Changing up cardio?

  • Hi all, 

        This is my second day on my return to BFL. I did it for a few years in the past with great results/ maintenance. I dont think these boards were around when I did it back then. Anyways, I fell off the wagon, then down a hill into a ravine so to speak. Im back again and ready to go at it, but I do have a question that bugged me even then. I have a circulation problem that basically means that any repetitive high impact activity will cause me to lose circulation fast ( even an elliptical trainer or recumbent will do this.) Running for 20 mins is out of the question, my feet and lower legs would be totally numb. That kind of defeats the purpose of cardio training in general. What I've always done is break up my cardio (Ie: 15 mins treadmill  or elliptical with 9s and 10s then 15 on a recumbent also with 9s and 10s).  Is this going to hold me back? I cant really think of another way to do it that wont leave me feeling footless. Thanks for the help!

  • That happens to me, but it is a symtom of smoking/obesity and has improved some now in week 8. I change up the cardio activity so I get more benefit. I go between the eliptical, stationary bike, and riding my actual bike around the hills here in kansas. I try to up the intensity as often as I can so I get the most benefit.

    I know its really annoying, but the hiit cardio is what helps that problem the most. At least its only 20 minutes. The only thing that will hold you back is not doing it regularly. I am not sure what you mean about breaking up the cardio-you do 15 mins on a tread mill and then 15 mins on something else with 9s and 10s? You only are supposed to hit a 10 once, otherwise its a 9...just stick to the 20 minutes where you change intensity every minute, going from level 6 up to a 9, and then 10 on the last cycle. It was designed that way for a good reason. Its funny how even staying on a harder setting feels easier when is done for a longer period.  

    If my feet get really numb and it messes me up, I just jump off for a minute, loosen up my shoe laces and wiggle my feet and toes a bunch, then get back on and resume right where I was. I you bring a cardio BFL worksheet, its easier to keep track and follow along.

  • P.s.

    I don't want to down play your efforts- it is awesome that you are making fitness a priority again, no matter how you do your cardio! I was just giving a pointer on how I make sure to follow along what the book suggests. And I was a little confused about exactly what you are doing. It sounded like you are doing 30 minutes broken in to two parts instead of 20 all at once?

    I know that there can be this urge to do more and go harder to make up for lost time. But sometimes tweaks and adding more time can mess us up in ways we didn't expect. If I have that "exercise bug" from being so enthusiastic about my new life,I try to use that extra energy reading about fitness. It helps me stay on track because I understand the process from a scientific point of view. One thing I saw was that too much hiit cardio can throw off the body, causing it to conserve and preserve energy. Aka hold on to fat storage more. Who knew that extra effort could do the opposite of what we work so hard for? So that's why I put emphasis on following the program to a Tee. I would hate to see someone give up because their hard efforts didn't pay off.

  • I would suggest trying 30 second bursts, where 30 seconds you go basically as hard as you can, then take a 30 second break.  Repeat for as long as you can, up to 20 minutes.  Not a BFL plan, but I got this from Shaun Phillips, Bill Phillips older brother.  I use this method, as I feel it does better than the other plan on the program.

  • Thanks for the replies!! I have an auto immune linked circulation problem that doesn't really change its behavior regardless of  my weight or activity level. But I do have to be careful to avoid things that cause circulation loss and numbness since that could lead to amputation. I like my toes painted and cute, not missing :p

    Also, what I meant was 9's and a 10. So I usually hit the 10 on a recumbent. I try to stick to the HIIT for the 20 as described. The last 10 mins is usually far less intense. I just keep moving. Mostly because my gym time is my 'me' time so i just kinda take a really long cool down and enjoy the moment. I suppose, I could just move that time to stretching if it were a problem.