length of cardio workouts
July 28, 2005 6:04 AM   Subscribe

I usually try to do aerobic exercise for 1.5 hours a day. Is it more beneficial to do 3 30-minute workouts or 2 45-minute workouts?
posted by ttrendel to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think you're splitting hairs. What's more beneficial? Whatever fits your schedule better.
posted by Doohickie at 6:25 AM on July 28, 2005

There is aerobic benefit to splitting your workouts, but almost all of the research is on two-a-day workouts. I'm honestly not sure that there is any on 3-a-days. But my guess would be that it really doesn't matter. A fairly recent issue of Running Research News had a breakdown on the latest two-a-day study. Owen sends out sample copies, you could email him and see if you could get that one specifically.
posted by OmieWise at 6:40 AM on July 28, 2005

I believe that two a days are better as you spend more time in your aerobic heart zone and less time getting you heart rate into that zone.
posted by Roger Dodger at 7:22 AM on July 28, 2005

your body starts getting the aerobic benefit after 20-25 minutes. That's when you start building new muscle. It depends on what you're looking to gain. If you want to look better go for 3 30s. If you want to be a better long distance runner go for 2 45s
posted by slapshot57 at 9:24 AM on July 28, 2005

The longer you keep your heartrate up the more benefit you're going to get. So, the two 45s.
posted by raaka at 10:47 AM on July 28, 2005

Definitely the two 45's. Less time overall spent warming up and getting your heart-rate into the aerobic effect zone and more time in that zone for higher gains. Plus, yes, you will build your stamina.

If your doing this for weight-loss, you should change the second workout to anaerobics/weight-training, too. Studies done show that both forms of exercise combined are more effective at weight-loss than either of them alone.
posted by id at 12:43 PM on July 28, 2005

I think, and think not know, is the operative word--it does make a difference--1.5 best for endurance (what are your fitness goals)--2X45 best for general fitness particularly if varied with different type of workouts-- 3X30 if weight loss is the goal--multiple workouts increase the burn time that consumes calories--additional calories are expended post exercise(during recovery)as well as during the workout
posted by rmhsinc at 6:44 PM on July 28, 2005

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