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juliusoh

Cardio

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juliusoh

If I practice Monday-Saturday with 2-3 WOD/Weight Trainings per week

Is it okay to do 3-4 times a week 30minute cardio along with it?

Because Cardio makes me feel lighter and faster...

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Alexander Moreen

Its okay to do it if you want, you just wont get stronger as fast.

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Ryan Verma

It's a misnomer that if you do cardio, you will not build as much muscle. It depends on the type of cardio you're doing. Really, cardiovascular endurance is essential for muscle building because that's your circulatory system supplying nutrients and oxygen to your muscles.

You would be better off doing some high intensity interval training if you want to avoid hurting your potential muscle gains but still build cardiovascular endurance. If you do long, drawn out runs or biking sessions, that's building your endurance muscles. If you do short bursts of high intensity running or biking, that is building strength and it builds amazing cardio.

A hill sprint workout that I used to do involved running a certain number of meters (I'm canadian! :D) split up into sets. For example, if I said I was going to sprint 1000 meters, I would split that up into sets of both short (10m) and long (50-75m) sprints. Sprint for 10m, jog slowly or walk back and sprint again. I don't do that anymore because there aren't any hills close to where I live right now ><

Another interval training I like to do is called wind sprints and it can be done just about anywhere. I do mine in a soccer field when weather permits. Your soccer field should be divided into 4 sections of roughly 25m. You sprint to 25m, light jog back.Then sprint to 50m, light jog back. Sprint to 75m, light jog back. Finally, sprint 100m and walk back. Rest 1-2 min and repeat for as many rounds as possible in 20 min.

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AlexX
It's a misnomer that if you do cardio, you will not build as much muscle. It depends on the type of cardio you're doing. Really, cardiovascular endurance is essential for muscle building because that's your circulatory system supplying nutrients and oxygen to your muscles.

.

Essential usually means that it can't be done without it. Cardio does a lot of things but building muscle is just not one of them. Sure it brings nutrients and oxygen to your muscles but it does so to help with the task at hand, running (an aerobic activity). Because it is an aerobic activity it also uses a very different energy system and as a result different nutrients.

High intensity running or biking (interval training) does not build any significant amounts of strength, it is a more intensive form of an aeroboic activity but an aerobic activity none the less. You'd have to be seriously diminished in strength for it to build any strength. You can either work on strength or work on your aerobic capacity. Building both at the same time (in one exercise) is a luxury that only the pure beginners have.

To the OP: Is it ok to add cardio to your training regime? depends on what you want it to do. It is unlikely that 30 minutes of some light cardio will do anything (in terms of interfering with your workouts). But always keep in mind that the body has a limited capacity for recovery you can't build strength, get explosive, and push endurance gains all the same time. Something has to be prioritized.

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Ryan Verma

High intensity interval training is not aerobic, it is anaerobic. That is the entire reason I suggested it.

It's true that you will not be maximizing your strength gains if you do anything but strength work, but in my opinion, physical strength should not be pursued to the exclusion of all else. However, it depends on your lifestyle and goals.

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Larry Roseman
High intensity interval training is not aerobic, it is anaerobic. That is the entire reason I suggested it.

It's true that you will not be maximizing your strength gains if you do anything but strength work, but in my opinion, physical strength should not be pursued to the exclusion of all else. However, it depends on your lifestyle and goals.

I agree with this. Also when the OP said it made him feel lighter and faster, he'd have to explain that further what he is doing during the 30 minutes.

Cardio has come to mean pretty much any activity that gets the heart rate breating fast, usually a minimum 55-60% of maxHR.

There are different measures, this is just one. Typically this type of exercise has a heart-heath benefit.

Regarding steady-state and interval training, both have there place and purpose. It does depend what you are trying to accomplish. Until it is proven that ring work has a heart health benefit (it may) I say why stop?

But even long bout steady state cardio typically used by endurance athletes is not intrinsically catabolic of muscle tissue. Endurance athletes don't emphasis muscle building through their diet and training as there is no point for them to carry around excess muscular baggage for long distances. That's why you don't see them posing for bodybuilding.com. Still, there are really well built long-dstance athletes who choose to perform well and have good bodies too. Although you probably won't see them winning marathons against top Kenyans or Nigerians anytime soon either :lol:

Practically speaking, the main reason for choosing interval training over steady state is that it allows you to get a fair amount of intensive cardio in a relatively short amount of time, and gain some speed. Another approach is to work out at 75-80% of your maxHR for a shorter but decent amount of continous time, say 20 minutes. (The % varies, but the idea is to get to near the top of your aerobic range). Longer intervals also work here.

