Whether it’s to impress the ladies or to achieve a sense of accomplishment of their own, weight-training workout is a part of the daily routine of many guys and girls alike. After all, we have to admit that pumped up abs and biceps look great! However, even if your goal in life is to get huge guns and transform yourself from Bruce Banner into the Incredible Hulk, getting proper aerobic exercise during the transformation can be great for burning calories and keeping your heart healthy, so while you’re at the weight-training, don’t forget to incorporate some cardio exercises as well! Cardio is, unfortunately, sidelined by a lot of weight-lifters who “forget” to incorporate it into their daily routine or simply can’t figure out when exactly they should incorporate it in order to get optimal results.
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Nevertheless, the problem with incorporating cardio into your daily routine is that it takes a lot of time, especially if you’re already on a weight-training workout. Therefore, it’s better to incorporate cardio into your already existing workout routine and get your clothes full of sweat and stink just once. The question then arises, is cardio more effective before or after you work out? Well, we kind of have the answer. Let’s compare both the scenarios and see for ourselves which one’s the winner!
The pros and cons of doing cardio before a workout:
Doing cardio before working out is like using up all your fuel before getting on the highway! What this means is that if you perform cardio before your strength-training workout, your body will already be tired when you start the strength training workout and your energy levels will be extremely low. You won’t be able to lift as heavy weights as you had anticipated. Therefore, if you’re just looking to get a healthy heart and increase your stamina, then this is the right approach for you but if you want to increase your body mass, it’s better to stay away from this plan.
If you still want to do your cardio workout before your weight training, a good rule of thumb is to have a non-processed form of high energy food before you start the cardio. This could be any natural food with an immediate yet high source of energy e.g., bananas and dates. Therefore, runners who wake up in the morning and go for a run without having anything in their system since the previous day are actually harming their bodies as the body turns to fat and protein (which means muscle) metabolism in starvation mode instead of the normal carbohydrate metabolism. This means you might even face muscle wasting if you start running in starvation mode! You don’t want your strength-training workouts to go to waste, do you?
The pros and cons of doing cardio after a workout:
Doing cardio after a strength training workout is like loading up your tummy with the main course and then having no space for the dessert. While this may seem like a great idea at first since you can hit the treadmill after your strength training and then go off to work, it’s almost impossible to implement. This is because if you go for strength-training exercises first and then shift to cardio, your cardio will greatly be affected as your muscles will be sore and fatigued from all the strength-training and weight-lifting exercises. Heavy lifting puts a huge load of strain on your body that makes you lazy and unable to perform cardio afterward.
However, with this method, you can burn more fat than you normally would. This is because strength-training exercises use up all your body’s immediate carbohydrate energy stores. After that, if you perform cardio, your body will start burning fat for energy. The only problem with this method is that you’re likely to cut short on your cardio routine because your body is already tired from all the weight-lifting.
Wait, what? What’s the answer then? What time should you do cardio? Well, since it’s now obvious that none of the above works, we need to find a road in the middle of both these scenarios that will lead us to our destination. We need to find a common ground between the two and then explore it so that the benefits of strength-training can be efficiently combined with those of a cardio workout. So, here’s my suggestion to get a great cardio workout and a great strength training workout for overall health: do 5-minute supersets of intense cardio intervals, followed by 5 to 10-minute supersets of strength-training exercises such as push-ups, squats, lunges, etc. Repeat this cycle until, well, you drop? Just kidding, you don’t literally need to drop! Keep going till you reach your end-point. This way, you can get the benefits of high-intensity cardio without fatiguing your muscles to the point that it starts affecting your performance.
At the end of the day, whenever you try to incorporate both of these workout routines, make sure that you push yourself enough during the intervals for optimal fat loss and optimal muscle gain at the same time. You need to keep a balance between the two so that neither of them overshadows and prevents you from doing the other one and you need to find a proper routine and time for it that works out for you. Think of it as trying to balance two jobs at once. You can’t let one job affect the other and you have to keep an ultimate balance between the two so that you can do both efficiently.
So, what are you waiting for? Go smash this workout routine and get ready for your transformation into the new Hulk of town! Get it? Well, you better get it, otherwise, I’ll be angry. Don’t make me angry, you wouldn’t like to see me when I’m angry. Once again, GET IT? Good luck with your intense cardio and heavy weight-lifting, future hulk-to-be!