View Full Version : Cardio Frequency
03-25-2006, 09:56 AM
Is it better to do 40 minutes of cardio 3 x a week (45 minutes incl. cooling down), or is it better to do 30 minuted of cardio 4 x a week (35 mins incl. cooling down)?
I know that they both add up to a total of 120 minutes a week, and I'm SURE that doing 40 mins 4 x a week would be ideal, but to be honest, I need to get up so early in order to do that, that it is not apealing at all and I either end up avoiding it, or doing it with the wrong mindset (i.e. hating it). Plus, the thought of doing 40 mins 2 days in a row exhausts me. Does that mean I'm overexercising? I usually do it at a pretty high intensity - getting my heart rate up to around 163.
So i gave myself permission to only do 40 mins 3 x a week, but yesterday I was wondering if doing the 30 min plan would be more benficial (i think i could do 30 mins on a more frequent basis).
LOL ... so after all the rambling, my condensed question is: is it better to do longer stretches of cardio less frequently, or shoter sessions of cardio more frequently?
03-25-2006, 10:32 AM
LOL...........another vote here AA!
In terms of exercise, I'm for [duration] vs frequency. considering we are only talking a ten minute difference I would say there is more benefit to the body with the 40 minute duration.
03-25-2006, 12:46 PM
I think it really depends on the individual. I think INTENSITY is more impt that duration, like you can be pretty intense in cardio for short amt of time and fewer times a week. But ultimately, each person has to see what feels best and works best for them-yah!
03-25-2006, 03:40 PM
I think, from your scenario, that it would be better to exercise more frequently. The benefits that you get from your exercise do not end when you stop exercising, they continue throughout the day (your metabolism rises, your lymphatic system will have circulated more helping to remove toxins, etc.). I also agree that intensity is important.
My 2 cents.
03-25-2006, 04:02 PM
Hey this is a trick question.......... :)
Intensity is defined as the percentage of possible momentary effort being exerted (2). Duration is the amount of time over which such efforts are conducted. To paraphrase, intensity is how hard it is, while duration is how long it takes. There is universal agreement that intensity is the single specific stimulus required to generate increased muscular strength. The critical, yet often ignored, factor involved in strength training programs is that intensity and duration are inversely proportional. This means that as the intensity of effort increases, the amount of time that such an effort can be sustained will proportionately decrease. These are incontrovertible facts not subject to debate which can be readily observed in everyday life. It is literally impossible for a human being to sustain 100% intensity for prolonged periods of time.
Consider, for example, the activity of running, something almost all of us have had experience with since we were children. Picture yourself sprinting at top speed for a distance for 50 yards. Now imagine yourself running a distance of one mile. Can you run the mile at the same all-out pace you used in sprinting the 50 yards? Of course not. Why? Because intensity and duration are inversely proportional. Since you drastically increased the duration of your run, the intensity had to decrease, whether you wanted it to or not.
03-25-2006, 04:06 PM
Apples are you new to cardio world?
I wil use myself as an example........
As a runner,
I kept a comfortable pace to build endurance/duration (time)
eventually resulting in running 10-15 miles a day with 2 hills.
This is interesting b/c the 2 cannot be avoided. You can do either selection and with the same intensity but duration like the article disucessed, will derease. Does 30min feel like a walk in the park?
03-25-2006, 05:08 PM
Not one is better than the other -- both situations give benefits given the fact that both routines exert the same amount of energy.. the longer 40 min workout 3 times a week will train your body to exert exercise for a longer period of time. Your body will remember 40 mins. The 30 min workout 4 times a week will train your body to endure exercise almost to a daily basis. In other words, the body will be ready to exercise again on the 4th day.
Linda - the intensity vs duration debate is another topic altogether different from the original question. Intensity vs duration has to do with strength vs. endurance, long muscles vs short muscles. These energy systems are called anaerobic and aerobic and both are needed by the body to maintain health.
03-25-2006, 06:32 PM
I do agree with you to an extent but I'm one of those that see the "larger" picture in the long run now that I came across some more info and other posts making me [think] too much :p
let me gather my thoughts before I babble.......... :confused:
03-27-2006, 10:22 PM
Ahhhh - misslinda, I KNEW I could count on you! :)
And thanks to everyone else who responded.
I'm not new to cardio - been doing it steadily 3 to 4 times week for the past 2 years - hated exercise before and now its just routine. I began at 30 mins, but for the past year or so have been doing 45 minute sessions. I tried 60 min sessions a few times, but that just leaves me hating it and not wanting to go back.
I usually do it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach- up at in the gym by 5:30 on weedays to fit the exercise becuase if I leave it for after work (at 7:30pm), i know it won't happen.
I was only wondering about the frequency becuase smaller chunks seem to be more manageable for me right now, rather than berrating myself for not going 4 days a week for 45 mins because I really can't do it without some other area of my life suffering (such as time with my hubby) . So I just wanted to know (well, i was *hoping*) that shorter sessions more frequently would be more beneficial, so that way I can justify it to myself. :p
I plan to keep the intensity up where it currently is - bet. 160 and 163 bmp. I'm 23, so according to the charts at the gym, i'm working out in the endurance section?
03-27-2006, 11:28 PM
Apples , I really think you could benefit from cross training since cardio has been consistent.......variations even at same duration or frequency will chanellege you body in different ways thus giving you more and varying results than doing the same type of program. :)
03-28-2006, 08:44 AM
It probably depends on your body. But for me I took it down from 40 min 3x's per week to 30mins 3x's per week and am seeing better results. I also lift weights, so it may have been taking away from my lifting progress. I am now experiemnting taking down to 20min 3x's per week. I always work intervals.
03-28-2006, 01:18 PM
yeah it's a good thing to mix it up because our bodies have muscle memory and if you condition your body to exercise in one way for many weeks the benefits start to drop.. like misslinda said cross training is a good thing.
03-28-2006, 03:45 PM
By cross training, are we talking about using the different programs on the machines, or are we talking using different machines?
I'll be honest - i do the elliptical and set it on manual and then just GO. Its monotonous, yes, but it gets my heart rate up and it gets the job done. I really dislike the treadmill and the bikes, so I guess that leaves me with the rowing machine and the stairmaster?
Do any of you pay attention to the amount of calories that the machine tells you that you have burnt for the entire session? Thats another reason that I stick to the elliptical - I burn the most calories when compared to the other machines. I agree that I need to start mixing it up because my body has adjusted to the exercise, and because quite frankly, it's boring!
03-28-2006, 06:15 PM
I tend to you the term liberally *cross training*
Traditionally they mean cardio (endurance)-weight training (resistance)
I go further and define it as variations within each type of exercise....like
you mentioned, the different "programs" on the eliiptical offers variations giving you varitey which would support some cross training in intensity,duration and strength all in one.
I never pay attention to the computerizaed calculations. They are based on some mathematical formula that doesn't take into consideration how you eat,drink,breathe etc..... I don't believe they are accurate. Whever I've been on a machine, I focus on breathing posture and movement (dynamic).
Oh yes,when it gets boring, you know it's time to change!!! ;)
As you cross train, your going to notice your workouts are going to need to be more challenging as you will get adapted and successful pretty quick!
03-28-2006, 06:55 PM
I weight train 3 days a week. But I also do cardio, interval training 3 times per week. When I do the cardio I raise my heart rate for 2-3 minutes to something I couldn't possibly keep up for the entire session, then bring it down for a minute, then repeat those cycles until cool down.
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