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60 minutes of cardio every day too much?


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I do 60-70 minutes of cardio (elliptical machine) 7 days a week, and was wondering whether this is too much. Do I need a day off every now and then? if so, how many days between the day offs? I don't feel tired even if I go to the gym every day. According to the bodybugg, I burn 400 cal/exercise session. If I don't feel tired, should I just not take a day off? Or is taking a day off good for you?

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If you do the same thing every time you work out, your body gets use to it.  In my opinion I think you should change up your cardio and do take a day off.  You should try doing the treadmill, stair climber or bicycle to challenge your body a little differently.  Taking a day off also gives our joints and muscles a break.

Original Post by monidon:

I do 60-70 minutes of cardio (elliptical machine) 7 days a week, and was wondering whether this is too much. Do I need a day off every now and then? if so, how many days between the day offs? I don't feel tired even if I go to the gym every day. According to the bodybugg, I burn 400 cal/exercise session. If I don't feel tired, should I just not take a day off? Or is taking a day off good for you?

Do you do any form of resistance training at all or just cardio?

Also, the recommended amount of cardio to maintain cardiovascular fitness is 90 minutes a week. Doing 6-7 hours of cardio a week seems a bit excessive to me.

Simple answer is no you don't have to take a rest day from your cardio.  The more complicated answer is that if you don't feel like you need a rest day every now and then you probably are not getting as much out of your workouts as you could be.

I agree with hawley. I think 1 hr of cardio a day is healthy and if you feel good each day and look forward to it: keep it up!

But if you're tying to lose: Change up your routine. You can still cardio 7 days a week, but maybe try diff techniques.

60 mins of Cardio is really good however the body does tend to plateau if it isn't given new challenges on a consistent basis. A really good example of this is a woman I know who comes to my gym every night spending between 60-120 mins on an elliptical, she does the same activity every day at approximately the same resistance..... Her results are mediocre at best, her body has become use to the exercise and now works in an extremely efficient manor to reserve energy which means that she has severely depleted her potential to burn fat and calories. What I would suggest is that you try and change up your exercise system as often as possible, almost every cardio machine I have ever used has built in systems to make these changes easy. Systems like "personal trainer" and "hill climb" are designed to change the resistance of the machine automatically which invariably breaks your body out of its comfort zone. This style of training has been proven to produce incredible results give it a shot im sure after a week you will feel a noticeable difference. As far as not feeling tired, your body is the best indicator of how much rest you need, everybody is different if your not tired or soar I would suggest you keep training. I personally exercise seven days a week for between 2-4 hours a day (over the day), when I need a break my body tells me and I take it.

Happy training

J.

Original Post by jefffrater:

her body has become use to the exercise and now works in an extremely efficient manor to reserve energy which means that she has severely depleted her potential to burn fat and calories. What I would suggest is that you try and change up your exercise system

While I completely agree with the second point that you should work all your systems the first isn't anymore true than your muscles will get too used to the same load and will atrophy if you don't change the load. I don't know where this information comes from but I would love to see some real research on this (Azdak, are you listening?) because I have yet to see any proof other than the typical BB boards that promote the myths that are so prevalent around the Net.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agree with pretty much everybody's posts, especially on the changing it up part.  Burning 400 calories in an hour doesn't seem like much to me.  Sounds like your intensity is a little low (or the body bugg may not be accurate).  I'd suggest upping your intensity and shortening your workouts down to maybe 45 minutes with some high intensity intervals thrown in.

pfft if you arent tired then trust me, you arent burning as many calories as you could...

and yeah in my opinion 60-70 minutes of cardio is a BIG WASTE OF TIME... why not up the intensity and lower the volume to 45 minutes max? or you would try full intense intervals for 30 minutes.

60-70 minutes is good if you are simply just going for the "skinny" look and not so much the "lean and strong" look

dont pay much attention to the logs and crap, remember with exercise you get what you put in, if you exercise hard and you keep pushing and challenging yourself to your full potential, then trust me, you will be burning A LOT of calories, regardless or what any log of machine may read.

again my advice, quit wasting your time with endless cardio, cuz if you can run for more than 60 minutes then you are obviously doing cardio that isnt all that challenging. dont be afraid to break a sweat and to go to completely physical failure, push yourself, rip the benefits, dont hold back. of course make sure you eat enough to fuel your workouts so you dont starve.

i personally have reverted back my cardio to 4 sessions of really intense intervals a week, and oh man, am I seeing far better results than that slow, long volume 60 minute cardio I was doing.. sure 30 minutes of high intensity intervals are a pain in the butt (haha literarily) but oh man is it ever worth it . NO PAIN NO GAIN :D

Thanks for the input everybody!

Regarding the calorie burn, when I exercise 70min on the elliptical, the calorie burn shows 800. However, when I go home and check by BB, it shows a burn of 400. So the Elliptical calorie counter is 50% wrong, and this is after I input my weight and age.

