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Thread: The 75% rule of cardio page

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    Michaeljwjr's Avatar
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    The 75% rule of cardio

    While I basically understand what Mark was saying in his book, I'm having a hard time with the 75% rule during my cardio.

    Before I was doing 148-158 with no problems at all, I loved it, and felt great afterwards.

    However 75% for me is down to 138, and when I'm done I hardly feel like I exercised at all. I'm 6ft4 275lbs, have been working out for 2 months, but doing the 75% for the past month.

    How strict is that 75%, and since my cardio is only 20min long will it adversely affect me that much if I go above the 75%?

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    RichMahogany's Avatar
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    I don't think 20 minutes is long enough for your 75% exercise, although I don't have the book in front of me.

    Are you doing some lifting of heavy things and occasional (1x every week to 1x every other week) sprinting?

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    Michaeljwjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    I don't think 20 minutes is long enough for your 75% exercise, although I don't have the book in front of me.

    Are you doing some lifting of heavy things and occasional (1x every week to 1x every other week) sprinting?
    Yes. 20min of weights, 20min of cardio 5 days a week. I also walk pretty much every where.

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    RichMahogany's Avatar
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    I'd go more like 40 minutes of weights 3 or 4 times a week and lift HEAVY, and let the "walk[ing] pretty much everywhere" be your "move frequently at a slow pace." And don't forget to play. Got anyone you can throw a frisbee or knock a tennis ball around with?

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    Michaeljwjr's Avatar
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    oh my daughter, we play all the time I usually make it back to her school after my work out in time for recess and I go play with the kids.

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    I had a health MOT last week at my gym. My VO2 max (measured at rest lying down - ha ha!) has gone down - I question how this can possibly be measured accurately under these conditions, but could this be because I dropped the 'chronic cardio' in favour of interval training with sprints? However, my resting heart rate is the lowest ever measured at 66. My overall health score is down due to an elevation in overall cholesterol up to 6.3. Apparently my drop in BMI is disregarded. Meh!
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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    Do you enjoy the cardio? If not, I would drop it and just do sprints once a week, maybe up your lifting to 30 minutes. The slow movements shouldn't exhaust you, that would have been deadly to Grok. And you sound like you're getting enough of that.

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    Michaeljwjr's Avatar
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    I love my cardio, and I do my sprints once a week (on the way to the gym actually). So as long as I'm not hurting myself I'll stick with my higher heart rate.

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    How did you determine your max heart rate? It's a very individual thing. 220. - age can be way off. Since your perceived effort is low at higher rates I would try to get an accurate reading if you are working off a formula.

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    lev96's Avatar
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    It sounds to me like you are being a bit overly scientific about this. One of the main rules Mark has is that you should enjoy it. Everything he writes to do can and should be modified for maximum enjoyment. It sounds to me like you are a bit bored with 75% for 20 min. So, by all means... either up your heart rate or extend the time so you can feel like you put in a good effort. I'd personally choose the extended time, as long as I had the time.

    Also, you did not mention any sprinting in you workouts, you should get some of that in there too. Maybe if you do that, keeping the other part at 75% will seem better. Wooops... just read a later post... you are doing sprints. Still, doesn't change much else that I wrote. Don't over-analyze, enjoy yourself!

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