The risk of wind sprints or sprints in general is a greater chance of traumatic injury, strained muscle, sprained ankle, etc. Steady state is more likely to cause a repetitive use injury, tendonitis, blisters, etc. Hill sprints do avoid certain of these problems and can also add strength. Also the aerobic engine improvements resulting from intervals flatten out over a handful of weeks of regular activity - you are maintaining but not gaining endurance after that point. Yes, even with the great tabatas.

Here are a few links related to hill sprints for strength. It's just a potential tool in your bag tricks.

http://running.competitor.com/2010/10/t ... rints_9050

http://www.marathonperformance.com/2009 ... -strength/

So contrary to what was stated earlier, regular long bout steady state exercise is not intrinsically catabolic, though it may train some type II fibres to become more endurance orientated. That mechanism, though refered to often, is not entirely understood or even proven to be universal. You may become bored with this workout before it happens :lol: If it did occur max strength could be lost (in the muscles so affected), so it might be useful to attempt to "counteract" this with strength and modest bulking work of some kind, if losing max strength/power (in the legs probably) were a concern.

Intervals would probably avoid most of this probably because of their limited endurance building effect.

But I suspect that the impact either way would not be noticiable except at the higher levels of performance.

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Philip Chubb

With long distance cardio, you have issues like increasing your cortisol and furthering muscle breakdown. It is as simple as the clients I see. I have a lot of marathon runners in the area (D.C has a lot of races) and they all suffer from the same lack of muscle mass and skinny fat look. I also couldn't quite recommend long distance steady state with the other strength goals.

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Coach Sommer
... Is it okay to do 3-4 times a week 30 minute ... cardio? Because Cardio makes me feel lighter and faster...

Short distance running will have not have a negative long-term impact on your strength gains. Although in the short-term it may, if you are beginning your cardio training from a fitness deficit or attempting too much initial intensity.

Without question the Chinese currently have the strongest athletes in the world on Still Rings and yet year round their Sr National Team performs several 3-5 mile runs per week with some 400m sprint work also thrown into the mix. Their Jr athletes run less overall distance at a time, but have a 30 minute running workout that they perform on a daily basis. They are ridiculously strong as well.

The following is some visual food for thought.

whJpFP3bG18

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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John Sapinoso

My current personal routine (by necessity) includes lot's of walking and I've noticed optimisation of body composition as compared to when I don't do it.

In the past, I've run upwards of 6 miles per day and noticed it was detrimental to my strength training.

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Khassera

Sorry if it's already been covered, but I love (just flat out love) integrating heavy finishers into my WODs.

For example today's WOD (I don't follow the WODs on the forum because my regimen is not well structured, I try to do 3-4 real workouts per week with skill/technique work every day) looked like this:

6 sets of

MU -> 4xRTO dip -> 6s BL -> 8s FL

5 sets of

15s XR Lsit

15s XR ATP

15s German Hang

5x10 heavy (48kg) kettlebell swings as fast as possible. These kind of finishers, I feel, really get the juices flowing. I'd imagine it's got something wild to do with HGH too, at least that's what I recall Mike Mahler saying about "high octane" cardio.

I do these finishers after every workout, so that makes it 3-4 times a week.

I guess if I laid off and just did them once or twice a week and concentrated more on active recovery (walks, stretching, foam rolling) the gains would be greater?

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Philip Chubb

This reminds me of my times during wrestling season. The first half hour of each practice was running at different speeds and lengths. Looking back, I wonder what the level of conditioning would have been if the running had been replaces with more specific drills toward the actual wrestling.

While we certainly can't argue with the Chinese methods based on those videos...Do you believe that the runs are beneficial or could the Chinese be successful in spite of their running? I know your own athletes sometimes run a half hour or so for recovery I believe correct? I am also guessing it is because of increased blood flow that the run promotes.

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gymrob

Here are my thoughts:

Whilst I'm not an expert I think steady state long distance cardio is definately out of the picture for primarily anaerobic athletes. The adaptations conflict with those needed for the sport.

I do however think more "extensive intervals" such as Charlie Francis's tempo runs can be useful for the following reasons:

1. Heating of motor neurons thus lowering their electrical resistance.

2. You can maintain a warm up effect for longer (useful if you are in a sport where you have to sit around for a while waiting to compete/ between events etc).

3. Re-setting the parasympathetic nervous system...strength/power/speed sports are typically sympathetic activities.

4. Building GPP-General Physical Preparation: building a base of general motor skills before engaging in specialised work.

5. If you are in an alactic-aerobic sport such as soccer, higher aerobic power will replenish substrates needed for alactic activities faster.

Some of these points are more relevant than others to gymnastics but these are my thoughts. But understand that this type of work is a lot different to traditional steady state cardio. Tempo runs etc will not generate the same negative hormonal responses.