I've been adding 10-15 min of treadmill for the past 6 months also, but this isn't daily. Maybe 3-4 times a week, max. When I run for 12 minutes, I go at speed 7.5-8, and my BB shows 140 cal burned... so do you think that my body is too used to the elliptical, hence the low calorie burn (400/60 min, so 6.7cal/min)? And I do sweat ALOT on the elliptical...

It does seem like the cardio is a waste of time, but I am hesitant to cut it down because I am afraid of gaining weight...also, the weird thing is, I am a very exact calorie counter (using a scale, eating out very INFREQUENTLY, etc) but I am not losing ANY weight, although I show a deficit every single day...what might be wrong with me? Any ideas?

I don't think cardio is a waste of time. It is important. I just think you don't need to do as much as you have been doing. Seven plus hours of it per week is a bit much. Remember that you only need 90 minutes per week to maintain healthy cardiovascular fitness. So anything over two hours per week is pretty much overkill IMO. If you like doing it though and you are feeling fine, then in the end it is what works for you.

What I would recommend is dropping some of it, and replacing it with resistance training. It doesn't sound like you do any weight lifting at all. Weight lifting is important for building/retaining muscle, raising your metabolism, and helping you to lose body-fat. By doing both cardio and weight lifting, you will see much better results. I would recommend a full body routine 3x per week. But if you hate lifting, you could at least do it 2x per week to start with 30 minutes of cardio afterward. Then on two other days where you aren't lifting, you could do HIIT for cardio to mix things up. HIIT is better for fat burning and gives you a better cardio workout because you are getting your HR much closer to your MHR.

If you follow good eating habbits, allow for a 500 calorie deficit, and combine lifting with cardio, you won't need to do that much cardio. Like I said though, if for some reason you enjoy doing it, then keep doing it. It is just that a lot of people hate cardio and only do it because they feel they have to.

i dont think cardio is a waste of time either, but performing 60-70 minutes of it everyday sure is.  and vyperman is right, 90 minutes, or 3 sessions a week is enough for cardiovascular fitness

once again it sounds a lot like your body has gotten used to it, specially if you are at a caloric deficit and seem to hold a stagnant weight, and if cardio is all your doing then it is EXTREMELY unlikely you have gained any muscle, plus its impossible to put on any significant muscle while on a caloric deficit.. unless you are a total beginner but thats a different story. in ither words, to me it sounds like you've hit a plateau

you should really try resistance training, and another reason why i suggest you cut back on the cardio is simple cuz it seems to affecting you mentally in a negative way, such was thinking that if you dont do it then you'll gain weight, it creates an unhealthy relationship with food because a lot of people only care about how many calories they burn to see how many calories they can eat.. that is no way to enjoy life.

defenetly change up your workout routine, your body is obviously used to it, you gotta throw a swing ball, really try out HIIT cardio, its harder.. a lot harder yes, but again, the more rigorous the workout then the most energy you are spending, also known as calories. when it comes to fatloss and exercise what you put in is what you get.

I myself used to be much like you, i enjoy running, but when you become too attached to it and start to feel that you run cause you "must" and not cause you "want" then it no longer becomes fun. try HIIT, heck you will prolly hate your life while you are doing it, but oh man, you always go back for more after you see your results, both in body composition and in overall health :)

remember, eat right, train hard, and expect success :)

and do yourself a favour and stop basing you exercise effectiveness by the number of calories a machine shows. learn to listen to your body instead, if you have tons of energy, then up the intensity, if you arent feeling all that energetic, then go for a lighter workout/run, listen to your body, not a silly innacurate machines that doesnt take into consideration things such as your metabolism and body composition. btw just cause you sweat a lot doesnt mean you are burning a lot of calories, base it on your heartrate... haha and sometimes hunger is a good sign that your body is in a big need for calories, just make sure you are eating right and you wont gain weight, empty calories are a waste of time and life.

Original Post by dabrock:

Original Post by jefffrater:

her body has become use to the exercise and now works in an extremely efficient manor to reserve energy which means that she has severely depleted her potential to burn fat and calories. What I would suggest is that you try and change up your exercise system

While I completely agree with the second point that you should work all your systems the first isn't anymore true than your muscles will get too used to the same load and will atrophy if you don't change the load. I don't know where this information comes from but I would love to see some real research on this (Azdak, are you listening?) because I have yet to see any proof other than the typical BB boards that promote the myths that are so prevalent around the Net.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think one of the reasons for this "myth" is that caloric expenditure has become so strongly linked to heart rate. The explosion of HRM sales has really muddied the waters on this topic. Many if not most recreational exercisers are convinced that their HRMs directly measure caloric expenditure. Which then leads them to make the assumption that any change in heart rate reflects a fixed change in energy expenditure.

