Ask an expert
Question

01 Dec 2004

CARDIO
FitnessDoc,

I do cardio training every second day, with upper and lower toning in between and Sunday being an "off day". When I do cardio, I do the following:
20min - treadmill (walking, intensity level 3-4)
20min- bike (level 3-4)
20min - rowing (level 5-6)
20min - rotex (level 3-4),
Question
1. Am I doing to much cardio?
2. I never run on the treadmill. I walk for 20 min on intensity level 3-4. Would it be better to walk or run, or are the results the same.
Thanks in advance.

Answer 374 views
Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

HI Z

It's hard to say yes or no to your question, because it depends entirely on the person involved and the history of the training. I think that 3 or 4 days a week is fine, and the fact that you have this rest day in between where you do weight training, plus the complete rest on sunday is a huge plus factor. I also think that as far as the balance between cardio and weight training goes, you are about right, though I would possibly say that if your goal is to lose weight and then tone, I would even say that you could do an extra day of cardio, and cut out one of the weight training days.

As for what you are doing during the cardio, I do sometimes worry that by doing 80 minutes, you could be losing out on the quality of the training if you were doing only 40 to 60 minutes. For example, if you cut the treadmill back to 10 minutes as a warmup, and the rotex to 10 minutes as a cooldown, then you have this 40 minutes in between, where you could possibly go a little harder or higher in intensity. This could make a difference to your success. I'm not saying that super hard high intensity training is the way to go necessarily, because it can very easily cause injury and burnout, but then so can huge volume.

Let me put it this way - your success depends on two factors, the quantity of the training and the quality. There is a pay off between the two - you may be able to increase the quantity, but then the quality goes down, and vice versa. You therefore need to decide how to combine the two to maximize results. How do you do this? I think that the important thing is to listen your body. I believe that there is an optimal intensity or quality that your body will allow you to sustain before excessive fatigue kicks in. Also there is an optimal duration that allows you to recover in time for the next day. So, the question is, are you recovering from one day to the next. If not, then I certainly would reduce the duration. If you are tired, feeling heavy, then that is a sure sign of having the 'plods' (in runner speak) as a result of too much. If you backed off two days a week, and did say 40 to 60 minutes instead of 80, you may find that the training improves.

That said, you may be finding that your training is going well and nothing is bothering you. If this is the case, then, hey, why change it?

As for the final question, perhaps I have answered it already - if you can do 10 minutes on the treadmill, and run, it may be better than 20 minutes of walking. if you can't though, then stick with the walking for 20.

Good luck
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.