Views on Cardio

Views on Cardio

I don’t post here often, but I’ve been a lurker for quite some time and I have a topic I’d like to discuss if anyone is willing to do so.
With the vast amount of articles and contrasting points of view available on cardio, I’m interested to hear what the members of this community have to say. Some people argue that cardio interferes too much with lifting for it to be worthwhile, while others tout benefits like the long-term benefit of increased cardiovascular health.

How do you approach cardio? Do you stick to certain forms to minimize interference on hypertrophy (cycling is often offered in this context)? Do you limit yourself to a certain amount of time (per session or week)? Limit it to a certain place around your workouts (after lifting versus separate days)?

If possible, explain your reasoning for why you look at these issues the way you do (regardless of whether it be anecdotal trial and error or evidence-based).


I’ll do about 5 min of cardio before working out to get a sweat going. Aside from that, I strictly avoid cardio because I hate it so much. Even while trying to eat as much as possible, I’m able to stay quite lean year round.

Perks of being young probably

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I do 20min of cardio post workout, 4xs a week. That along with a medium caloric surplus keeps me floating at 10-11% body fat.

I think it’s a balance based on how much cardio you’re willing to do, based on how much food you want to eat. HIIT cardio wreck my cns, which negatively affects my lifting - so I stick to low intensity and low impact work on the eliptical.

I’m also a Men’s Physique competitor, so I aim to stay fairly lean year round. My two cents.


Cardio is a tool, just like anything else we use to fine tune our training, hobby, and approach towards our goals.

Depending on the clients goal there is the #1 factor on the impact of cardio
Powerlifting/bodybuidling? I think it should be limited to the least amount as possible to focus on your nutrition and performance in the gym. Bring cardio in when needed for dieting to help buffer the caloric deficit.

General Gym Goer --> Do enough for heart health (1-2 HIIT Sessions a week or a few 20 minute walks)

Endurnace Athlete --> Much Different Ballgame (Cyclist, marathon runner)

There is no one size fits all here as it is a very black and white question based off the individuals goal and what they are looking to do. I can bet you everyone can get away with next to no cardio if they would just adjust the amount of food they eat to match their maintenance. Some people just prefer to do it and enjoy doing it, which is fine, but just realize you may need to add a bit more food to find the homeostasis for their goal (Cut/Bulk/Maintain)

Due to the physical demand on the body and recovery there can be limitations to put into perspective. How one recovers with or without cardio, how intense one performs cardio (LISS vs HIIT), how one structures their diet (low carb will favor LISS as you want to tap fat reserves, higher carb can utilize HIIT due to utilizing glucose as primary fuel source).

So again, its almost impossible to just give a cut and dry answer as to how we view cardio, the individuals goals, and what they are trying to achieve.

One thing is for certain you see in gyms is people WAY Overdo cardio, and think its a necessity which is far from true because either their diet is inconsistent, or they are just misinformed thinking more = better and you have to do it in order to be in great shape. I personally would limit cardio regardless of your goal and focus on your performance, and optimizing your training.

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Amen. Trick is to find a balance of what works based on your goal. Most people think more cardio equals more fat loss. Not necessarily true, after a certain point and if the diet is too far out of control in regards to caloric surplus.

You explained it perfectly and as simply as it needs to be.


Oh I completely agree that there isn’t a black and white answer; I was more of looking for how the members of this community view the topic, and possibly their reasons for believing as much.

Up until last fall, I had major body image/eating issues, so even at a healthier weight, I have to think more of how much cardio I should be doing (rather than how much I can “tolerate”).
In the past year, I’ve put on regained a fair bit of muscle and strength (I’m guessing muscle memory has something to do with it), but I know I still do more cardio than most people interested in bodybuilding do. While I do make sure that I am getting the calories I need given the cardio, I’ve heard the argument of “interference” thrown around regarding differing pathways for aerobic and anaerobic exercise, so I was just wondering what everyone thought.

I appreciate hearing your guys’ opinions on the matter :slight_smile:!

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Like flossing, it’s objectively good for you and everyone should do it, but like flossing, I hate it and I don’t have the time


I have a very simplistic look on this. Don’t overthink it. Just do it. Look at total activity for the day versus it being just cardio. For instance, I look at total steps for the day. If I’m below 10,000 (rare), then I’ll go for a walk around the neighborhood to enjoy the views or I’ll go hop on a treadmill or something to hit that goal. Recently, I’ve been averaging better 16,000-18,000 steps daily from what work, errands, etc so I haven’t needed to do too much outside of some form of cardio post workout 20 min.

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The other thing I constantly see is people using cardio as a form of punishment for going a little over their caloric intake for the day, or because they feel they aren’t lean enough., that’s called a mental/body image disorder, and is not healthy long term. Don’t think, just do. I’ve seen people doing hours of cardio because they are a cookie or something along those lines. It’s an unhealthy state of mind. Physical health doesn’t mean squat, if your mental health is trash

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Caveat - if you’re doing high intensity training such as constant drop sets, triple drop sets, giant sets, extremely heavy squats, presses, deadlifts, etc… those activities will burn a crap ton of calories.

Cardio is simply a way to make your body “work.” There are many other ways - morning walk with the dog or wife; swimming; simply being on your feet all/most of the day (desks that can swap to sit/standing are great).

The trick is to be active and move. Again, this is important for long term health too. I don’t plan on being 80years of age and being unable to stand up straight, or straighten my legs, or walk properly. I’ve seen my grandpa (now 89) be in wonderful working physical condition, because he gets up and does basic work on our ranch. Cutting dead branches, hauling them away, fixing broken sprinkler heads, etc…

Rant is over - cardio is a tool but it doesn’t have to be used if your expending energy in other ways.


Amen…also I was on a walk this morning when I typed that out, so please excuse my terrible grammar/spelling errors :joy:

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I make a lot of typos here. Normally because I type here when I’m at a red light or stuck in traffic. Hah.

Sometimes (enjoy the irony), while I’m doing cardio.


I started running every morning with my dog (just a 2 mi jog) during my BB shred last year. After the comp, my dog wouldn’t let me stop :laughing:

Does it help anything? I think it gets my day going with a bit more energy. Folks like Ben Greenfield think so, but he really expressed it as his opinion as opposed to backing it with science.

On my shorter workouts, I like to tack on some rowing to warm up. I think it helps me get into my lifts a bit faster.

HIIT is supposedly great for promoting HGH production; so I try to a do 30 minute HIIT workout 2x/week.

If nothing else, I’m burning more calories :slight_smile: