View Full Version : cardio after weights?

03-18-2004, 08:04 PM
hi quick question and im sure that this has been asked before (i searched under cardio but there were so many matches its hard to narrow it down)

i read that doin cardio right after weights isn't recommended.... this true...?

because after every workout i usually do 2 20 minute cardio sessions bringing my HR over 130.....

03-19-2004, 09:38 AM
anyone....??? just a quick yes or no would be a good start....

03-19-2004, 09:39 AM
i do cardio after weights because if you do cardio first your strength will be dimished from the cardio. Can anyone back me up on this

03-19-2004, 09:57 AM
I do them after weights and I have never noticed a downside to this.

I either do them after weights or I do them on a non-lifting day.

03-19-2004, 10:02 AM
no you shouldn't
after 40 minutes of weight training cortisol is being released regularly.
You don't want to exacerbate the situation by doing cardio.

Jogging alone for 20 minutes is enough to begin the release of cortisol.

"cortisol is a catabolic hormone that is released when too much damage has been done to the muscles.

This is one good reason to keep your workouts short and sweet"

after 20 minutes of exercising a particular muscle, cortisol begins to be released in small doses, after 40 minutes it becomes regular. This causes your body to burn away muscle as its a catabolic hormone.

as long as you alternate your muscles you can get along with workouts longer than 40 minutes
like legs, then chest in one day
but if you do something like
chest then tri
or back and bi
then expect to release cortisol if you go at it with mid-high intensity for longer than 35-40 minutes

03-19-2004, 10:05 AM
man i have been told different....ahhhhh

03-19-2004, 10:07 AM
I don't claim to know anything, I just come to this forum armed with an open mind, google.com and a desire to learn.
So don't hold what I write to be the truth! 99% of the time I read a question I jump on google and hunt for an answer for both myself and the person posting the question!

03-19-2004, 10:08 AM
Do 20 minutes of HIIT cardio right after you train for best results.Training will deplete glucose and glycogen store creating a perfect time to use fat as a source of fuel for cardio.It will not do anything bad to you as far as gaining goes.Just have your usual post-workout meal afterwards.Too much is said about cortisol,if you train an hour instead of 45 minutes it`s not going to make a hell of a lot of difference beleive me.

03-19-2004, 10:17 AM
I think the cortisol issue is negligible if your weights/cardio sessions are within your means. It takes time to find out where the line is drawn between benefit and detriment. I've never noticed any dramatic decrease in performance and actually the cardio has helped me with my endurance. Having an understanding of science is great but not to the point where it leads to "paralysis by analysis" syndrom.

Best advice I ever got: "try it and see if it works for you."

03-19-2004, 10:17 AM
I am somewhat new, but have been told that Cardio after weight trainging is a good thing for people looking to burn fat and lose weight. The reason being that your heart rate is already elevated from the weight trainging, that menas you start buring fat as soon as the cardio workout starts, and do not have to wait the usual tem minutes it takes to start burning from a resting heart rate.

03-19-2004, 10:24 AM
rpffly, Good advice ! People tend to get a little too scientific at times and have a tendency to overanalyze things.They quote all kinds of scientific studies to support their claims.Be your own scientific study and experiment with things to find out what works best for you as an individual.Bodybuilding is all about learning YOUR particular body and doing YOUR best training routine!

03-19-2004, 10:29 AM
I agree it probably is negligible...but then again you have to ask yourself why would you want to do cardio after you lift weights? what are you hoping to achieve?
To burn more calories? why would you want that? just eat less. So, while the effects of extra cortisol might be negative, the benefits of cardio are that much less IMHO.
Weight lifting OR cardio on any given day is all thats needed. (I won't back that up with studies *LOL* but there are a ton that show that its not needed)

03-19-2004, 10:34 AM
PS, now you guys have me paranoid about finding quotes/links *LOL* but I found a great one that is very appropriate here*LOL*

Aerobic training stimulates a lower testosterone, and a higher cortisol response following a training session when compared to weight training. At the hormonal level, this is why aerobic training is very limited in making muscles grow in size. This response can be physiologically justified when we take into account smaller muscle fibers are more aerobically efficient.

For this reason, muscle fibers (especially type 1) respond SPECIFICALLY to the training stimulus by NOT growing larger, and in some cases SHRINKING in size so that they can function most efficiently for aerobic work. This is why too much aerobic training during a muscle or strength building program can limit gains in strength and muscle mass. (3)

03-19-2004, 10:35 AM
You want to do cardio afterwards to optimize fat burning as your carbs will be mostly spent due to your weight training workout.this is the perfect time to burn fat as fuel.It`s not about losing weight ,but losing excess bodyfat they are different.If proteinj intake is at 1.5-2 grams there is no need to worry about a catabolic state ensuing as long as you are in a positive nitrogen balance created by eating every 3 hours or so.

03-19-2004, 10:37 AM
ill have to disagree with tjwes with doing HIIT cardio after weight training... I would reserve that for off days or lets say you lift in the morning then do it at night... HIIT is very catabolic in nature compared to say regular cardio at medium intensity, now doing HIIT might be counter productive directly after a weight session... and who has the energy to do hiit right after lifting weights, because I know I don't. Personally I think doing what you stated 2x a week after a weight session at 130bpm would be fine imo assuming your pretty young not extremely old so at about 60%-75% your mhr im guessing. just my .02 cents

03-19-2004, 10:39 AM
If proteinj intake is at 1.5-2 grams there is no need to worry about a catabolic state ensuing as long as you are in a positive nitrogen balance created by eating every 3 hours or so.
I thought a positive nitrogen balance was created by total calories consumed in a day? and not by frequency?

