Cardio Training Before Lifting

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    Mar 16, 2007 3:52 PM GMT
    Hi All. I know you are supposed to do some cardio before hitting the weights (which I have bypassed until now). How much should I do, and what you you guys suggest?
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    Mar 16, 2007 7:18 PM GMT
    I don't like to do a lot of cardio before I lift. I'd rather save my mojo for lifting.

    I do 5 min of warm up cardio, then some stretching.

    I have found doing cardio first thing in the morning (about 30 min after taking some fat burners) works best for me. Then I eat some breakfast right after that.

    Hope this helps!
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    Mar 16, 2007 9:15 PM GMT
    Thanks for the input. Hopefully this won't affect of the muscle that I have put on?
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    Mar 16, 2007 9:27 PM GMT
    That is actually not true...

    Cardio warms up the cardiovacular system and general over all musculotalskeletal system, but not any particular joints/muscle parts. You can still get injured with weights if you do not do warm up sets.

    If you do cardio before weights, you are taxing into your muscels and liver's glycogen supply. Weight training for strength, speed, and size use mostly type II fast twtich white muscel fibers, which does NOT use O2 for energy, but rather only glucogen and creatine phosphate for energy. You do cardio before weights, you do not burn any fat but only sugar, and the sugar you need for your weight training, and cardio does not prevent injuries at all. Then you cannot do as intense and heavy, it just defies the whole purpuse of weight training.

    You do cardio after eights or first thing in the morning when your glycogen reserve is already low. Moderate cardio will burn more fat than protein.
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    Mar 17, 2007 1:27 AM GMT
    NYMUSC is right on track.

    Best time to do cardio is first thing in the morning, when growth hormone is highest, and blood sugar is lowest, as well as insulin is lowest.

    Eat about 40grams of protein and maybe of bit of banana, or something that will keep you thinking straight (avoid hypoglycemia), and do your 30 minutes of cardio in the morning.

    Interval training is most effective. I.e., don't train like a moron, doing countless hours of cardio. Go in, get your heart rate up, and repeat twice. Go home, eat.

    Remember: resistance training is the ONLY training that increases your lean muscle mass (and hence your metabolism), and strengthens your bones, AS YOU GROW OLDER.

    The more MUSCLE you have, the easier it will be to stay lean as every pound of muscle burns calories just setting there. Being anoxericly thin is an idiotic notion: it slows your metabolism to a crawl.

    Don't pay a bit of attention to BMI (Body Mass Index). It's severely flawed for fit and muscular people.
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    Mar 17, 2007 1:42 AM GMT
    Agre! According the index I am obesse! That was set many years ago using subjects who do not engage in regular resistive training...
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    Mar 17, 2007 2:22 PM GMT
    wow--I didn't know cardio was so involved! thanks guys!
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    Jun 09, 2007 9:29 AM GMT
    Holy Shit thanks you guys, I learned something too, I better go try this shit out. Thanks again.
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    Jun 09, 2007 9:31 AM GMT
    oh but one question for NYCMuscle...WHat's "eights"?
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    Jun 09, 2007 12:58 PM GMT
    ... I am not quite sure waht youare referring to... Possibly my notorious bad typo...? Weights?
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    Jun 09, 2007 2:34 PM GMT
    Yep,
    I think you mean to write weights, but it came out as eights.
    Regardless, very good advice.
    Take care, Ric
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    Jun 09, 2007 4:00 PM GMT
    The advice is great guys but I think it also depends on the schedule we all have and the diet we follow. Some people are morning persons, others are not, so what is a person to do if they are not a morning person or they go into work at 6am? When are they suppose to do cardio then? I think cardio should be incorporated into your work out when it works for you. If you force it, you will not do it. I found myslef in this position. I hated cardio, because cardio to me meant 30 to 60 min in a boring ass treadmill. I hated it. Plus I used to go in at work at 7 am and lived about an hour from work. So working out before was not an option and working cardio after work became such a tedious thing to do. So I began to try different things, got into a dance class, started swimming, and did light weight-high reps sets. With a combo of these I was able to hit cardio and do it when I had the time and was actually motivated to do it, and not skip it. I know warm up by running a mile, then do some stretching, hit the weights, then relax a bit in the hot tub and hit the pool for 30 min. I take a shake before I hit the gym and I eat a protein bar after, drink tons of water and so far it is working out for me.
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    Jun 09, 2007 4:49 PM GMT
    Well the above advise is a scientific recommendation for effectiveness, safety, and most of all, efficiency...

    Everyone has their own schedules and no recommendation is useful if one cannot be compliant with it...

    However, the sequence/order you described your work out can be more EFFICIENT if you leave the cardio and swimming last then hit the hot tub... Running on the tredmill for a mile before you do weights DOES NOT WARM UP your joints and you can still get injured.

    That is about the biggest misinformation that is out there. Cardiovascular warm up is not an adequate resistive training warm up... And if you run for the purpose of burning fat, it is also not terribly efficient at doing it if you run first. It also makes your resistive training following the run less effective.

    Since it does not warm up your joints in preparation for resistive training, it does not prevent joint injuries, it does not burn fat efficiently, and it actually make your resistive training work out afterwards not as effective, I really do not see the benefit of keeping the sequence you have presently...
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    Jun 09, 2007 5:43 PM GMT
    My warm-up is a few minutes on the stationary bike followed by 15 reps with 12lb dumbbells where I press overhead and then squat down, touching the floor with the dumbells, back to a press overhead, etc.
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    Jun 09, 2007 7:11 PM GMT
    NYCMusc4Musc is right.

