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What's the bonus benefit of doing >30 mins of cardio?

I was recently at a health lecture given by a sports/exercise MD, and one of the audience referred to some kind of extra benefit when you pass the 30 minute mark doing cardio (at one time, not as a daily total divided up). The MD nodded his agreement with this extra benefit like it was common knowledge before continuing, so I have no idea what it is! Does anyone know? Any links to an article or study or theory?

Mon. May 1, 11:53pm

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I'm not sure, but I know that in a running class I took they told us that the 1st 15-20 minutes of most work-outs use the stored glycogen reserves in the body. It's not until you go past that point that your body starts to burn the fat... so maybe that's why?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006, 1:48 AM

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To the above poster: yes, that's the reason. It's only after about 30 minutes of cardio that your body digs into its fat reserves.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006, 3:19 AM

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It's actually after 20 min aerobic activity, your body starts breaking down fat. So if you're trying to lose weight, the most optimal is to do 40 min of aerobic exercise.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006, 9:21 AM

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What's the benefit of doing >30 mins of cardio

I don't know anything about the underlying physiology, but from personal experience, my body does not adjust to a new demand unless I persist 25-30 minutes. If I do an intense workout for 20 minutes, I'm breathless and worn out every time I do it. If I go 30 minutes, my body decides I'm serious bout it and adjusts to the demand after two or three times, so that I complete the next workout in good shape.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006, 10:57 AM

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For fitness training, it's 90+ minutes

According to some heart zone training, it is important to have at least one workout per week that is 60+ or 90+ minutes. Just like having at least one tough interval workout per week, it helps to condition your base level of fitness.

My sister owns a Curves and suggested to me that for weight loss, I should not do my long workouts (spinning) but cut back to no more than 30 minutes. Not sure why....? but she is sending me the research she's read. I'm thinking of cutting back on long duration high intensity cardio for a while anyway because it makes me INSANELY hungry. I have a very healthy diet, but just eat too damn much and so I'm hoping that by taking a break for 1 or 2 weeks, I can curb the appetite.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006, 11:03 AM

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I have read that research has shown no added benefit fitness-wise of going over 40 min cardio (in your target heart rate zone of course). Unless you're training for long-distance endurance type of athletic events, there is no point of training over an hour if you are to lose weight - you should cut your food intake instead to acheive the desired calorie deficit.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006, 11:34 AM

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This 30 min. mark is also the amount it takes to actually strengthen your heart muscles and increase your overall heart health. Less than 30 minutes is still good for you but doing at least 30 minutes has a greater affect on your increased health----not necessarily weight loss.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006, 9:10 PM

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How does all this figure in when you are lifting heavy weights? I do 30 min of cardio and then 30 min of lifting. My monitor indicates that my heart rate is not raising, but I know the effort it takes to bench press or lift. At the end of the lifting portion of my workout, the monitor indicates I have burned so and so many calories based on my heart rate but intuition tells me I am burning more than that while lifting because I am out of breath at the end of my reps. So does the weight lifting portion of my workout count towards burning off glycogen stores and start burning fat?

To the poster about Curves; the program is great for obese, sedentary women who have never worked out. If you are at all athletic I would be wary of the franchise. They are not independently trained or certified. My experience with them is that the owners lack basic understanding of sports physiology and fitness. They are, however, trained in selling their merchandise...Beware.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 11:14 AM

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Go by your heart-rate monitor for calories burned in that particular workout. However, each pound of pure muscle that you gain burns 35-50 calories a day, every day of your life. So, by building muscle, you are burning more calories all the time.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 2:18 PM

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Does anyone have any idea what kind of weights workout (ie. length, intensity) to actually gain a pound of muscle.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006, 5:17 PM

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the rule is 3 sets of 8-12 reps till fatigued (meaning use weight that you could do at max 12 reps), only 30sec rest in between sets.
Leg muscles are the biggest (hamstrings, quads, glutes), so you'd be better off working them than say biceps...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006, 6:08 PM

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I guess my follow-up question would be, that doing that kind of workout, how long should it take, approximately, to gain a pound of muscle? a month, six months, a year??

Wednesday, May 17, 2006, 6:47 PM

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That would depend on your genetics, age, hormones, protein intake. But I would guess closer to a month or so.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006, 6:50 PM

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I'm sure everyone's body is different in terms of gaining muscle. You can gain a pound of muscle a week if you eat right and exercise for it. If you also want to lose fat, you will probably gain a pound of muscle and lose one pound of fat each week, so the number on the scale won't change. You can have your body composition analyzed to see your fat percentage go down though, and you will obviously see the results. Here's an article:


Wednesday, May 17, 2006, 7:02 PM

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Very informative article, thanks for the link.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006, 9:03 PM

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Gaining Muscle

Remember the heavier the weights w/shorter reps the more muscle mass you will gain along w/strength. The lighter the weight w/longer reps will give you endurance as well as strength. Always lift to failure, when your fail your succeed in wt lifting. I wouldn't worry about the weight of muscle your gaining just know that the more muscle you do gain the more it increases your metabolism & more calories you burn per hour. Weight lifting 2 to 3 times a week, you will see visible improvements in 6 weeks!

Thursday, May 18, 2006, 9:52 PM

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