2

votes

What's wrong with "chronic cardio"?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 22, 2013 at 2:56 PM

I enjoy a good long bike ride. To me, it's more about relaxation, taking in some fresh air and enjoying the sights. So when I hear that I should be avoiding "chronic cardio" (in quotes because I find the term ridiculous) from some of my paleo books, I am confused. Can someone explain why someone would want or need to avoid this kind of exercise. I should add that as far as formally working out, I do interval training using body weight and dumbbells.

Thanks!

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on May 25, 2013
at 02:26 AM

8 mi/day might be problematic. Especially for your knees!

8d386bf2c5ba20fcc1a2a0c805b217c9

(743)

on May 24, 2013
at 06:56 PM

Try to calculate your heart-rate and what the exercise would be relative to your VO2 max. If it feels invigorating or light, it's probably more on the oxidative/low-intensity side of exercise.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on May 23, 2013
at 02:40 PM

Steady state cardio is training the heart to stay at some beats-per-minute range for however long the conscientious SAD health nut thinks he has to run. This is an elevated heart rate, but death knell to the variability is not the elevation, but keeping it stuck at one bpm level for a long time. It is better to go up and down, mimicking nature (not a machine). Walk, ride, have fun at lower intensities and have a sprint or two to train the heart to ramp up fast in case life throws an emergency at you. A good heart is constantly recalibrating to the situation. HRV happens even when you sleep.

8d386bf2c5ba20fcc1a2a0c805b217c9

(743)

on May 23, 2013
at 12:35 AM

Mscott - that's the phrase used in Crossfit circles for the ability to immediately use stored-ATP as energy. CD - I said 60-70% of VO2 max. That's sustainable for quite a while. And no, if the proper measures are taken, such as what you said (rest days and smart programming), working the glycolytic pathway can be useful and positive. I'm just defining "chronic cardio" to Paola.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 23, 2013
at 12:19 AM

How does "steady state" cadio encourage a reduced heart-rate variability? Lethargy encourages reduced heart-rate variability.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on May 22, 2013
at 11:39 PM

What the heck is the phosphagenic pathway? I've never heard of that before.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on May 22, 2013
at 09:14 PM

Which is why I put a 'google it' link here. I only have so much time, and unless you are serious, spending a lot of time looking up evidence is a waste of my time. If you look at the first link, the search was 'decreased heart-rate variability' which is what 'steady state' cardio encourages. Meanwhile, via what you quoted, you apparently think I am just slamming all cardio. You fail to comprehend me. I specifically said I don't think Paola is doing anything dangerous, yet she is doing cardio. Spend more time reading, less time commenting. It'll do you good.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 22, 2013
at 08:23 PM

the first link just goes to google scholar with nothing associated with cardio. the second talks about fat loss. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002914911017838 -- In conclusion, Resistance Training (RT) was not effective at improving the metabolic syndrome (MS) score; however, aerobic training (AT) was effective. Combined AT and RT was similarly effective but not different from AT alone. When weighing the time commitment versus health benefit, the data suggest that AT alone was the most efficient mode of exercise for improving cardiometabolic health.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on May 22, 2013
at 06:27 PM

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=decreased+heart+rate+variability&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C19&as_vis=1 Then there's the more general references (not specifice to hrv) Kiefer put into this article: http://athlete.io/5343/why-women-should-not-run/

4610451431ec7155c87a5698be682a95

(1122)

on May 22, 2013
at 05:36 PM

i've just completed a marathon. for me this was major chronic cardio and in comparison 8 miles is pretty easy. i think the chronic depends on how well-trained one is. if you are staying at 50-60% of your max HR then you are fat burning and not stressing yourself so much.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 22, 2013
at 05:32 PM

amazing that a weight lifting supply estore would be anti-cardio and misquote sources. Never thought that would happen -- I really thought it'd be a fair and balanced article...

