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  1. #1
    Anivair's Avatar
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    How to train Cardio

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    We all know that mark (and most paleo/primal types) hates chronic cardio. I get that running along on the treadmill for an hour is a bad idea.

    That said, a friend is asking about how he can best train his cardiovascular system. the usual answer, espoused by conventional wisdom and by fitness manuals, is to run, slowly increasing your duration every other day or so, till you're running hard and long.

    But that's not good for you. So how DO you properly train your cardiovascular system for harsh demands that may be put on it (like running a dozen miles) without chronic cardio?

    Right now I'm leaning toward running no more than 30 minutes every other day and doing some sprints once a week and squats and deadlifts, but I'll gladly take advice from the peanut gallery, especially one so well educated as this.
    Last edited by Anivair; 07-06-2011 at 10:18 AM.

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    iniQuity's Avatar
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    I don't have that big a problem with cardio. If you work a sedentary job, it'll probably do you good to run around more often than not.

    I think chronic cardio is bad if...

    - You hate the activity you're doing (I for instance, despise jogging on a treadmill but if I'm outside it's a different story)
    - You're doing it for the sole reason of losing weight (and you hate what you're doing, but you think it's the best option)
    - You do it constantly because of the aforementioned...

    I think cardio is just fine if ...

    - It's not chronic, so you give your body time to rest and adapt
    - You're doing something you like (playing a sport, for instance, a 1-2 hour soccer game is pure cardio, with sprints, easy jogs, etc)
    - You are not just doing it to lose weight, but rather look at it as an added bonus.

    I don't really do too much straight-up cardio work. I like to sprint but that's only once a week (sometimes once every two weeks... =/) other than that I enjoy super-setting exercises. 10 pull ups, followed by 10 dips, followed by 10 sandbag squats as a random example, with no rest in between. it's not classic cardio, but it's cardio. I also like doing tuck-jumps if it's been a long while since I sprinted but am not up for a sprint workout (they work the quads a lot, and leave you totally spent, so I don't do it too close to sprint days) I also enjoy beating up a truck tire with my sledgehammer
    Last edited by iniQuity; 07-06-2011 at 10:31 AM.

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    Hill sprints and strength training... if you do those right, you're circualtory system is getting plenty of work.

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    Anivair's Avatar
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    So you think my suggestion is okay as long as the running he's doing is kept light? Or do you think running every other day for 30 minutes is too much?

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    primalrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iniQuity View Post
    I don't have that big a problem with cardio. If you work a sedentary job, it'll probably do you good to run around more often than not.

    I think chronic cardio is bad if...

    - You hate the activity you're doing (I for instance, despise jogging on a treadmill but if I'm outside it's a different story)
    - You're doing it for the sole reason of losing weight (and you hate what you're doing, but you think it's the best option)
    - You do it constantly because of the aforementioned...

    I think cardio is just fine if ...

    - It's not chronic, so you give your body time to rest and adapt
    - You're doing something you like (playing a sport, for instance, a 1-2 hour soccer game is pure cardio, with sprints, easy jogs, etc)
    - You are not just doing it to lose weight, but rather look at it as an added bonus.
    exactly.

    if your friend wants to run, tell him to run. i enjoy a good run once in a while...though i use them as much as an overall fitness indicator as i do exercise. i also like to squeeze in a race every now and then.
    it's really the crazy long marathon training that is both exhausting and possibly damaging. s/he shouldn't just start out running 35 miles a week...ease into it.
    also, sprinting and lifting heavy things will also help with cardiovascular fitness. especially sprinting.

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