen consumed in relation to large muscle activation which requires a greater demand of oxygen.

Coach Nancy

CARISSA81 Posts: 1,456
1/7/13 8:34 P

I was just wondering if I should consider strength exercises as cardio if I do them at a lower intensive and at a faster rate? I have some DVDs (just got Bob Harper's Ultimate Cardio) to mix things up during winter when I don't like to go out to jog. Even though they say cardio - there's a lot of strength too. I didn't do the full range of motion like I do on my "strength" days and I used light weights. I'd like this to be my cardio and not strength because it gets my heart rate much higher than that boring ol' bicycle does!


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