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 22, 2013
at 05:29 PM

some tribes evolved with endurance hunting as a major part of their lifestyle, others did not. Running 8 miles once (or twice or three times) a week is not chronic cardio. Running 20+ miles three+ times a week could be depending on your rest schedule.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 22, 2013
at 04:46 PM

What evidence do you have that it weakens the heart?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 22, 2013
at 04:37 PM

Also, any legitimate training program will incorporate easy runs, recovery runs, and rest days. The purpose of these types of runs is to reduce stress adaptation and inflammation. Even professional marathoners are rarely in an elongated stress and fatigue cycle. Use a well structured program and you can get benefit out of cadio regardless of the distance. Now that does not mean it's the most effective for health, weight loss, and/or muscle development. But if it's what you enjoy, then enjoy it

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 22, 2013
at 04:35 PM

It is impossible for anyone to runs near vVO2 for 30+ minutes. VO2Max(ml/kg/min) is the measure of maximal oxygen consumption; vVO2 (km/min) is the extended velocity during VO2Max ~ 2km). If you can maintain that speed for more than 2 km -- it's not your V02Max.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 22, 2013
at 04:23 PM

"We don't want a metronome.", lol +1

8d386bf2c5ba20fcc1a2a0c805b217c9

(743)

on May 22, 2013
at 03:47 PM

Thanks greymouser. I saw this question and thought it was right up my alley. I used to know the specifics off the top of my head, but apparently not any longer as I wrote this answer. Hahaha. Thanks for the corrections.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on May 22, 2013
at 03:44 PM

+1 An apt description. I might change "going hard" to "going 60%-70% of VO2 max, and I'd add ", daily." to "30 minutes or longer".

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5 Answers

8
8d386bf2c5ba20fcc1a2a0c805b217c9

(743)

on May 22, 2013
at 03:19 PM

If the bike ride is relaxing, it's probably not "chronic cardio".

"Chronic cardio" is basically going hard (60-70% of your VO2 max) on a typical cardio exercise (bike, run, elliptical) for an extended period of time, like 30 minutes or longer, daily.

Doing a season of cross-country in high school was like "chronic cardio". Running a few miles multiple times a week, at a pace that left me panting the whole time, and wanting to pass out after each run. No wonder my body is so messed up now.

Anyway, there are 3 types of metabolic pathways for energy production: oxidative, glycolytic, and phosphagenic. Oxidative is For low-intensity work (walking or slowly jogging), glycolytic is for mid-intesnity (like going on runs or doing a longer Crossfit WOD), and phosphagenic is for high-intesnity work (sprints, low-rep heavy lifts).

Excessive glycolytic work is considered "chronic cardio". It burns up your stored glycogen/glucose and leaves you over-stressed and craving carbs. Your cortisol will be high, sleep will become difficult, you'll be tired-and-wired all the time. It sucks. Then, you get all of these never-healing injuries if you go on for many weeks/months/years longer. Scary stuff.

So, anyway, if you like riding your bike and it feels relaxing, do that stuff as much as you want. At that point, it's considered oxidative work, and you'll burn up lots of fat in the long-run.

EDIT: Added additional details ala greymouser.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on May 22, 2013
at 03:44 PM

+1 An apt description. I might change "going hard" to "going 60%-70% of VO2 max, and I'd add ", daily." to "30 minutes or longer".

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on May 22, 2013
at 11:39 PM

What the heck is the phosphagenic pathway? I've never heard of that before.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 22, 2013
at 04:37 PM

Also, any legitimate training program will incorporate easy runs, recovery runs, and rest days. The purpose of these types of runs is to reduce stress adaptation and inflammation. Even professional marathoners are rarely in an elongated stress and fatigue cycle. Use a well structured program and you can get benefit out of cadio regardless of the distance. Now that does not mean it's the most effective for health, weight loss, and/or muscle development. But if it's what you enjoy, then enjoy it

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 22, 2013
at 04:35 PM

It is impossible for anyone to runs near vVO2 for 30+ minutes. VO2Max(ml/kg/min) is the measure of maximal oxygen consumption; vVO2 (km/min) is the extended velocity during VO2Max ~ 2km). If you can maintain that speed for more than 2 km -- it's not your V02Max.

8d386bf2c5ba20fcc1a2a0c805b217c9

(743)

on May 22, 2013
at 03:47 PM

Thanks greymouser. I saw this question and thought it was right up my alley. I used to know the specifics off the top of my head, but apparently not any longer as I wrote this answer. Hahaha. Thanks for the corrections.

8d386bf2c5ba20fcc1a2a0c805b217c9

(743)

on May 23, 2013
at 12:35 AM

Mscott - that's the phrase used in Crossfit circles for the ability to immediately use stored-ATP as energy. CD - I said 60-70% of VO2 max. That's sustainable for quite a while. And no, if the proper measures are taken, such as what you said (rest days and smart programming), working the glycolytic pathway can be useful and positive. I'm just defining "chronic cardio" to Paola.

3
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on May 22, 2013
at 04:02 PM

I think 'cardio' becomes chronic when the heart is entrained to a steady state. Think of joggers trying to push up their heart rate to a certain level and then keep it there. This was mainstream advice (it may still be), but it actually weakens the heart. We don't want a metronome.