    Warm up for an exercise by doing that exercise.

    Light tris, bis, chest, legs, back, etc. Sure, a five minute walk will wake "wake up" your body but isn't the same as doing low weights of the exercise.

    Usually, common sense is the right thing.
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    Jun 20, 2007 2:13 AM GMT
    I agree with mplsjock_writer. I usually start lifting and do cardio afterwards because i'd rather use the energy I have for my lifting becuase I usually try to do heavier weight and less reps for max growth, then cardio afterwards. And honestly, I hate cardio lol so my cardio consists of playing dance dance revolution on the xbox for about an hour cuase it's great exercise, really gets my heart rate up there and no matter how tired I get I just keep going cuase it's fun whereas running on a treadmill or something would bore me!
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    Jun 20, 2007 2:18 AM GMT
    One more thing.... A few years ago all I had was a 40 pound dumbell that I would lift, that was it. I never did cardio or anything, but I got some really nice 18.5" arms from it, and I was never injured or sore or anything from not warming up, I just went and did it. Then 2 years ago I still wasn't in to lifting as much as I am now, but I had just got my dance dance revolution that I mentioned earlier and I did that and with a combination of that and drinking nothing but green tea I lost about 20 pounds in 3 or 4 weeks it was amazing. So I kinda bounce around with it, sometimes i'll just lift, sometimes just cardio, sometimes both. It really depends on my mood and what I think I need to do after looking in the mirror!
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    Jun 20, 2007 10:51 AM GMT
    I disagree on the impact of cardio on being an effective warm up for weights. It all very much depends on the nature of the weights you will be lifting. If you are going for a 1 rep max or competing/training for a PB for a weightlifting competition then warm up sets would seem relevant.

    If however you are looking at muscular development from a newbie or intermediate stage then their is no conclusive evidence of benefit of a warm up set other than to detract from the amount of energy and effort you put into the workset. Its all a matter of progression.

    Overload is overload wether you warm up or not and 5 minuts cardio followed by stretching is enough to raise the heart get the blood flowing which then benefits from stretching.

    Think of it like this we all have flight or fight mechanism built in, if you were walking across a road and a car suddenly hurtled at you and you had to dive out of the way you are suddenly placing huge demands on the muscle to react quickly if what you were proposing were true you would stay stuck to the spot as your mastring rips which simply is not the case. The only biological change is adrenaline release to stimulate blood flow and increase heart rate
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    Jun 20, 2007 10:52 AM GMT
    * read mastring as hamstring! sorry bad typing and blind as a bat methinks! :-)
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    Jul 25, 2007 12:48 AM GMT
    bfg1...

    The example you provided makes no logical or scientific sense at all...

    "Think of it like this we all have flight or fight mechanism built in, if you were walking across a road and a car suddenly hurtled at you and you had to dive out of the way you are suddenly placing huge demands on the muscle to react quickly if what you were proposing were true you would stay stuck to the spot as your mastring rips which simply is not the case"

    That makes no sense at all. What you just described is simply the fast initiation of the sympathetic nervous system, which generates ANAEROBIC respiration process with massive amount of glucogon protein hormones to initiate glycolysis, which is the primary fuel for fast twitch and combination muscle fibers, but of course is utilized by all skeletal muscle fibers. And as with the case of anaerobic respiration, this is short lived burst of energy, not efficient prolonged pathway of energy via the Kreb Cycle.

    What ever gave you the idea that hamstring would be stuck...?

    When you perform cardio, you are using all muscle groups to move the body, and no one suggested that cardio would not be an adequate form of exercise for gentle stretching. However, cardio STILL does not warm up a specific muscle group and joint adequately to prevent injuries from specific exercises. Just because your heart is pumping harder and faster, it does not mean that a specific muscle group such as your bicep would be "warmed up" enough... "Warmed up" means enough load is put on a structure to increase demand of energy, either via anaerobic or aerobic respiration, and this demand of energy demands increased circulatory process. Running on a treadmill will do this for your hamstrings or soleus or gastroc, but it will not do this for your biceps. This is not a theory but proven.

    The example you gave just makes no sense at all. I am not a clincal instructor for intern PTs for no reason.... This is a known fact...
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    Jul 25, 2007 12:56 AM GMT
    "The only biological change is adrenaline release to stimulate blood flow and increase heart rate"

    Not that simple.. There is a whole chain of biochemical envet going on with adrenaline and glucogon action... "Stimulate blood flow" is not an accurate statement as you did not specify the desination structures. Your smooth muscle will actually present with decreased blood flow. And increasing systemic circulation does not mean your bicpe are "warmed up." Not going to go into details here. But not a true statement.
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    Jul 29, 2007 6:42 PM GMT
    NEVER EVER NEVER stretch a cold muscle unless you are a high level athlete. DO NOT EVER stretch pre-workout. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

    Generally, cardio should be done after you've burned your glycogen stores (you'll be closer to ketosis), i.e., post workout.

    Common sense 101 here.
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    Jul 29, 2007 9:35 PM GMT
    I do about 5 minutes before I lift so that I can help the blood shunt to happen.