Too Much Cardio?

  • Hi fellow Body For Lifers!

    I would like to ask you all for your opinions on the following situation please:

    1) I am in week 3 of Body For Life - it is going GREAT so far. No missed meals or workouts, and its gonna stay that way.

    2) I play soccer once a week for 60 minutes straight (no rest breaks etc). Typically I will not eat until atleast an hour after the game.

    3) Do you think it would be OK to substitute my weekly 60 minute game of soccer for one of the 20 Minute HIT Cardio Sessions prescribed in Body For Life?

    When I woke up today, my body was telling me NOT to go for a 20 minute HIT jogging session (my legs are still sore from playing soccer two days ago, my upper body is sore from yesterdays upper body workout, and I have the lower body weights session to do tomorrow LOL!).

    I do not want to overtrain, and I realize at this point that I am on day 17 of Body For Life and I have had zero days off from exercise.

    I found the following in the Body For Life FAQ's:

    The pursuit of worthy goals requires hard work, persistence and intense focus. There’s no doubt about it. However, one of the important lessons we’ve learned over the years is that sometimes a little "extra nothing" can go a long way.

    By that we mean don’t underestimate the importance of rest and relaxation. A certain amount of "down time," or free time, helps renew energy, clear the mind and heal the body. That’s why one day out of every seven, on the Body-for-LIFE® Program, we encourage you to take a break. Eat whatever you want, don’t exercise, don’t plan, and don’t record anything in your journal. Just flat out take the day off from anything Body-for-LIFE®-related.

    And certainly don’t feel guilty about doing some extra nothing. It’s part of the process of making progress and succeeding. So enjoy your free days—you’ve earned them!

    What do you think folks?

    My gut feeling is that I will count my 60 minute soccer session as one of my 20 Minute Body For Life Cardio sessions. This will then give me one day off from exercise each week.

    I would love to hear your opinions though!

    Thank you for reading ;-)

  • I see many people use the word HIT, I still canĀ“t figure out what it stands for. English is my 4th language, help please. I know it means excersize, but what are the H, I and T.


  • Aurora82: You definitely need to take one rest day per week to let your muscles and your body recover. Every one needs at least one day off from training per week, even top athletes. If you overtrain, you will get injured. In my opinion, if you are playing soccer non-stop for 60 minutes, it is definitely a cardio session. As long as you are doing your other 2 cardio sessions as true HIITs (using the intensity levels Bill describes in the book), then you should be okay. You don't want to give up soccer if it is an activity that you love, which is sounds like it is. But, on the other hand, your body is probably used to soccer so you want to shake it up by doing something different on the other 2 days for your cardio HIITs. I am a distance runner and have consistently used a long run in place of one of my HIIT cardio days for over a year now. You can look at my profile to see my progress. I have made BFL work for me, incorporating the activity I love....distance running. I definitely get in my 3-4 sessions of weight training per week too (I have been doing this for a while and have added in an additional day of weight training per week), because that has totally transformed my body, whereas running marathon distances for years never TRANSFORMED me. I totally believe in enjoying your workouts, so if you enjoy soccer, stick with it!

    Soraya: HIIT stands for "high intensity interval training". It is the cardio training that Bill Phillips describes in his BFL book....using interval training for your cardio sessions, alternating between periods of high intensity training and recovery intervals.

    Good luck to both of you!

  • Hi Aurora82!  One thing that might be good for you is a whey protein shake and Betagen within 30 minutes of the end of exercise.  It helps the muscles recover and build.  I haven't done weight training in a decade.  I just started it again as part of BFL, and I should be aching all over!  However, I take one of the shakes and a portion of Betagen (I mix the Betagen in with the shake to make the shake taste better), and I can feel the muscles the next day, slight discomfort, but no significant discomfort or pain.  Love it!

    You are amazing - keep it up!


  • runnermom - WOW!!! Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to write all that just for me! Your post is so helpful, seriously... THANK YOU!

    I am adopting the one rest day routine as of right now! :-) I didn't know that top athletes also did this, thanks for that.

    I did take a day off yesterday from training (first day off in 17 days), and today hit my leg workout with renewed vigor. The break definitely will help my enthusiasm I think (as well as give my body chance to recover and grow).

    I'm glad to read that you yourself have "substituted" a 20 minute HIIT session for a distance run. Yes I love my soccer (I am in the UK - here it is called Football lol). After 60 minutes of soccer I am always drenched in sweat. In fact I think it is more draining than the HIIT sessions overall.

    For my 20 minute HIIT sessions at the moment I am starting off at a slow jog (level 5), moving to an all out sprint (level 9/10) as I progress through it. Yes I do really focus on the intensity levels as per Bill's book, in fact I visualize the intensity level number in my mind as large as I can as I am running. Level 9 & 10 is always accompanied my me screwing my face up with effort - but this is what its gonna take! And after a while I've started enjoying "the pain" actually lol!

    I checked out your profile. I hope you don't mind me saying, YOU ARE HOT!!! (I am 29 and male - so don't tell your husband LOL!!! ;-) ) It is very inspiring to me that you have stuck with the program for so long; it is proof that it is achievable - WELL DONE! I hope to emulate your success, your results are fantastic!

    I am gonna post my "before" pictures on my own profile later on - they are pretty embarrassing - but everyone has to start somewhere!

    Thank you again for sharing your experiences ;-)

  • Hi Dancing Queen!

    Thank you so much for your post!

    At the moment I am using Whey Protein, I have not heard of Betagen before though. I will go and check out what it is right now.

    Thank you for your help!

  • One of the reasons BFL recomends shorter cardio workouts is because longer cardio sessions can cause lean muscle mass to decrease. With that in mind if your goals include getting larger muscles you may be hurting yourself. However if you only wish to get leaner and loose body fat changing out a HIT for a game of soccer wont make a noticable difference. You are quite correct in not doing the HIT and the soccer though IMO that would be undoing the gains you made in weight training.

  • Thanks Linden.

    I agree I was over training before.

    Now doing 2 x 20 minute HIIT jog per week, plus 1 x 60 minute game of soccer for my cardio.

    And going hard as I can during the 3 x weights sessions.


  • Aurora: Sounds like you are doing a great job! Keep it up and keep us posted on your progress. These 12 weeks will fly by! Glad you are getting in your rest days!! Also, it looks like you have your goals all planned out. That is super!!!! Setting goals is so important to make progress. Way to go!!!