The general rule of thumb of training is to do the most demanding exercise directly after the warm up, so that the majority of energy focused on that activity. So if you are a power lifter looking to get stronger, cardio before weights makes no sense. In fact, for a power lifter, traditional cardio is not recommended in their regimen at all. Let’s say you are someone who is completely new exercising. Heavy weights are out of the question since it takes a considerable amount of time to learn the proper movement patterns and to build basic strength. Twenty minutes of moderate intensity cardio is going to be challenging for a new exerciser. Any light weight training after the cardio session is going to be focus on learning movement patterns with lighter weights for future workouts. This is one of the only situations that cardio should be done before weight training and the intensity of both activities should be low to moderate. This type of cardio serves as an introduction to the gym. As many people quickly realize, the results you are looking for probably won’t come from a treadmill. Sure it is a tool that can help, but it should not remain your main focus. But what about the intermediate or advanced weight lifter who also wants to improve their cardio or shed a little fat? Say you have been lifting weights for a year or two and you’re getting the hang of things. Your focus has been to build muscle and strength and you have seen decent results. Now you’re looking to expose that newly built muscle by adding cardio to your regimen. For someone who wants to add cardio their weight lifting program, they going to benefit most from doing their cardio after weight lifting sessions. They are going to get more out of their cardio session because they should already be relatively exhausted from lifting session. This will help the body break down more fat considering their heart rate has already been elevated and they should be near a ‘fat burning zone’. These cardio sessions should be fairly brief (20-30 minutes) and it is recommended that they are done under a HIIT protocol. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training (more to come on this subject). Keep in mind, training too long can cause a spike in the stress hormone, cortisol, and will diminish any results. Those marathon sessions at the gym typically do more harm than good. According to the physiology of the average body, shut it down after 90 minutes of intense training. Performing cardio after an intense weight lifting session can be quite overwhelming to some. So you may be tempted to do your cardio first and lift weights after. This is not recommended when performed at a high intensity because the glycogen stores will be depleted before lifting weights causing a decrease in performance and is potentially dangerous. But, doing 5-10 minutes as a light warm up before lifting is acceptable. A few HIIT intervals are a great way to raise the heart rate and increase blood flow to the muscles. But be careful not to get carried away and burn all the glycogen that is needed for an effective lifting session. So there are a few situations it is acceptable to do cardio before weights. But for most people, cardio should be done after weight training. For most people, steady state cardio is not recommended. Use a HIIT protocol for best results. The key to keep in mind is the main goal of the training session and to perform exercises that align with that specific main goal.
Hello, Today I am writing about H.I.I.T or high intensity interval training. H.I.I.T is all about your intervals in your workout routine or the reps you do on your exercises. H.I.I.T has many benefits to your fitness workout and below I will tell you how and why. To start with, high intensity interval training is used in your cardio workouts. By doing the high intensity workouts you will increase the amount of calories you are burning in less than 40% of your normal workout time. This is perfect if on certain days you are under some time constraints. You will do 5-15 reps,or intervals at 100% of your limit. By that, I mean, you do go ALL out for those reps. Then you rest a short time and do the same amount at about 50% of your ability. Sort of a cool down period. You want to go back and forth on each interval between the all out capacity and the half capacity. Always do 5-10 minutes of a light warm up before starting HIIT maybe ride the exercise bike at half speed or jog for 5 minutes or so. Take note that when you do cardio workouts they are normally a steady pace. That is the difference. There are many benefits to doing the high intensity intervals. As I mentioned above, they are great if you have time constraints. Normal cardio at a steady pace will burn calories during your workout and for a brief period after. With the high intensity cardio workout, you will burn calories almost all day. So, doing the same reps at high intensity levels, you burn way more calories than your workout at your normal pace in a lot less time. Doing the high intensity workout is very fast paced. You will be concentrating on the workout and not staring off into space like you do in your slower paced regular cardio. You stay plugged in so to speak. If you do it right and don’t cheat, you will never get bored because you will be totally exhausted. Lastly, and I shouldn’t need to mention this, it is an awesome cardio workout. The best you can get. Now, how to do HIIT Again, you will be doing 5-15 intervals and alternating between 100% capacity and 50% capacity. How many intervals and how long you do them depends on what shape you are in. The whole workout shouldn’t last more than 15-20 minutes though. One example would be to bike. Use a harder gear and pedal as fast as you can for 20-30 seconds, then hit an easier gear and pedal half speed for 40 seconds to a minute and catch your breath, then back up to the harder gear and pedal your butt off for another 30+ seconds and so on. The high intensity interval training is excellent for sprinting/jogging or swimming. You could sprint all out for 20-40 seconds the walk for about a minute and catch your breath and let the muscle burn subside, then do it all again and again. trust me, after a few of these, you will be totally exhausted but will be burning fat and calories and an unbelievable rate. You will lose the fat in no time and sculpt your body too. That about covers it for now. I hope you incorporate the high intensity interval training into your workout routine. The benefits are great. As with any workout program, make sure you are healthy enough to do it. Also, start this interval training slowly if you aren’t in peak condition. You don’t want to pull any muscles or do anything that will slow or halt your progress to the body you desire. Thanks For Reading, Scott