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The Fit 5: Maximize Your Cardio

Our expert answers your questions about how to get the most from your cardio workouts.

For all of our fans who shoot us questions on the Men's Fitness Facebook and Twitter Pages, this one is for you. Each week, we will tap into our pool of editors and experts to help with any questions or challenges you are having with your fitness regimen. This week, Rob Sulaver C.S.C.S., founder and owner of Bandana Training, answers questions about how to get the most out of your cardio training. You can also catch Sulaver on Twitter @BandanaTraining.

1) Cardio Endurance vs. Fat-Loss Cardio asked by James Livsey
What's the difference between cardio to increase my endurance and cardio to help me shed body fat?
“Lovely question. It’s really a matter of volume vs. intensity. If you want increase your endurance, your primary training progression should be volume. That means workouts should get longer and longer. If you want to get lean, your primary training progression should be intensity. That means workouts should get more and more Crazysaurace (technical term.) Of course, the relationships aren’t that simple, but that’s a good place to start.”
2) Tabata Cardio asked by Shane Wigley
How can you use Tabata training wisely?
"A true Tabata protocol is 20s on/10s off x 8 at SUPER high intensity (what would be comparable to 170% of your VO2 max.) Let’s be clear about this: THAT’S REALLY HARD. Most people cannot and should not start with Tabata. If you want to use the protocol wisely, modify it to suit your current state of fitness. That means you (probably) need to reduce the work-to-rest ratio to allow you to go all-out. 8s on/22s off might be a good place to start.

Also, for the record, you need to pick an appropriate exercise. You can’t do Tabata pushups - you just can’t make ‘em intense enough. You can do 8 sets of pushups for 20s and then rest 10s, but that isn’t Tabata. Sleds/prowler, fan bike, battling ropes, and hill sprints tend to work well."

3) Cardio and Weight Gain asked by Thomas Ginty
Should you still do cardio while trying to gain muscle?
"No need. If you want to absolutely optimize muscle gain (especially if you’re a hard gainer), stay off the treadmill and use your nutrition to manage body fat. "

4) Fasted-state Cardio vs. 'Fed' Cardio asked by Cone Nueve Once

Let's get this answered and over with: Fast Cardio vs. Fed Cardio, which one is better?

 

"I wish the answer was more straightforward: unfortunately different people respond to fasting differently. Some people feel energized and almost buzzed, others feel absolutely terrible. Fasted cardio can be super effective for some (they’ll swear by it and spread the news like it’s gospel.) For others it’s just painful. My recommendation? Try it. If it works for you, stick with it. It it doesn’t, find something else that does. "

5) Powerlifting and Cardio asked by Danny Gutierrez
Can powerlifting be considered cardio? Deadlifts, cleans, etc., I always feel 10x more winded after these types of exercises. 

“Yes. Absolutely, yes. Start thinking outside the treadmill. Anything that challenges your cardiovascular system can be considered... cardiovascular training. If you set up resistance training appropriately, it can be very effective cardio. Just ask Charles Poliquin. I’m pretty sure that treadmills actually self-destruct when he walks by them, but he has numerous resistance protocols that elicit very powerful cardiovascular training effects. "

 

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