The good old Cardio/Work-out dilemma ! Same or separate days ? Before or after ?

  • disasterpiece

    Posts: 2991

    Feb 19, 2011 8:37 AM GMT
    I've been reading a lot on that subject, and EVERYTHING seems to be contradictory.

    Of course, most of what I read recommended to do cardio AFTER work-out.

    Most of them recommended to do cardio and work-out on separate days...

    But I read this article, lately, that suggested to do cardio BEFORE working out, and it seems pretty interesting.

    http://weighttraining.about.com/od/techniquesandstrategies/a/cardio_weights.htm

    For sure, the answer probably is never the same wether you're looking for fat burning or muscle growth.

    But if you're looking for both ? Getting a little bigger (muscle talking) while burning the extra fat on your belly and those fricken love handles ? What's better ?

    What do you think?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 19, 2011 12:07 PM GMT
    HIIT style cardio can be done after a weight workout for fat loss, or on separate days. I don't know of many who do it before a weight workout.
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    Feb 19, 2011 2:18 PM GMT
    It's one of those questions where you'll get a million different answers. My friend Jackie (who studied dance and kinesiology at NYU) teaches a fitness course at the local community college. She also teaches pilates and dance. She has her students warm up their muscles by doing cardio then stretching before doing any resistance training.

    I'm a cardio junkie, so I'll do a 20 minute cardio warm up and cool down when lifting weights. I also do about an hour of cardio every other day. Actually did 2 hours in the gym yesterday with 40 of those minutes on the stationary bike then did a half marathon on the trails at the state park by the beach, but that was only cause it was 77 degrees and gorgeous out.
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    Feb 19, 2011 2:26 PM GMT
    I use to do 20 mins of cardio before wrking out but was told by a trainer recently that it was too much time and I should only be doing 10 mins to get the blood circulating and my heart rate up. Now I do 10 mins and the rest after i'm done lifting.
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    Feb 19, 2011 4:49 PM GMT
    the only way i managed to gain a bit this fall/winter was cutting down cardio to 2 sessions/week .
    gym was : 4 minutes warm up on a treadmill, lifting, stretching, drink a shake, go home, rest, sleep.
    when i went out running ( or doing the other sports i love) i didn't go to gym at all. running was 30 min max. bike/ski could be up to 1:30 hours, just having fun.

    good food + supplements also.

    --

    i applied what i consistently read for hardgainers. Your situation is probably different .

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    Feb 19, 2011 5:26 PM GMT
    I've heard that it doesn't matter whether you start or finish with cardio as long as you do cardio and lifting several hours apart because aerobic and anaerobic activity work in opposition to each other. So ideally, schedule permitting, you should be working out twice a day - cardio in the morning and lifting in the evening, or vice versa.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Feb 19, 2011 5:30 PM GMT
    I agree that it kind of depends who you ask. Some philosophy is that doing it first warms your muscles up and gets your heart pumping and blood flowing, while others think that your body gets more out of the cardio when done at the end of a workout. I tend to think a hard 10 minutes prior to weighlifting, and 20 minutes at the end of your workout is best. That all being said, just as long as you actually do cardio -- before, middle, or at end of a workout -- is what is most important.
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    Feb 19, 2011 5:31 PM GMT
    Alternatively, you could do NO cardio (traditional or HIIT) at all...
  • disasterpiece

    Posts: 2991

    Feb 19, 2011 5:49 PM GMT
    bryanc_74 saidAlternatively, you could do NO cardio (traditional or HIIT) at all...


    Wouldn't that be just a loss ?
  • disasterpiece

    Posts: 2991

    Feb 19, 2011 5:50 PM GMT
    60isthenew40 saidHIIT style cardio can be done after a weight workout for fat loss, or on separate days. I don't know of many who do it before a weight workout.


    I don't feel I'd had enough energy to do a full HIIT after working out for an hour and a half... Well, surely not a proper max-effort HIIT !
  • madhatter131

    Posts: 38

    Feb 19, 2011 6:01 PM GMT
    Cardio is important, so ideally you should do it. And, results depend on your fitness goals. If you want to build muscle, from all I've been able to study, keep a close eye on your heart rate. Once it gets up too high (like the HIIT), then you are burning less fat and more muscle. So, a brisk walk/slow jog for 15-20 min. is all you'd need for a solid cardio workout if you're trying to gain muscle mass.
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 738

    Feb 19, 2011 6:03 PM GMT
    I like to split my cardio up from weights. That way I can give them both the intensity they need to get maximum results. I prefer to do cardio in morning and weights in the evenings. It may mean getting up earlier but it is a great way to get your day going and be energized (never have drunk a cup of coffee...who needs caffeine when you can have an endorphin rush).
  • disasterpiece

    Posts: 2991

    Feb 19, 2011 6:21 PM GMT
    madhatter131 saidCardio is important, so ideally you should do it. And, results depend on your fitness goals. If you want to build muscle, from all I've been able to study, keep a close eye on your heart rate. Once it gets up too high (like the HIIT), then you are burning less fat and more muscle. So, a brisk walk/slow jog for 15-20 min. is all you'd need for a solid cardio workout if you're trying to gain muscle mass.