It doesn't sound like you are doing chronic cardio.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 22, 2013
at 04:23 PM

"We don't want a metronome.", lol +1

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 23, 2013
at 12:19 AM

How does "steady state" cadio encourage a reduced heart-rate variability? Lethargy encourages reduced heart-rate variability.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on May 22, 2013
at 06:27 PM

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=decreased+heart+rate+variability&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C19&as_vis=1 Then there's the more general references (not specifice to hrv) Kiefer put into this article: http://athlete.io/5343/why-women-should-not-run/

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 22, 2013
at 08:23 PM

the first link just goes to google scholar with nothing associated with cardio. the second talks about fat loss. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002914911017838 -- In conclusion, Resistance Training (RT) was not effective at improving the metabolic syndrome (MS) score; however, aerobic training (AT) was effective. Combined AT and RT was similarly effective but not different from AT alone. When weighing the time commitment versus health benefit, the data suggest that AT alone was the most efficient mode of exercise for improving cardiometabolic health.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 22, 2013
at 04:46 PM

What evidence do you have that it weakens the heart?

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on May 23, 2013
at 02:40 PM

Steady state cardio is training the heart to stay at some beats-per-minute range for however long the conscientious SAD health nut thinks he has to run. This is an elevated heart rate, but death knell to the variability is not the elevation, but keeping it stuck at one bpm level for a long time. It is better to go up and down, mimicking nature (not a machine). Walk, ride, have fun at lower intensities and have a sprint or two to train the heart to ramp up fast in case life throws an emergency at you. A good heart is constantly recalibrating to the situation. HRV happens even when you sleep.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on May 22, 2013
at 09:14 PM

Which is why I put a 'google it' link here. I only have so much time, and unless you are serious, spending a lot of time looking up evidence is a waste of my time. If you look at the first link, the search was 'decreased heart-rate variability' which is what 'steady state' cardio encourages. Meanwhile, via what you quoted, you apparently think I am just slamming all cardio. You fail to comprehend me. I specifically said I don't think Paola is doing anything dangerous, yet she is doing cardio. Spend more time reading, less time commenting. It'll do you good.

0
8ce8b8fd33944e67dfd6277e7b671815

(327)

on May 22, 2013
at 05:15 PM

so when i run 8 miles or so at a light pace is that chronic cardio? because i used to feel awesome when doing it. Wasn't persistence hunting a big part of humanity back in the paleo era, I'd imagine it's healthy as long as you rest when you feel tired. It may not give you the body type you want though, every long distant runner/biker i've ever met has the body type of a skeleton.

8d386bf2c5ba20fcc1a2a0c805b217c9

(743)

on May 24, 2013
at 06:56 PM

Try to calculate your heart-rate and what the exercise would be relative to your VO2 max. If it feels invigorating or light, it's probably more on the oxidative/low-intensity side of exercise.

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on May 25, 2013
at 02:26 AM

8 mi/day might be problematic. Especially for your knees!

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 22, 2013
at 05:29 PM

some tribes evolved with endurance hunting as a major part of their lifestyle, others did not. Running 8 miles once (or twice or three times) a week is not chronic cardio. Running 20+ miles three+ times a week could be depending on your rest schedule.

4610451431ec7155c87a5698be682a95

(1122)

on May 22, 2013
at 05:36 PM

i've just completed a marathon. for me this was major chronic cardio and in comparison 8 miles is pretty easy. i think the chronic depends on how well-trained one is. if you are staying at 50-60% of your max HR then you are fat burning and not stressing yourself so much.

0
2edfcc5c8044bbb4f22ba6ea4289f592

(1398)

on May 22, 2013
at 05:02 PM

I second what was said above, and would also like to add something. "Chronic" cardio can also have very negative effects on thyroid function. Too much cardio can cause less thyroid hormone to be produced, slowing ones metabolism. This will essentially make you much better at storing fat after your cardio. Check this link out:

http://articles.elitefts.com/training-articles/women-running-into-trouble/

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 22, 2013
at 05:32 PM

amazing that a weight lifting supply estore would be anti-cardio and misquote sources. Never thought that would happen -- I really thought it'd be a fair and balanced article...

0
4610451431ec7155c87a5698be682a95

(1122)

on May 22, 2013
at 03:39 PM

If you are relaxing during your bike ride and not stressing about performance then you are not engaging in chronic cardio. Have fun!

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