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Most guys have a hard time knowing how much cardio they really need to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle. The answer as you would expect is, it depends, but there is more to the story when it comes to finding the right amount of cardio. Today we’ll break down how much cardio you really need, and how to tailor these recommendations based on your health and fitness goals.
If you’re looking for more specific guidance as it relates to your training, join other men getting their physical and mental edge back to reach high levels of performance inside and outside of the gym. Check out the Men Made for More Coaching Program and set up your Free Strategy Session by heading to https://www.insideoutsp.com/men-made-for-more-coaching-program
Men Made For More Podcast Episode 32: How Much Cardio Do I Need to Do?
[00:00:00] Dave: Welcome to the Men Made For More podcast, a show designed by men for men. Looking to get strong, feel confident and live a high performing life. As men. We face many challenges as we try and strive for better life. Want to live a meaningful and confident life, but don’t know where to start. You’ve lost your physical and mental edge.
[00:00:18] That’s keeping you from living out your full potential. You’re tired of talking about doing big things and you’re ready to start living it. But the men made for more podcast. Our goal is to teach you how to strengthen your body, your mind, and your purpose. On your way to reaching your full potential.
[00:00:34] It’s time to start living as a man. You know, you can be to help lift up those that matter most in your life. In this podcast, we’ll leave no stone unturned as to what it takes to get out of your comfort zone and step into living a strong, competent, and high-performing life. We’ll focus on the topics that matter most for helping you develop into the man you were made to be, our goal is to not only build strong men physically, but to help coach and develop strong friends, sons, brothers, fathers, isn’t [00:01:00] owners, and professionals in every area of your life.
[00:01:03] I’m your host, Dr. Dave Paczkowski, proud husband, business owner, physical therapist and strength coach with a passion for helping other men strengthen their body, their mind, and their purpose, wherever you’re at in your journey. Remember that you’re made for more. I’m excited to have you with us today and let’s dive into today’s episode of the men made for more podcasts.
[00:01:24]Hey guys, welcome to today’s show. We’re talking about cardio today, and most guys have a hard time knowing how much cardio they really need to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle. And the answer as you would expect is. It depends, but there’s more to the story when it comes to finding the right amount of cardio and today we’ll break down how much cardio really need and how to tailor these recommendations based on your health and fitness goals.
[00:01:48] So let’s jump on into it. If you’ve been to any kind of commercial gym, you’ve probably seen the rows and rows and rows of cardio machines. And while these machines all cost hundreds and [00:02:00] probably more realistically thousands of dollars most are completely unnecessary when it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals.
[00:02:07] Why are they so popular? You see people on those machines all the time, and you see people there almost every day, either running or on an elliptical on a bike and just cruising away and they are popular. And I have them, my theories on it. I think they’re popular because they make you feel productive.
[00:02:28] They show you how many calories you burn, which if you listen to the last episode, may or may not be completely accurate or be a full story. I also think there, the problem with these cardio machines is they can be mindless. So it’s an easy way to go to the gym, turn on the TV. That’s attached to there, or pull up on your phone, open a book and just cruise away, log your hours, and then leave the gym.
[00:02:51] And I think this is setting you up for failure in the longterm. And I don’t think it’s the best way to exercise. I don’t think it’s a fun way to exercise. And I don’t think it’s the way [00:03:00] that cardio should be. So want to talk about hearing a little bit of what cardio should look like or could look like, make it more fun, more enjoyable, and how much you really need of it.
[00:03:11] Because I would argue that you don’t need to be on these cardio machines or doing any kind of cardio. Every day, unless you’re training for a specific endurance event. So if your goals are to look good and feel good, yeah. Cardio machines, or just cardio in general, recreational running those things do not need to have a place in your routine.
[00:03:32] So that’s the common myth that I wanted to spell off the bat is that we think that we have to do cardio to lose weight, to look better. And it’s simply not true, but what about other types of cardio? So we talk about the cardio machines, which are so prevalent in any kind of gym. You go to hotel, gym, commercial, gym, big box gym, any of those places, but what about the other types of cardio?
[00:03:54] So on a. Use a couple of terms here to help define we’re going to be talking about is cardio or today’s show. [00:04:00] And there’s, what’s called the hit training. H I I T, or high intensity interval training. And this is something that you might picture in a car, the Jim and orange theory at 4,500, those types of gyms, it’s this circuit style training that’s using sometimes a combination of traditional.
[00:04:17] Oh, cardio with other things like full body weight movement. And it’s this way too. Keep your heart rate up. And some people consider that cardio as well is what’s called L I S S low intensity, slow and steady type cardio training. This is popular in the bodybuilding community. This would be doing a very slow.
[00:04:37] Stair stepper, very slow going up and down stairs, a slow walk on an incline, a very light biking, and these things are popular because they tap into a lot of fat burning stores, especially when they’re done fasted. So that’s another type of cardio. And then there’s also more your aerobic capacity. And this is what talk about.
