The Age-Old Cardio Question

 

Of all the questions physical trainers are asked by clients, those having to do with cardiovascular fitness are most popular. Because of the conflicting information that mainstream exercise science pumps out, it is not hard to see why there is so much confusion in the public.

 

Of all the questions physical trainers are asked by clients, those having to do with cardiovascular fitness are most popular. Because of the conflicting information that mainstream exercise science pumps out, it is not hard to see why there is so much confusion in the public.

Cardio before or after weights?

Why not do both at the same time? It is mainstream exercise fitness dogmas that are responsible for leading people to believe that weight training and cardio are two separate things to be done separately. In fact, they can be combined to create exceptional full body workouts that produce incredible results, in terms of strength endurance, overall cardiovascular fitness, and weight loss/maintenance.

 

3 Examples of Mixing Cardio/Weight Training

 

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

50 Pushups  
15 burpees
20 Box Jumps
10 Jump Pulls
50 Crunches
Barbell Chest Press Set
Body Weight Dips  Set
2000 Meters
Lat Pulldown Set
Cable Incline Pulldown Set
Sprints
Tuck Jumps
Sprints
Pushups
Sprints
Saggital Lunges
Sprints

 

These are all examples of circuit training, with anaerobic exercise, that can basically be anything as long as they are done one right after another. With the careful use of resting periods, which will be necessary with all three no matter what fitness level, the heart can be kept pounding in the same way it would by jumping on the cycle or treadmill for twenty minutes.

 

What if I want to do them separately?

Before: Doing some light cardio before working out has one big advantage and one disadvantage in anaerobic training. While it gets the blood pumping, and the joints/ligaments/tendons loosened up, it also expends energy that could otherwise be used for weight lifting. If one is strictly in the gym or working out for bulk, cardio should be skipped altogether. If on the other hand trimming down is the goal, circuit training is the way to go.

 

After: Once anaerobic training is complete, jumping on the stair master or going for a jog has one use in terms of bodybuilding, it cleanses the body of lactic acid and toxins released either from broken down muscle or fat tissue (provided adequate amounts of water and liquids have been consumed). The problem is, again, if someone is doing anaerobic exercise to build mass, cardio is counterproductive because it uses up calories that could be transferred into muscle.


The Simple Answer

If one is in the gym or exercises to build mass and high end strength, then cardio, other than extremely light cardio, should be low priority and it really doesn’t matter (outside personal preference) and general health whether it is done before or after. If trimming is the goal, then cardio and weight training should be combined and done simultaneously.

 

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