Journal Entry 194 – Adding in Cardio



7/04 – 2300 calories – 8000 steps – Missed

7/05 – 2100 calories – 6100 steps  175.3 lbs

7/06 – 1800 calories – 16500 steps – Missed

7/07 – 2150 calories – 10760 steps – 173.4lbs

7/08 – 2100 calories 12700 steps – 174.3lbs

7/09 – 2150 calories – 10500 steps – 173.4lbs

7/10 – 2600 calories – 10500 steps – 173.4lbs

Average Calories – 2170  Average Weight – 174lbs


After a lot of research on the topic, I plan to implement moderate intensity cardio into my daily workouts. I have ran before in the past, but used to do cardio only with no weight training. Here recently besides walking, I have basically done zero cardio. The problem with this is that my heart rate never gets raised high enough to promote optimal blood flow. When your heart is pumping consistently at an almost moderate to high intensity, it greatly helps fuel your muscles, promotes insulin sensitivity, promotes recovery and the best is optimal energy levels after finishing. There are actually tons more benefits including better skin, self confidence, mood and better sleep and more. Not going to lie, I feel amazing after a good run and sometimes a good lift just doesn’t get me the same benefits. Its like a clear headed, anti- anxiety feeling that only running and keeping the heart rate elevated can achieve. Lifting can give me this rush, but it usually has to be higher rep to get the blood flowing.

I plan to do this early in the morning before work or breakfast. Basically wake up and grind mindset. This is what the rock does and it seems to work well for him. You also get a large feeling of accomplishment, by waking up early, when everyone else is sleeping and knocking out a good 3-4 miles. The energy increase I get afterward is nothing short of amazing. I’m also using the cardio to help build more muscle. I tend to me endomorphic in nature. Endomorph is a nick name for someone that puts of weight and fat easy and has to work harder to keep fat off and watch their diet closer. Cardio could be the missing link. If cardio greatly increases insulin sensitivity to the working muscles and allows you to eat more without getting fat, then it could be the missing link to building more muscle without fat.

My plan is to do the cardio in the morning around 6:15 or so. I plan to do 3-4 miles or just set a timer and hit anywhere from 30 mins – 45 mins every single day. Research shows that in healthy individuals you could ideally do this 3-4 times a week and obtain all the benefits, but I want to build the cardio into my day, so it becomes like second nature. Another good thing about running is the fact that you can do it anywhere.

As for my weight training, I’m still not sure what I’m doing. Thinking about doing 1-2 muscle groups a day with a mix of rep ranges. I like doing full body, but I have a feeling it may be too much from a recovery standpoint. Still on the fence right now. I do want to find something I can hit consistently though. Just having a really hard time figuring what that’s going to be.

My nutrition will see a bump in calories. I’ll probably just shoot for a range of 2100-2600 calories a day, averaged over the week. I really dont feel like tracking that accurately and just want to eat to my natural appetite with a balanced diet. Some days will likely be higher others lower, but the average I want to land around 23-2400. Basically just doing a maintenance recomp, while training the way I want to train.

Some pics from the week:



BBQ chicken with veggies
BBQ chicken with veggies
VPX bang energy drink. Really good
VPX bang energy drink. Really good


1 cup of beans with onions and chicken with chips and salsa
1 cup of beans with onions and chicken with chips and salsa
Lean meats, veggies, cheese, hard boiled egg and crab rangoon
Lean meats, veggies, cheese, hard boiled egg and crab rangoon
Pizza and leftover Moe's for dinner
Pizza and leftover Moe’s for dinner

8 thoughts on “Journal Entry 194 – Adding in Cardio

  1. Carson

    Hey Michael,

    I think Lyle’s cardio and mass gains article pretty much is the goto info on this subject. His conclusion is that 2-3 sessions of cardio 30-40 minutes at no more than 70% max ideally 60-65% is plenty.