    I read the exact opposite, that HIIT was activating hormones that only burned fact and, even, that "sprinting in particular is known to raise hormone levels that encourage muscle growth – perfect for body builders and one of the principal reasons they use HIIT" (from http://www.thefatburner.net/articles/hiit.html)

    I also read this in the same article :

    Cliff Baker saidIf you really want to burn very large amounts of calories, nothing beats an hour of any cardio exercise at medium intensity. Not relaxing, mind you – but sweating hard throughout. You can burn anywhere from 500 to 900 calories – depending on your weight – and this can be repeated 5 times per week giving you a total of 2,500 to 3,500 calories burned per week.

    Contrast that to HIIT programs where even 2 sessions of 15 minutes per week at high intensity will only burn from 300 to 600 calories. Add this to the secondary effects and you still will not even get near the 2,500 mark. Increasing the number of HIIT sessions will help, but you still you’d probably need to do it every day which would increase your risk of injury and is not recommended.

    So if your principal goal is to burn off large amounts of body fat, go with steady state cardio like brisk walking, using the elliptical machine and stationary bike or any other moderate intensity, long term aerobic activity.

    However, if you want to increase muscle mass and don’t have problems keeping the fat off, HIIT may make sense - if you are a body builder, even more so.


    Though, another article states that...

    Jared ConleyThe factual part of this belief is that the longer you perform an aerobic activity, the more calories you will burn. Actually, your body will gain roughly 50 percent of its energy for this workout from your fat stores. Not considered, however, is that these long sessions also force the body into a catabolic state, where it will begin to eat its own muscle tissue for energy. So the end result is weight loss consisting of both fat and muscle. Good, but not ideal.

    HIIT sessions, on the other hand, only consume 40 percent of their energy from fat stores, while participating in the workout. What this ignores is the fact that interval training raises your resting metabolic rate for up to 24 hours after finishing a HIIT session. Whereas aerobic activities burn fat for the duration of the workout, HIIT sessions burn fat for an entire day!

    The bottom line is that HIIT sessions have been shown to be 200 percent to 900 percent more effective at burning fat than traditional cardio, depending on whose numbers you believe. But again, HIIT sessions also spare your muscle mass. They even help build muscle up. So not only are you burning more fat, but you're also building more muscle, which helps your body burn even more fat in the future. (http://ezinearticles.com/?Build-Muscle-Up-Fast-and-Burn-Fat-With-HIIT-Sessions&id=1591316)


    Both make sense... So considering I wanna build muscle mass, but also lose the extra fat (I'm around 23% of adiposity right now, referring to my Weight Watchers balance (lol)), what should I do?

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    Feb 19, 2011 7:46 PM GMT
    Disasterpiece said
    bryanc_74 saidAlternatively, you could do NO cardio (traditional or HIIT) at all...


    Wouldn't that be just a loss ?


    A loss of what? Your free time?
  • TheAlchemixt

    Posts: 2294

    Feb 19, 2011 8:56 PM GMT
    bryanc_74 said
    Disasterpiece said
    bryanc_74 saidAlternatively, you could do NO cardio (traditional or HIIT) at all...


    Wouldn't that be just a loss ?


    A loss of what? Your free time?


    I think cardio is important. Why would someone want to neglect one of the most important muscles their your body? The heart.... - Ryan
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 19, 2011 9:06 PM GMT
    If sustaining an elevated heart rate for 20-60 minutes at a time is required for "heart health", then I'd rather watch a thriller movie.

    If you enjoy "cardio", then by all means do it because you enjoy it. There's nothing wrong with that.

    _Thinking_ cardio is important doesn't make it so.
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    Feb 19, 2011 9:19 PM GMT
    I do cardio on W, F, Su and lift on Tu,Th, and Sa----I also use one gym exclusively for lifting and another for cardio just to mix it up. And since it's Saturday---I must get to the gym-
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    Feb 19, 2011 10:15 PM GMT
    I would think it depends on your goals, both short term and long. Right now I am in a fat loss run because my short term goal is to go under 200lbs. So I jump rope and do pushups before weights M-F, 20 mins eliptical and 25 minutes treadmill after with an additional 60 minutes cardio at night on M, W, F, Sa and Sun. Of course I have changed and and am watching my diet as well. side note: I quit smoking too! 4 months and counting and have lost thus far 30ibs over 2 1/2 months.
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    Feb 19, 2011 11:32 PM GMT
    See I find it better to do Cardio first it seems to be a good warm up. Then I do what ever Im doing that day and I end with cardio....That an on a daily basis I have to do cardio its all part of living the dream.
  • melb_boy21

    Posts: 23

    Feb 20, 2011 2:20 AM GMT
    I think on the same day is better. If you do them on separate days when are you resting? There aren't enough days in the week.
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    Feb 20, 2011 2:43 AM GMT
    Weights first, doing cardio to warm up... eh.. personally I do a movement specific warmup. ie, I do bench press, to warm up I do 20 reps at low weight and by low weight I don't mean I want failure or be close to failure on the last rep I want high intensity quick reps with exceptional form with very low weight. This prepares my body for the movement I will perform with higher weight and lower reps with multiple sets.

    For cardio I do cardio based activity, jogging, bike, elliptical, rowing and so on and so forth. On what days? well bugger it I'm already at the gym I'll do it then and go for a jog after my weight workout.

    For me, personally I do long and slow, WHY? because I have asthma and there is no point me doing HIIT if I can only do it for 5 minutes before I start having problems.

    If you want to control your weight.... Calories in V Calories out with a nutritionally varied diet, ie, lots of colourful vegetables, lean meats and good complex carbohydrates.