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    Cardio. Before or after weights?

    When I train at the gym, should I be doing cardio work before I lift weights, or after? Aaand what would the effects of doing each one be?

    #2
    Do you have to do both in the same session?

    What are your goals for lifting weights? If you are trying to gain mass, neither before or after would be very good. If you are going for pure strength goals, I would lift first and wouldn't use anything resembling a bodybuilding routine. THe why would be to utilize your glyocgen stores primarily for the weightlifting and lift in more safety(lifting fresh versus lifting tired)

    I would just use the gym for the weights and do your cardio at other times using just a jump rope, running, doing "combat conditioning" style exercises and so forth.

    Cardio machines aren't the best for our movement patterns(nervous system begins to adapt to those movements, e.g., moving your leg in an "unnatural" circle when on a stationary bike or eliptical, etc). If you have joint pain and want to reduce impact, try the hindu movements. They are great "Cardio"

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      #3
      If you MUST do them in the same day, then weights first. That way you aren't too tired to lift with proper form.

      PL

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        #4
        Agreed, definately weights first. You can have a good cardio session after lifting, but the reverse isn't true. Consider doing two-a-days if you want both, weights in the morning and cardio later at night (assuming you have that kind of time).

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          #5
          Agree weights should be done first...

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            #6
            I can't run then do weights. It must work the other way. Once I run, the explosion needed to reach down deep has been spent for a few hours. When I lift weights first (as long as it is not leg day), the explosion is still there for my running.

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              #7
              I would love to see anyone try to do cardio after a serious leg workout.

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                #8
                Originally posted by BatRonin
                I would love to see anyone try to do cardio after a serious leg workout.
                I've done it on occasion. It's kinda weird. You can't really take long strides and you sort of do this crazy shuffle type thing and never are able to accelerate properly.

                That and it hurts bad.

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                  #9
                  Doing cardio BEFORE SERIOUS ST will sap most of your energy, unless it is light cardio as a warm up.
                  BUT, doing hard cardio after a serious ST wourkout will hamper your recovery cycle IF you can even do a seriosu cardio workout.

                  I would suggest that, IF you MUST do both, you need to decide which is more important for you.
                  If its ST, then do a light cardio ( just to break a sweat) for 15-20 min and then take 5 min break and then do your ST.
                  AFTER your ST, you do another LIGHT 10 min cardio, if you can.

                  If cardio is more important, you can combine the two:
                  Circuit superset weight training.

                  EX:
                  ( in no particular order)
                  Bench / rows
                  over head press / chins or pulldowns
                  deadlifts / abs
                  curls / triceps extensions
                  squats / leg raises

                  etc, etc...

                  Secret is to do one right after the other, no rest ( rest only between exercies not sets - 2 min max)
                  and you will do between 3-5 sets ( depending how long you wanna workout).
                  and you will be doing something like 65% of your max.

                  With a routine like that, you get cardio and some ST too...

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by BatRonin
                    I would love to see anyone try to do cardio after a serious leg workout.
                    When I was a lifeguard I used to run 4 miles in soft beach sand after doing heavy squats. Talk about mental conditioning. Your brain thinks your body should be moving much faster and with much less effort, but your legs just can't deliver. It's been known to make grown men cry.

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                      #11
                      Mix it up.

                      Do cardio first on days that you are lifting for strength/endurance (10-24 repetitions of an given exercise) to warm up the muscles - but go at 45-60% of your max HR. Easy cardio, but not below ranges of cardio benefits.

                      OR

                      Skip classic 'wt' training for the lower body and run sprints/hills/speed intervals to substitute the lower body 'strength training' and do classic push ups/pull ups/crunches/leg lifts calisthenic type exercises or even medicine ball exercises that promote functional strength but work with lighter wts/resistance.

                      OR

                      Do wts. first (with a good warm up) when your going heavy for strength/power (4-8 Repetitions of a given exercise). Then do cardio at closer to 60-80% of your max HR. This will help push out the 'ache' that can develop from Lactic Acid build up and such.

                      For performance/functional training you need to:

                      1. Move in a range of motion that is going to be applied to your chosen specificity (martial arts, football, occupational or daily activities....).
                      2. TRAIN THE NERVOUS SYSTEM to activate the proper responses to given stimuli.
                      3. Prepare the slow twitch (endurance/runners/swimmers/cyclist muscles), fast twitch (power/speed/agility/punch/kick/block/sprint/jump....) muscles AND the intermediate muscles (muscles that have properties of both slow and fast twitch and can serve in both roles depending on training and application).

