3 Little Known Tips for Cardio

I’ve got a confession to make…

In the year 2006, I’ve seen so many articles on  cardio  that it even made me confused! Everything from don’t with it “good night to  cardio ” to  cardio  is worthless to HIIT training and all kinds of crazy ideas. There’s anti-cardio gurus and  cardio  masters.

At times,  cardio  seems like a diet plan.

Let me explain that…

With a diet, you have so many foods to choose from that you can literally make any combination up and call it a “diet.”

 Cardio  seems to be that way lately. There’s a lot you can do with your  cardio  workouts. Keep them short, make them intense, do all kinds of machines, do it every day, do it once a week, don’t use machines at all but go outside and run hills… etc. List goes on and on.

Let’s try and answer the question of the best time to do  cardio  and how much recovery after your weight sessions you need in order to get workout but without burning up any precious muscle.

3 Simple Steps to Effective  Cardio  Workouts

1- Use  cardio  as a tool.

Cardiovascular exercise is good for the heart. However, so is weight training. And lifting weights and building muscle will do more to get you leaner than 6 spin classes 6 times a week.

If your goal is to build muscle and gain weight or burn off the fat, then use  cardio  sparingly as a way to your goal.

Did you know that 1 lb of muscle burns more calories than 1 lb of fat? By focusing on building more muscle, you’ll get leaner quicker than if you plug away at a treadmill all day long.

Let’s put it this way…

If you cut bread with a saw (weight training) it gets the job done nicely. But if you cut the bread with a saw and then use a finely sharpened knife to make the slides perfect ( cardio ) you’ll get the best of both worlds.

You’ll get slides of bread quickly (saw) and you’ll get them neatly carved out (knife).

If you can think of  cardio  as a tool to stripping off unwanted fat AFTER your weight training and nutrition is in order, you’ll use the tool as it’s meant to be used.

2- Do your  cardio  at the right times.

There’s a loaded question if I ever saw one!

a) the right time is anytime it works for you. If you read several articles about morning  cardio  and you simply cannot do it, then do it when you can. There’s plenty of studies that debate the optimal time to do  cardio  but they all point to the single fact that it doesn’t make a massive difference in your overall gains. When it comes to eliminating body fat. Whether it’s early morning, late evening, the most important thing is that you just do it.

b) do your  cardio  AFTER your weight workouts. Why after? Because your weight training workouts require something called glycogen. That’s short term fuel. If you burn off and use up your short term fuel first, you’ll have little to give when it comes to your muscles.

The fuel your muscles need for a weight training workout is different from the potential fuel sources you can use when doing cardiovascular activities.

When you do your  cardio  AFTER your weight training sessions, you are warmed up and have a better chance at using fat as a fuel source over glycogen.

3- Separate your  cardio  from your weight training sessions

If at all possible, try and give yourself plenty of time between a  cardio  workout and a weight session. Some programs recommend 8 hours. This means you’ll do  cardio  in the AM and weights in the PM. You’ll have plenty of time for post-workout nutrition and a few meals in there as well to help with recovery.

But what if you can’t?

2 Tips to  Cardio  Workouts

Tip #1 – Do your  cardio  AFTER your weight session as in the step above. While this won’t be ideal, it allows your body to use glycogen for short term fuel for the weights and potentially fat as a fuel source.

Tip #2 – Engage in post-workout nutrition (protein and carbs) after your weight training session. While you probably won’t burn as much fat, you won’t risk burning off as much muscle either.

The reason your body burns muscle is that it costs a lot to maintain it (metabolically speaking). In that case, make sure you can support the muscle by not overtraining and engaging in proper nutrition.

Those two simple concepts will go a long way in helping you to preserve muscle when you have a short rest period between a weight training session and a cardiovascular workout.

The bottom line is that cardiovascular exercise is part of a health and fitness routine. It should be used as a tool. Sometimes more (getting ready for a competition) and sometimes less (lean bulking). Lately it’s been over-rated but it certainly isn’t worthless.

Source by Marc David

Recent Posts