5

votes

Why not 'chronic cardio'?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 17, 2011 at 10:43 PM

Is it because it's unnecessary, with a paleo diet and paleo-type workouts? Or just because cavemen wouldn't have engaged in it? Or is it straight up unhealthy? While I've ditched the long treadmill & elliptical workouts, one thing I just don't want to give up is my 45-60 minute spinning class once or twice a week. Recently, I've chalked it up to a 'play' session -- because to me it's more fun than a calorie blaster.

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on July 18, 2011
at 08:47 AM

That's not at all chronic cardio. Have fun :)

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 18, 2011
at 01:16 AM

Is Paleo uncivilized as well? I hope not! What can be more civil than a cocktail whilst yachting?????

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on July 18, 2011
at 12:57 AM

Thanks. Most folks don't have ready access to VO2 max measurement, but it's easy to count or monitor one's heart rate

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 18, 2011
at 12:46 AM

Oh, and based on my stalking of your every move on PH, I think you have more than demonstrated your mental dexterity in addition to the energy :-)

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 18, 2011
at 12:44 AM

Actually I only had 4 beers yesterday, so considering I was drinking from Noon until 8 PM on the water, that wasn't so bad. I really had "no choice" because the fifth of vodka I brought was finished by 4 PM. Much like you had "no choice" but to ask us to hack the booty, so I know you understand! Jokes aside, I really do feel guilty when I consume any gluten at all. Since implementing my "Pale-avind" diet, my beer consumption has plummeted to nearly 0. Let's be clear, the alcohol consumption has not. It still pales in comparison to the diet soda IMO. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on July 18, 2011
at 12:19 AM

a VO2 max is what I use to determine what is and is not chronic cardio. Without one youre just guessing. Great point Ed.....plus one.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 18, 2011
at 12:16 AM

Well, I'm a stay at home mom with too much time and mental energy (not to be confused with dexterity!). Beer may not be considered paleo, but you were wise to chase it with other spirits to exorcise the demons of GLUTEN!!!

095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on July 18, 2011
at 12:07 AM

be considered chronic cardio. As sisson explained, move around slowly...a lot. Pick up heavy things, occasionally. Move very quickly once in a while. But also.... have fun. If there is an endurance cardio that you enjoy, and you don't do it to the point that it's detrimental to your body, increasing your risk of cardiomegaly (enlarged heart) from working your heart too hard, for too long... then have at it and have a good time with it.

095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on July 18, 2011
at 12:05 AM

What you do is not chronic cardio. What I do, when I train for a sprint triathlon which are bricks of "race distance" using two of the sports involved. Either swim/bike or bike/run. Sometimes I run/bike/run...the full distance covered in a race. But these are small distances and the most I ever spend is 1.5 to 2 hours. Training for a 1/2 ironman or full ironman would be chronic cardio because the distances are much farther like 4 times as far and the time involved gets into 6 + hours of training. Now if I were to do my tri training multiple times a week the way I used to, then it would

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 18, 2011
at 12:04 AM

@M - the (other) wife, daughter, and I went away for the weekend with some friends to hang out a cottage on a nice lake in MI. Drank enough gluten filled beer to kill a small grain fed ruminant animal. I quickly chased it with vodka and wine to kill the gluten so all is well now as evidenced by my hangover (not). I saw the closed question. You know I would have been on that like white on rice (which I can say!)....and oh BTW, I've got a new question in the works that I think you will like. Can't get to it tonight but hopefully tomorrow.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 17, 2011
at 11:55 PM

Agreed Ben - Despite my post below - your program isn't what I'd consider "chronic" - especially if you are still enjoying it!

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 17, 2011
at 11:52 PM

Whass up A? You've been gone a bit, I'm waiting for real funky hack! (sexual orientation hack got closed yesterday:()

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 17, 2011
at 11:37 PM

That level of cardio is fine, and good for you. Don't fall prey to equating of all running-type exercise to the feared chronic cardio. Repeated marathons etc is not good at all but that is that. Do some spinning and enjoy it.

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6 Answers

3
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 17, 2011
at 11:50 PM

Dr. Al Sears is a cardiologist and he has a book/program called PACE training. I got the book at my library. This is what I recall:

The heart is a muscle much like skeletal muscle. It should not be over-trained. Over-training can cause injury and result in fibrosis (scar tissue). Training your heart muscle should be done with the aim to train it to recover well from stress. Therefore Dr. Sears recommends HIIT style training (sprints, bike intervals, etc). His idea is to go "all out" then let your breathing/heart rate totally recover before doing another set.

I recommend checking out his book, also Ready Set Go Fitness has a similar program and rationale for such a program.

2
36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

on July 17, 2011
at 11:58 PM

Like Ben said chronic cardio is running marathons over and over. Our ancestors were very active they just never ran 26 miles as fast as they could.