[00:04:56] If you are an endurance athlete training for an event. And cardio is going to play a big role in that. [00:05:00] And it’s going to look a lot different than the, and just trying to feel healthy and lose weight. So if you’re training your aerobic capacity, you’re actually trying to build your cardio engine. Your VO to your ability to handle higher volumes and higher loads of cardio, then you’re going to fall into that category.
[00:05:18] So is there some of the things that I want to talk about? Cause we’re going to circle back on those when we talk about what your training goal is and how to implement some of these different ones into your training. And I know that it’s a fundamental belief that if you. Do cardio you’ll lose weight and be healthy, but there’s a lot more to the story to consider.
[00:05:34] And I want to paint a different picture in terms of ways that you can. Do cardio and see those results and maybe find some different types of cardio, but also ways that if you just don’t enjoy cardio, I want to let you off the hook and say it is not necessary for the amount of results that you’re probably trying to get to.
[00:05:54] And if that’s general fitness looking to look good and feel good, there’s a lot of ways you can accomplish that. [00:06:00] And I want to talk about, um, my wife, Lindsey, her half marathon training story from when we were, she was wrapping up in college. I was just finishing and starting out as a physical therapist.
[00:06:10] And I was helping her with her training program in terms of her running mileage. In the past, she had followed the traditional half marathon programs that come out in terms of how much mileage and building up over the course of say 12 weeks or so to get you ready to run a half marathon. And she had done maybe four or five at this point, and she wanted to set a PR and she wanted to run less miles doing it.
[00:06:34] She was into some weightlifting and cross training at the time and wanted to see if she could do it without logging the same amount of mileage that she was used to. And of course, I love this challenge. I love programming for people and that’s what I happen to do for a living now. But my wife was a lucky one to get one of the earlier, earlier samples on that.
[00:06:55] And so we put it through a cross training program, helped out with she was running once, [00:07:00] maybe twice a week and for half marathon. So we’re talking 13.1 miles. I think the most she ran at the most was four and a half to five miles. And I think it might even been less than that closer to four. And we just incorporated a lot of our traditional strength training, some more high intensity interval training, cross training type stuff that mixed together, some of these different principles.
[00:07:23] And she PR had her half marathon by at least five minutes, maybe closer to 10 minutes, but it was definitely a PR and she felt great during it. And that was all without doing the traditional program without just logging the mileage and doing the cardio. She could have easily followed a program pulled up on a spreadsheet, how many miles she has to run each day.
[00:07:44] If they’re logged those on the road, log those on a treadmill. And she probably would have got less effective results, but by switching up finding some different ways to achieve that cardio, she actually felt better and performed better. And that’s possible. If you can find out what type of cardio works for you and how to [00:08:00] implement that into your current routine.
[00:08:03] So to, to bring this together, we want to talk about a few of the different things we want to talk about what you mean goals are, how often you should be doing cardio for how long you should be doing it. What type of cardio and what other training you’re doing. So these are some of the big categories I want to touch on and let’s start with what your training goal is.
[00:08:21] So if your training goal is weight loss, then. Your best bet is going to be nutrition. First and foremost, nutrition has to be dialed. Then you’re not going to run that with cardio weight training is going to be effective for losing weight, potentially high intensity interval training. And the low intensity, slow and steady training talks about have some lower intensity get into those fat burning states and doing it for a longer period of time at a lower intensity and possibly fasted too.
[00:08:50] So first thing in the morning can be a popular way for weight loss and that’s because people think that pushing to their limits is burning more fat. Cause they [00:09:00] confuse burning calories with burning fat, but in reality, the fat burning zone is much lower than people think. And that’s why that low intensity steady state is so popular for losing weight and leaning up.
[00:09:10] If you’re trying to gain muscle, then the answer would be the nutrition and weight training. So in these cases, if you’re trying to build muscle, you probably don’t want to be doing as much cardio. If your goal is truly muscle gain, then cardio can negatively impact some of those results. So you want to stay away from cardio.
[00:09:27] If you are doing it. Some of that low intensity work can be great. Maybe mixing in a little bit of HIIT training for your cardio. If you, if you’re concerned about losing it, but you don’t want to be go be going out and. Logging a bunch of miles or doing long, intense row workouts or long bike rides, muscle gain is your true goal.
[00:09:47] I feel looking for overall fitness. Again, this is going to sound like a broken record, but nutrition is first and then also weight training, making sure a good strength program, a good high intensity interval training program that HIIT program and [00:10:00] aerobic capacity. So if you’re going for just overall fitness, look good, feel good and be healthy.
[00:10:04] Then you want to mix and match a few of these different things. So that brings to the next question of how often should you be doing this? Again, a lot of this is based on goal, but hopefully to give you guys some, uh, some concrete numbers, if you’re in the overall fitness category, you can mix it in more often.
[00:10:22] It’s something that if you’re. Trying to build muscle. You don’t want to be doing two, three, four high intensity interval training sessions per week, but if you’re just an overall fitness, you can get away with that. As long as you’re recovering fine, as long as you’re taking care of your joints and taking care of some of those other things, then you can get away for a little more.