                      So, long story short, (too late), do them both to change up the routine, keep your nervous system guessing (therefore 'overstimulating' which promotes growth/strength/performance), keep the work out fresh and challenging, and tap into that intangible factor in the fitness equation of 'will.'

                      If you do some research into topics like sequencing and periodization of exercises you will be able to create your own work out based on goals and sound fitness science instead of the rantings of some internet whackos (like me:)).

                      I have a copy of "52 Week workout for Hockey" that I use as a baseline as well as other resources. The work out changes as you reach different phases of the year "Off season", "Pre-Season", "POST season", and so on. Now, you don't have to follow the 'season' workout changes, but you should change up the work out to reduce injury, boredom and plateaus in training.

                      Laterz

                      P.S. All that and keep it safe too :).
                      Last edited by loki09789; 6/20/2005 10:58am, .

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                        #12
                        If you're looking to lose weight, cardio after lifting is better.

                        However, as Ronin emphasized, cardio combined with serious ST (lower body especially) will make it difficult, if not impossible to run.

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                          #13
                          Just realise that, whatever yo do AFTER, you will have less gains than if you had done it first.
                          If you ST first, your cardio will "suffer" and if you do Cardio first, your ST will "suffer".

                          Unless you do a VERY apprivated ST routine after Cardio, like only 1 or 2 exercise for example.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by BatRonin
                            Just realise that, whatever yo do AFTER, you will have less gains than if you had done it first.
                            If you ST first, your cardio will "suffer" and if you do Cardio first, your ST will "suffer".

                            Unless you do a VERY apprivated ST routine after Cardio, like only 1 or 2 exercise for example.

                            Not entirely true. It really depends on your goal. If the idea with wt. training is to develop power/absolute strength (4-6, maybe 8 reps of a really heavy wt.) then cardio before may impact that IF the body part that you are focusing on is the prime mover for the cardio session (cycling into heavy squats). BUT if the idea is to develop 'local endurance' then cardio before high reps of lunges or light wt squats isn't bad, it might actually be good.

                            Also, if the goal is overall calorie burn or 'pre exhaustive training' (where you do things that purposely reduce how much resistance you can handle during a core lift like squats) which is pretty common for beginner phases and plateau breaking work outs, cardio before 'strength training' is not going to make your work out suffer. It is actually part of the design.

                            Generally speaking, people work out for an overall purpose of fitness, health, performance, wt loss....

                            that said, sequencing activities and exercises to accomplish that goal is the point.

                            I don't lift wts. so that I can lift heavier wts or do cardio so that I can do longer/higher intensity cardio.

                            I do these things so that I can punch, kick, skate, shoot pucks, last longer, stave off exhaustion and all the brain power killing affects that come with it and generally reduce injury when I fall all over myself.

                            Fitness is the goal, not 'peaking' in one category.

                            It really depends on the end goal on what is going to be best for sequencing.
                            Last edited by loki09789; 6/20/2005 1:03pm, .

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by loki09789
                              Not entirely true. It really depends on your goal. If the idea with wt. training is to develop power/absolute strength (4-6, maybe 8 reps of a really heavy wt.) then cardio before may impact that IF the body part that you are focusing on is the prime mover for the cardio session (cycling into heavy squats). BUT if the idea is to develop 'local endurance' then cardio before high reps of lunges or light wt squats isn't bad, it might actually be good.

                              Also, if the goal is overall calorie burn or 'pre exhaustive training' (where you do things that purposely reduce how much resistance you can handle during a core lift like squats) which is pretty common for beginner phases and plateau breaking work outs, cardio before 'strength training' is not going to make your work out suffer. It is actually part of the design.

                              Generally speaking, people work out for an overall purpose of fitness, health, performance, wt loss....

                              that said, sequencing activities and exercises to accomplish that goal is the point.

                              I don't lift wts. so that I can lift heavier wts or do cardio so that I can do longer/higher intensity cardio.

                              I do these things so that I can punch, kick, skate, shoot pucks, last longer, stave off exhaustion and all the brain power killing affects that come with it and generally reduce injury when I fall all over myself.

                              Fitness is the goal, not 'peaking' in one category.

                              It really depends on the end goal on what is going to be best for sequencing.

                              Sure, for "general fitness" even fucking walking is better than nothing.
                              This is NOT a site about General fitness, just incase you didn't notice.
                              Fact is, you do ST to get stronger, hince the whole "strength training" name, IF you do cardio before it, unless the cardio was just to "break a sweat", it will hamper your ST, in some way or another.
                              And vice-versa.

                              Now, IF your cardio workout is so UNDEMANDING that it doesn't effect your ST, well then...

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