How you feel should be the biggest indicator. If you are doing something fun that you enjoy and it doesn't feel strenuous then it's not. Running marathons and the like are very demanding activities.

2
6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on July 17, 2011
at 11:51 PM

Spinning may or may not be "chronic cardio" depending on the resistance level and what kind of shape you're in. Mark Sisson would probably say that if your heart rate is over 70 to 80% of your max for the entire workout, then it's chronic cardio (the potential health hazards are enumerated in Aravind's links on this thread). If you're recovering to a lower heart rate in between the intervals, races and sprints, then it's not only fun, but good for you. Sisson's free PB Fitness e-book is a good resource for developing an overall "exercise strategy."

Outside magazine has a concept similar to chronic cardio that they call the "black hole" zone. The idea is that you're wasting your time if you spend too much time right around your lactic threshold heart level (about 75 to 80% of your max heart rate). Again, you should alternate high intensity intervals with recovery periods.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on July 18, 2011
at 12:19 AM

a VO2 max is what I use to determine what is and is not chronic cardio. Without one youre just guessing. Great point Ed.....plus one.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on July 18, 2011
at 12:57 AM

Thanks. Most folks don't have ready access to VO2 max measurement, but it's easy to count or monitor one's heart rate

2
D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 17, 2011
at 11:02 PM

Please the attached post from Dr Kurt Harris on this topic

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/p-nu/201103/cardio-may-cause-heart-disease-part-i


Another article from MDA

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/chronic-cardio/

Bottom line to me - your spinning class 1-2x per week is not chronic cardio and is not going to kill you. If you like it do it.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 18, 2011
at 12:16 AM

Well, I'm a stay at home mom with too much time and mental energy (not to be confused with dexterity!). Beer may not be considered paleo, but you were wise to chase it with other spirits to exorcise the demons of GLUTEN!!!

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 18, 2011
at 01:16 AM

Is Paleo uncivilized as well? I hope not! What can be more civil than a cocktail whilst yachting?????

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 17, 2011
at 11:52 PM

Whass up A? You've been gone a bit, I'm waiting for real funky hack! (sexual orientation hack got closed yesterday:()

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 18, 2011
at 12:44 AM

Actually I only had 4 beers yesterday, so considering I was drinking from Noon until 8 PM on the water, that wasn't so bad. I really had "no choice" because the fifth of vodka I brought was finished by 4 PM. Much like you had "no choice" but to ask us to hack the booty, so I know you understand! Jokes aside, I really do feel guilty when I consume any gluten at all. Since implementing my "Pale-avind" diet, my beer consumption has plummeted to nearly 0. Let's be clear, the alcohol consumption has not. It still pales in comparison to the diet soda IMO. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 18, 2011
at 12:04 AM

@M - the (other) wife, daughter, and I went away for the weekend with some friends to hang out a cottage on a nice lake in MI. Drank enough gluten filled beer to kill a small grain fed ruminant animal. I quickly chased it with vodka and wine to kill the gluten so all is well now as evidenced by my hangover (not). I saw the closed question. You know I would have been on that like white on rice (which I can say!)....and oh BTW, I've got a new question in the works that I think you will like. Can't get to it tonight but hopefully tomorrow.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 18, 2011
at 12:46 AM

Oh, and based on my stalking of your every move on PH, I think you have more than demonstrated your mental dexterity in addition to the energy :-)

1
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 18, 2011
at 01:25 AM

Chronic cardio is rough - it doesn't allow your body to rebuild at all and in truth what happens is you won't run faster, get bigger, lose any more weight, etc., aka the doomed plateau. The body needs a break, needs that time to rest and get stronger. Structured exercise is not always best. I'm speaking from experience as it happened to me when I used to race. I couldn't go any faster.. I had plateaued. Took almost two weeks off and was back in full form but learned a good lesson. Less and variety were more, my body basically had to catch up to itself kind of like "hey body how are you, there are changes.. what's up?" I broke through and never had a problem again.

So basically, in my opinion, it's all about keeping your muscles and body guessing - this to me goes for all exercise. Each spin class is different so just keep mixing it up - a different day, different intensity. Get on that bike and have fun! :)

1
D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on July 18, 2011
at 12:26 AM

Seriously, if you read what they classify as chronic cardio, you'll think it isn't an issue at all. The studies that are cited are about people who have run 20+ marathons, average 60+ miles a week, etc. They are running junkies. If you like to run, run. If you tend to go balls to the wall fast for an hour, that may be a problem. The slower pace the less cortisol raising the run is going to be. Running isn't as healthy for you as lifting weights. You can't just run and say you're in shape. For the love of God, pick up heavy things. You can be in good shape without cardio. It's non-essential. But seriously all the fear mongering about cardio has to stop. Just don't over due it. That may be bad for your ticker.

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