    I though the recovery would be an issue doing full body at first, but the longer I do the less sore and quicker I recover.
    Eric Helms explained the mechanism behind this(cant remember why exactly), basically your body adapts to the higher frequency.

    You have been doing recomps forever lol…what are your actual goals right now, are you happy with weight and definition? I hate to come off as an asshole but your physique has looked the same for some time. I want Everybody including myself to make steady progress!


    • Michael Cocchiola


      Like I said my body tends to put on fat more than muscle when over eating. Lifting alone usually isnt enough for me, especially not recently. I’m adding in cardio not only for a fresh change, but so I can push calories higher without storing fat and also promote better recovery. Trust me man if it was as simple as just stuffing my face and lifting I would be jacked, but I’d also be fat as hell. My body is stubborn in that regard, no matter the macro split. Basically adding in cardio and lifting so I can push my calories higher and build more muscle.

      As for lifting, still playing around with it. I may do full body or a 5 day push pull legs setup with a mix of reps instead of heavy only. Going to see which one I enjoy more.


  2. Carson

    All fair enough!
    After reading Ray Peats like 200 quotes on how bad endurance exercise is I am very careful with how I implement it.
    I know first hand because my Mom has always been a “running room” marathon nut. but she developed bad hypothyroidism. She denies that her running caused it but she never had it before hand.
    I think Lyle gives the 40 min recommendation because there are 2 studies that show at 3 quarters of an hour (45 min) that tsh becomes elevated.


    • Michael Cocchiola

      I dont know man. A lot of sucessful bodybuilders and lean athletes all do cardio and it doesnt seem to have negative effects on them. I think the biggest issues are too low of a calorie intake combined with too much cardio. If you bump the calories up to compensate, then you can eat more and become more insulin sensitive without the negatives.

      I’ve really been enjoying morning cardio so far. Energy levels, digestion, decreased soreness are all results.


  3. Carson

    As Lyle stated in his article its damn near religion for bodybuilder to get up and go for a 1 hour fasted walk. But going for a walk is much different its quite low intensity not very stressful. 60% of heart rate roughly. There is nothing wrong with a brisk walk in anyway shape or form. But as Lyle states anything over 70% is when the scale starts tipping more towards the Cons rather than pros.

    Depends on the Athlete…most sports require a mixed training regime and they do it right
    example…My brother is a hockey player – for cardio he does high intensity stuff 2-3 times a week 20 min during off season + 2-3 times a week 40 moderate on the bike. This is not anything that would overstress the body.

    But a long distance runner going 2 hours straight at 75% ……yikes.

    But again back to lyle’s recommendation I think its dead on. 2-3 times a week 30 min. minimum & 40 min maximum.
    Pro/amateur Athletes can add in maybe 1 extra session a week*. Anything more is unnecessary.

    I hate to give lyle so much props, but yet again he seems to be barking up the right tree of dead on lol.


  4. Michael Cocchiola

    Yeah I try to keep it to roughly 30-40 minutes, so not likely to be any issues there. I may not jog everyday either. I plan on doing cardio every day, but may walk some days and do light intervals other days just to mix it up.

    Haha yeah Lyle definitely knows his stuff though. Looking at pictures of him though, looks kind of skinny, but could be a lean with a low body fat, I have no idea haha.


  5. Carson

    He has said he has no aspirations of competing or never has, simply wants to maintain a healthy physique.
    Hes unique because he may not be a fitness model or bodybuilder but he knows a shit tonne from extensive research, he has like 3 different science degrees lol.
    He practices more on the books than he does the weights. Nothing wrong with that someones got to do it.


  6. Michael Cocchiola

    Haha yeah. I always liked him to be honest. Probably out of respect of all the research I’ve read through him. A lot of people that hate him, probably learned a lot more than they think through him. He also did a lot of his books and articles before bodybuilding and physique athletes became as popular as it is now.

    There was a huge blow up between him and Martin Berkhan awhile ago. It was a giant cussing match haha.


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