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Quick Start Test Smith

Thanks for the email notification, Coach!

I'm very interested in hearing more about why running works so well with the Chinese. You say that running may not be beneficial IF added when at a fitness (strength?) deficit or starting with too much intensity. What levels of fitness would you suggest someone reach before beginning a fairly consistent running/sprinting routine?

A lot of coaches discourage athletes from running because of the wear and tear on the joints (which I think can be at least partially avoided by having a lot of basic strength anti-inflamatory nutrition, as well as choosing an appropriate running surface). Do you know what type of surface the Chinese run on?

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Larry Roseman
This reminds me of my times during wrestling season. The first half hour of each practice was running at different speeds and lengths. Looking back, I wonder what the level of conditioning would have been if the running had been replaces with more specific drills toward the actual wrestling.

While we certainly can't argue with the Chinese methods based on those videos...Do you believe that the runs are beneficial or could the Chinese be successful in spite of their running? I know your own athletes sometimes run a half hour or so for recovery I believe correct? I am also guessing it is because of increased blood flow that the run promotes.

The OP was concerned more if it would be a problem, more than if it would help. I think the Coach is making the point that doesn't seem to be hurting the Chinese. And that you need to fit it in such a way that it doesn't drag down your primary work.

Whether it is the key or a key to the Chinese success is hard to tell. Keep in mind that cardio is strength work - for the heart. And enough of it will produce (healthy) ventricular hypertrophy that has carry over benefits to many other realms!

Also it is a chance of pace for athletes who are in the gym most of the day so getting out might be good for their PMA. But even for regular guys Iit can have a positive effect on mood, and has been found helpful for depression

As it relates to cortisol and training check out http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20 ... tisol.html

It is not the key problem with aerobic. Go to the "What Function Does Cortisol Play with Aerobic Exercise" to bypass

the medical terminology.

But I agree with above posters that shorter distances/times (< 50 mins) make most sense if you are strength focused.

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Coach Sommer
... My current personal routine (by necessity) includes lot's of walking and I've noticed optimisation of body composition as compared to when I don't do it ... In the past, I've run upwards of 6 miles per day and noticed it was detrimental to my strength training ...

Excellent point.

This is illustrative of the substantial difference in training effects that manipulating running volume can have; e.g. ts00nami's former 30 miles per week (loss of strength) and the Sr Chinese National Team's current volume of 6-15 miles per week (strongest in the world). My best approximation is that the Chinese are probably hitting nearer the 9 mile mark on a weekly basis (not including 400m work), with the occasional 6 and 15 mile weeks being thrown in depending on the training cycle.

My personal preference is to see the weekly running total stay at the lower end of the scale near the 6 mile range. At this volume you could break it up into either three 2 mile days or two 3 mile days. Thus even if you are not a particularly proficient runner, if you choose the 2 miles a day option; you are still finished with this portion of your workout in 15-18 minutes. Which is actually perfect to sufficiently elevate your core temperature enough to proceed directly into your joint prehab work prior to the main body of your workout.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Quick Start Test Smith

I'm in the 2 miles three times a week group... that helps a lot, though. I really need to develop my basic work capacity and strength, because right now it's absolutely pathetic. Even though I'm very fast in my kicks and punches, I can't keep it up at all. If I can only find a nice empty field... :D

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Coach Sommer

Several additional points of clarification:

1) If you are running utilizing a fore foot strike, running is therapeutic for the joints.

2) For all of those who are heel strike advocates, we can end that discussion before it even begins. Take off your shoes. Go outside. Sprint down the sidewalk being sure to strike heel first on every stride. Now limp back inside and let's move on.

3) Attention to detail please! I said that running may be detrimental to your strength training in the SHORT-TERM IF you are beginning from a fitness deficit or utilizing to much intensity. This will cease to be an issue as your conditioning improves.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Quick Start Test Smith

Wow! Talk about nostalgia! I used to run using the fore foot stroke down the street all the time, and (not to boast) I was the fastest around. Eventually I was told that it was bad for my joints, so I put on running shoes and ran using the heel method. A few years later plus my first year of karate and hello knee and hip pain. Very interesting. And it makes perfect sense as well.

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Mathias Flækøy

So how do running barefoot affect the achilles? I can feel a little discomfort in my achilles in the morning, and wondering if i should run barefoot or not.

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Coach Sommer
So how do running barefoot affect the achilles? I can feel a little discomfort in my achilles in the morning, and wondering if i should run barefoot or not.

Barefoot running is simply a variation of running with a forefoot strike. If you are experiencing discomfort, it is due to your achilles being deconditioned from not having been used for it's intended purpose in quite some time. When switching from running with a heel strike to a forefoot strike there will be a period of adaptation until the achilles becomes sufficiently strengthened.

