Originally posted by ShawnQ
Well, basically what I'm wondering is if I should give cardio a rest at least a day before I hit it again?
Every other muscle group needs a rest, should I make cardio a 3 or 4 times a week deal? Or is everyday OK?
It actually seems if I skip a day, it's harder
If I go two consecutive days, the second day seems about the same, difficulty wise, as the first...
But maybe this is because I haven't even given myself a chance to get 'sore'. It seems that since I just started working out, I am not sure until two days after I workout. Say I workout on wednesday: Thursday I am fine, but on Friday I am sore from the wednesday workout.
"Cardio" gets it's name due to the fact that the main muscle to be worked is your heart, as well as the entire cardiocascular system, and no, it shouldn't be worked like other muscles. Your heart has the ability to get stronger and more efficient, but it isn't gonna get sore in the process. A secondary effect of cardio is the muscular endurance of your legs, which CAN get sore if they aren't conditioned properly, but it isn't necessarily the goal of cardio to make you legs sore. Save that for sqauts, deadlifts, and lunges. Frequncy and intensity will vary depending on your specific goals as an athlete. Most pros suggest keeping cardio to a minimum during a growth phase, but they do suggest a little to keep your heart strong and metabolism up. I'd say two or three times a week at a moderate pace will keep you from burning precious calories needed to rebuild your muscles. If fat-loss is the goal, I'd suggest a higher intensity (70% of your max) for an hour a day atleast 5 times a week to maximize your losing potential. Lastly is cardio for endurance, increased oxygen uptake, and cardiovascular strength. For this keep the intensity high, but vary it, and occasionally push your self to force your body to adapt to the higher intensities. In a case like this, your cardio system can be treated kinda like a muscle in that you will have to push yourself to make the system stronger, but as I said before don't expect your heart or blood vessels to get sore, otherwise you are having some serious problems.
I take no supplements, just an ECA and about 3 gallons of water a day. Should I go ahead and take a protein or a creatine?
Protien is an athletes best friend. I'd recommend atleast a gram per pound of body weight divided throughout the day, to ensure there's enought to support muscle growth ar atleast preserve lean mass in a diet phase. Get that through natural sources such as chicken breast, egg whites, lean red meats, and so on. It can get difficult to prepare enough of those so a protien shake is essential to ensure you are getting enough. Creatine is a "take it or leave it" for me. It's good for increased strength and endurance, which is a good motivational boost, but it doesn't really increase lean muscle mass any faster than without. Also, all the strength and size from your water engorged muscles subside once you stop taking it.
BTW, I've lost 9lbs in 9days, down to 180 even at 5'11. I'm going to get down to 170, cut down a tad on the cardio and bulk up. Just trying to burn some of the fat off of the muscle before I build it.
Sounds like you are on the right track, but a pound a day is a bit too fast to be keeping you lean mass intact. I'd also imagine that if it's your first week, alot of it was water weight, so you losses will slow up a bit in the coming weeks. Try to shoot for a pound or two a week and you shouldn't lose much size or strength. It'll take a while, but patience is a virtue.