From that standpoint, it is easy to see why someone would assume that, if heart rate for a given workload decreases over time, it must be evidence that they are burning fewer calories. However, that assumption is false. The reason that heart rate decreases is that fitness level has increased. Therefore the workload represents a smaller percentage of maximum than it did before. However, the caloric burn has remained the same--the intensity of the exercise is still the same. It's just that now the person can work harder.

Here are some numbers: Subject A weighs 80kg and they are working at 7 METs intensity on a cross trainer. This represents 70% of their maximum of 10 METs and burns 560 Cal/hr. Over time, fitness level increases. Now they have a aerobic max of 12 METS. Working at 7 METs is now only 58% of maximum, so heart rate is lower. However the aerobic cost of the exercise hasn't changed--it is still 7 METs. So Subject A is still burning 560 Cal/hr. What has changed is now Subject A can sustain an 70% effort of 8.4 METS, so he is now burning 672 Cal/hr.

Is there a scenario where Subject A becomes so "efficient" on the cross trainer that a "7 MET" workload no longer actually costs 7 METs of effort? I suppose that is possible, however I would expect that the effects would be minor. Certainly the American College of Sports Medicine equations for predicting VO2 (and thus caloric burn) for activities like running, walking, cycling, etc, make no allowances for increased "efficiency" over time. I have not seen any studies that show such an effect--maybe someone else has some references.

In some ways, it's a moot point since most people will increase their workload as they become more fit and that will override any possible decrease in caloric burn due to "efficiency".  If people are doing the same thing every day and weight is holding steady, it is much more likely that they have increased their caloric intake and/or reduced their casual activity to bring themselves into balance.

There is some evidence that long-term endurance athletes develop an efficiency for processing food and conserving energy that makes them more predisposed to gaining fat after stopping competition, but we're talking about really high levels of training and I imagine the effect would be transient. Again, I looked for some stuff on this topic, but I haven't found anything, so maybe there is something out there.

I mean if this were true, we would spend our entire lives gradually reducing our resting energy expenditure because we would become so efficient at it--to the point where we would not have to eat anything at all.........

This "efficiency" idea is becoming conflated with another myth--that of "muscle confusion" which is being pushed by the P90X folks and echoed by the sheep-herd mentality that passes for "expertise" in many personal trainers.

My previous remarks are not an attempt to agree with the OP's routine of doing so much cardio. Unless you are training for a specific event, that represents an unbalanced program. Especially since the OP mentioned never feeling tired. That's also a sign that you are not working hard enough.

Your fitness goals/weight loss goals (I'm assuming you have some if you are wearing a bodybugg) would be much better served by replacing some of those long, slow workouts with some tempo and interval work and, definitely, you need to add some strength training to the routine.

It you get your program up to speed with quality, focused workouts, you won't be asking if you need a day off!

The answer will be obvious........

Thanks, Azdak. That's pretty much the way I understood it too. It just seems to me there is this big fitness industry pendulum out there that swings broadly and every few years we see certain activities favoured over others. I remember back in the 80's and 90's people looked down on us in the weight room because we weren't doing aerobic classes and we weren't "getting fit". They would point to the beer guts on the super heavy power lifters and Olympic lifters as "proof" that it wasn't good for you like step aerobics was. Now it seems that aerobic exercises is on the receiving end because is doesn't "burn fat like weight lifting does".

I suspect that pendulum is about to swing back soon.

Original Post by dabrock:

Thanks, Azdak. That's pretty much the way I understood it too. It just seems to me there is this big fitness industry pendulum out there that swings broadly and every few years we see certain activities favoured over others. I remember back in the 80's and 90's people looked down on us in the weight room because we weren't doing aerobic classes and we weren't "getting fit". They would point to the beer guts on the super heavy power lifters and Olympic lifters as "proof" that it wasn't good for you like step aerobics was. Now it seems that aerobic exercises is on the receiving end because is doesn't "burn fat like weight lifting does".

I suspect that pendulum is about to swing back soon.

Yeah--it's still another permutation of the "magic bullet" tendency that we all have as human beings. People want a "definitive" answer--not necessarily a "quick and easy" plan, but a definite, quantitative "do X and Y will happen" plan. And the body just doesn't work that way.

I went to graduate school for my masters degree from 1983-85, so I have seen a few trends come and go myself. If you take a solid, academic approach to things, rather than chasing every new "trend" that comes by, you find that the science does not change as much as it seems when reading fitness magazines.

It also helps to maintain some perspective. For all the breathless enthusiasm these days concerning "metabolic workouts", the fact is that millions of people still lose weight effectively with a combination of portion control and aerobic exercise. And people will find that doing the types of workouts necessary to get the results promised by this new fad is difficult, and beyond the ability of many exercisers.

In another forum, someone actually was pushing a Cross fit program to a women who was in her 40s and was 200lbs overweight and currently not exercising. Sometimes when I come on a little strongly against personal trainers, it's that kind of stuff I am reacting against. And it's easy to laugh at that example and think it's an isolated occurrence--but it's not.

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