Reduce your running distance until you reach a volume where the achilles is not excessively uncomfortable and then gradually build to your desired volume from there.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Philip Chubb

FIN, Thank you for the link. I will look at it when I get the chance. But from experience, I believe the elevation or cortisol can be a problem. In my opinion, good constant experience is more beneficial than a study where the variables are often a bit shakey. Just as well, cardio is strengthening for the heart but what about steady state? It is more like endurance such as lifting small weights many times. HiiT would be more strengthening to the heart.

I really want to experiment with this forefoot strike. I am hoping to replicate Coach's 20 mile story. One idea I have been thinking of is doing something similar but with jumping rope. I believe it would be a more favorable adaptation but also achieve similar benefits to the run and promote recovery.

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Ryan Verma

For the record, proper sprinting technique involves using the forefoot strike as well. However, it feels slightly more exaggerated than the videos I've seen for proper forefoot strike technique. I haven't seen what I look like while sprinting, but it feels almost as if I'm running on the balls of my feet.

Most people will naturally use a forefoot strike when they sprint anyway, but if you're just starting, you should definitely make sure you are not using a heel strike - if it's damaging to your tendons/ligaments at normal running speed, it's definitely not good at sprinting speeds! I've also noticed that when I start to get tired, my body wants to use longer strides and a heel strike during sprinting. It may only be me, but it's something to be aware of when you're doing your own sprints so you can correct it during your workout.

From personal experience, when I do decide to do 10km runs (which are very long for me... I hate them) I find that my cardiovascular capacity is not what is lacking - it's the muscular endurance in my legs. This has to do with the way I train, since I focus on sprinting and heavy squats (4-7 rep range) my legs have very little in the way of the endurance muscles. I can run a 5km in 20 mins or less, but a 10km will take me at least 50 min. As long as your heart rate is between 60% and 85% of your max, you are developing your cardio, but the type of muscles you develop while performing that cardio depends entirely on what exercise you're doing.

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Mark Weaver
So how do running barefoot affect the achilles? I can feel a little discomfort in my achilles in the morning, and wondering if i should run barefoot or not.

Barefoot running is simply a variation of running with a forefoot strike. If you are experiencing discomfort, it is due to your achilles being deconditioned from not having been used for it's intended purpose in quite some time. When switching from running with a heel strike to a forefoot strike there will be a period of adaptation until the achilles becomes sufficiently strengthened.

Reduce your running distance until you reach a volume where the achilles is not excessively uncomfortable and then gradually build to your desired volume from there.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

Coach is exactly right on this advice. A gal at my work got some Vibrams and went out and ran 5 miles on her first go. She couldn't walk very well for about a week. You've got to work into it slowly. Be prepared for some really sore calves as they start to cushion the impact instead of your joints. I've been running in Vibrams/barefoot for about a year and a half, and feel stronger in the legs. I also noticed that I was able to go farther and farther each time before pain in my knee stopped me, compared to running in shoes and heel striking.

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Larry Roseman
FIN, Thank you for the link. I will look at it when I get the chance. But from experience, I believe the elevation or cortisol can be a problem. In my opinion, good constant experience is more beneficial than a study where the variables are often a bit shakey. Just as well, cardio is strengthening for the heart but what about steady state? It is more like endurance such as lifting small weights many times. HiiT would be more strengthening to the heart.

I really want to experiment with this forefoot strike. I am hoping to replicate Coach's 20 mile story. One idea I have been thinking of is doing something similar but with jumping rope. I believe it would be a more favorable adaptation but also achieve similar benefits to the run and promote recovery.

You're welcome. The main point in the article is that cortisol rises during strength training as well. It can't be looked at insolation.

In terms of aerobic cardio it's there to spare muscle glycogen, and muscle catabolic effects are handled by having some carb before/during. Heart strengthing is superior in steady-state from what I've read. HIT can work faster at first but the effects plateau and fade faster. Intensive steady state can encompass shorter distances, 3,4,5 miles. Doesn't have to be 20 miles :-)

Endurance rope jumping will be much harder than running I'm certain. Good luck going 10 minutes straight :-)

Regarding forefoot striking, I find that it's also speed dependant (as rmandawg1 said above) - it's natural to shift forward to the ball of the foot when sprinting or running quickly. But at slower paces it feels more natural to me on my mid-foot. I agree in bare feet there is little option.

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Coach Sommer

The distinction between a midfoot and a forefoot strike is relatively unimportant and will resolve itself quite naturally based on the athlete's relative speed at which they are performing. A heel stike however is incorrect at any and all speeds of running.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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