[00:10:41] Now, obviously, if you’re on the endurance athlete side of things, if you’re into a actually competing for something, then a lot of your training is going to fall into that. But don’t neglect some of those other important things such as cross training, such as strength training and some of those other things.
[00:10:55] Now, if your goal is weight loss, I would focus more on some weight [00:11:00] training and potentially that high intensity interval training, as opposed to getting on a treadmill and trying to do log mileage. You’re burning calories. It’s just really not as effective in what I’ve seen, time and time again, a good weight training program will go a lot longer in aesthetic benefits.
[00:11:16] So looking, looking better, leaning up losing weight and just a sustainable approach that, uh, does better for your joints. Anyways, if you do it correctly and follow a good program. Now how long should you be doing this? When you do you log a session. If you’re only doing one session a week, you can either push it at a higher intensity or push it a little longer.
[00:11:37] So think if you’re doing more of that lower intensity activity, you can do it. More often more frequently and you can do it for longer duration, but if you’re logging a really intense aerobic capacity workout, say like a max 5k or 10 K or for some of you guys even longer than you don’t want to be doing those day in and day out.
[00:11:57] Same thing. If you’re doing a full body HIIT training session, a [00:12:00] high intensity training session, you want to be careful about doing that too many days. I wouldn’t go past three to four days on that personally, just based on the people that tend to regularly push four or five or even six days a week, tend to end up beat up and seeing us in our PT clinic for, uh, for that reason. So I would keep that shorter. If you’re going higher intensity, if you’re doing a, not a full body, one or lower intensity, then feel free to, I go longer duration on that. Now what type of right for you, we’ve kind of already discussed a lot of these things, but finding the one that works for your goals.
[00:12:34] So if you’re trying to. Lose weight and you are trying to do something every day, then that low-intensity slow and steady taking a long walk in the morning and doing some hiking. Some light biking can be good. If you’re trying to just boost up your fitness and improve your, your cardio, then doing some of those more high intensity sessions would be better.
[00:12:54] So, so hopefully answered that already with based off your goal, but that type is going to [00:13:00] vary. And then. Find something you enjoy and don’t overthink it either. That’s, that’s a big, big thing that goes along with all this is, if you enjoy. Biking than bike. If you enjoy running, then run. If you want to jump on a rower, then do that.
[00:13:15] But don’t try and force yourself into something that you don’t enjoy doing. Cardio can be unfun as it is. So find something you enjoy and stick with that last piece that I want to touch on here is what other training are you doing? So I’ve kind of touched on pieces of this today, but no, if you’re doing four heavy strength days a week, then you don’t need to be doing two, three or four cardio days in there.
[00:13:38] And vice versa. If you’re only doing one strength training a week, then you might be able to tolerate some more cardio days. So that’s something you enjoy and something you want to train for. So just, it all comes in a. I’ll come together in terms of what you’re doing, how well you’re recovering, how well you’re, what your nutrition is like many days you’re doing strength.
[00:13:57] How many days you’re doing cardio, how many rest days you [00:14:00] have all these things are going to play a role. And I hope that doesn’t overwhelm you. Uh, I don’t want to make this sound over complicated. Although if you are having trouble with it, it, it can be as complicated as we make it, but it can also be as simple as we make it.
[00:14:13] If you’re not recovering well and not getting the results you want, pick one variable and start to tweak it, but pay attention to the program as a whole. So to wrap things up here, cardio can be vague, but it’s still very important in any routine. And even if you’re a weightlifter, you should be doing cardio.
[00:14:30] Occasionally. Even if that frequency for you is once every other week or once a month, you should be working this in just for longevity purposes for health purposes. Ignoring it completely or focusing exclusively on cardio, both have their downsides, but you don’t have to overcomplicate your health. And over-complicate your fitness routine.
[00:14:49] Remember that cardio is just one piece to a bigger puzzle when it comes to your health and fitness. So if I can say anything, it would be. Find a mode of cardio that works for you play around with it until you find something that works. [00:15:00] If you are looking for more specific guidance, as it relates to your training, join other men, getting their physical and mental edge back to reach high levels of performance inside and outside the gym.
[00:15:09] And this is all happening through our men made for more coaching program. And if this is something that you’re interested in, checking out, had to link in the show notes and you can set up a free strategy session there to talk all things as relates to your specific health and fitness journey. So go ahead and give that a check out. If you guys are interested in love to talk more with you guys, if you have some specific questions, but hopefully that helps lay down some of the groundwork for if you should be doing cardio and how much you should be doing. So thanks again for tuning in today, guys. And I’ll talk to you tomorrow.
[00:15:38]Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode of the manmade for more podcasts, hope you found today’s show valuable and you have some actionable strategies you can apply to your life today. This is your first time listening. Thanks for being here. The aim of this podcast is to provide a ton of the best possible content to help you grow in your journey, to becoming the best version of [00:16:00] yourself.
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