To cardio or not to cardio

[b said:
Quote[/b] (Randy @ May 12 2003,1:50)]Hi Jake,
I don't really have "off" days due to my unusual work schedule. My cardio workouts have to be done the same days as the weight lifting.
I do 5 mins of moderate cardio followed by about 5 mins of stretching (mostly hamstrings and groin) for warmup prior to lifting. Then, after lifting, I do my main cardio work...all running track stuff. Previously, I alternated HIIT with steady-state (~80%) for 30 min sessions 4 times a week.

If you have to do your cardio on the same days you lift, I think this is probably a good strategy- at least you're not pre-exhausting yourself by doing lots of cardio prior to lifting. You *may* find it more beneficial to keep to low-to-moderate intensity (no HIIT) for 30-45mins as a post-workout cardio regimen. There seems to be some anecdotal evidence (Lyle McDonald has posted on this elsewhere, and it has come up in this forum as well) that indeed, for some people, extended cardio may work best at getting/keeping stubborn fat off. Of course, you still need to watch the LBM loss, so again, I think the word is titrate- try it out and see how it goes, ad be open to course-correction as needed.

I did my HIIT routine for about 5 weeks or so...I didn't notice a big improvement in refractory time but I didn't monitor this closely. It was certainly more than 30s, though. Maybe if I keep at it it will improve. I don't have to be convinced of HIIT's value, it's effects are obvious. I just want to be sure the format I'm using isn't counterproductive.

It might improve, although 5 weeks should be a pretty good trial, I would think.

I'm not finding the 15s to be as taxing as most of the posts at this site. Maybe when I get closer to the maxes it will increase. I am adjusting rep speeds as appropriate to try to get 2 full sets in staying a couple reps short of failure on each exercise.

That's good- avoiding failure. You also want to adjust rep speeds to ensure a good burn, but maybe I'm misunderstanding you.

De nada!
Randy- see below-