PS, you make great points!

03-19-2004, 10:40 AM
Here`s an article that I wrote on the subject for atozfitness.I`m not saying this is the only way to perform cardio but it is best for me based on my experiences and the results of cvlients that I have trained.

My Approach To Doing Cardio For Optimal Results by Tim Wescott

Most bodybuilder`s, fitness enthusiasts, and personal trainer`s, will tell you that the best time to do cardio is early in the morning, on an empy stomach. For some reason, which most of them don`t know the answer to, they will tell you this is the perfect time to facilitate fat burning. I`m here to say they are off base in this approach to losing bodyfat, and I will tell you why. As bodybuilder`s, most of us endeavor to eat 5-6 meals a day, spaced out over three hour intervals.This helps to keep blood sugar levels stable, keeps us in an anabolic state, by maintaining a positive nitrogen balance, aids in better digestion and assimilation, and also helps to keep the waistline smaller, as most of the meals should not be big meals, per se`!

After sleeping all night for 6-8 hours, or whatever amount is required for you personally, the body, upon arising in the morning, is in a very catabolic state.This means a state of negative nitrogen balance,something no bodybuilder wants. To perform cardio at this time, on an empty stomach, creates a further state of catabolism, thus resulting in muscle breakdown, and muscle tissue loss.The exact opposite of what bodybuilding is all about! It`s true that blood sugar levels are low in the morning, but so are amino acids,the building blocks of protein. If you must do cardio in the morning.... no big deal, just make sure to have a protein drink, or a light protein meal, 45-60 minutes before the aerobic session. Your first priority in the morning, after fasting all night during sleep, should be to feed the body protein and carbs, thus restoring the body to an anabolic state once again. You always want to remain in this anabolic state, if possible, thats why we eat every three hours or so.

In my opinion, the best time to do cardio is after you workout with the iron. Performing your cardio workout after training with the weights, is the most ideal time to burn fat. The reasoning behind this thinking is that during your weight training workout you are using glucose, and stored glycogen, as fuel for energy. Glucose and glycogen are sugars, and sugars are carbs. You want to use carbs as fuel for your training ideally,to sustain you throughout the workout. After you are done training, your glucose and glycogen levels are obviously depleted, thus making this the perfect time to perform your cardio, and to use stored fat as fuel. At this time, if you are on a high protein diet, as most bodybuilder`s are, or should be, the body will burn fat as fuel, to help get you through the cardio session.

Keep the cardio intense and brief, or the body will once again go into a catabolic state and use protein for fuel literally eating your hard earned muscle tissue alive.Doinf too much cardio is detrimental. The type of cardio that you perform is up to you, but I would recommend doing 15-20 minutes of "High Intensity Interval Training". Hereafter known as HIIT !! HIIT cardio involves an all out burst of effort for about a minute, followed by a cool down pace, also for a minute or so, or until the heartrate slows down substantionally. As I stated above, 15-20 minutes of HIIT is great and usually enough for most people. I personally wouldn`t go over 30 minutes tops.

One of the advantages of performing HIIT cardio is that it accomplishes more in a shorter time period. Another more important benefit, is that it raises the heart rate and the metabolism. Your metabolism stays elevated long after your cardio session is done.This enables the body to keep on burning more fat just by going through your normal daily routine! I call this effect the "Afterburn" !!

I use an Eliptical Trainer most of the time, and I find by using this particular apparatus, I burn over twice as many calories using HIIT, over more traditional methods I have employed in the past.The Eliptical Trainer also has virtually no impact on the feet, hips, or knees. So there it is, my take on doing AM cardio, and why I think it should not be done on an empty stomach. Try it out and lose some of that excess bodyfat, while retaining your hard earned muscle, you`ll be glad you did !!
My Website:

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03-19-2004, 10:45 AM
A negative nitrogen balance ensues when you doi not have enough protein in the system at any given time.That`s why we eat every 3 hours to keep ther balance on the positive side of the scale.Thanks for the compliment.As I said it`s based on experience and not heresay or articles I`ve read or studies.I`ve been training and competing for years and have tried all forms of cardio and this is what I like best and recommend to people who want results.Results is what it`s all about after all.

03-19-2004, 11:08 AM
Your body uses a mixture of fat, glucose, and glycogen as fuel throughout lower intensity exercise. In portions of higher intensity exercise (HIIT), nearly 100% of the fuel is glucose/glycogen. The proportions gradually change as duration or intensity changes. Note that you burn fat all day long, whether you have been exercising or not. When you are resting, the majority of your fuel usually comes from fat.

When glycogen stores decrease as the exercise continues, the body utilizes a larger portion of fat as fuel. Costill's studies of treadmill running at 65% VO2 max found fat oxidation accounted for 39% of the energy at the start of the exercise and 67% of the energy 2 hours later. Ahlborg found similar results of increasing fat usage when the exercise continued for 4 hours (at a lower intensity). One could expect a similar fat burning increase if the aerobic cardio (not HIIT) followed weightlifting of the glycogen-depleting type (long sets, short rest).

The risk of catabolism is dependent on exercise intensity, exercise duration, diet, when exercise is performed, and previous training, among other things. I think there is little risk of muscle catabolism as a result of exercise unless the exercise is done in extreme conditions. Protein is generally not a significant source of fuel in exercise. It may become significant in extreme conditions that deplete glycogen levels, especially liver glycogen. Liver glycogen levels fall in a more linear manner than muscle glycogen. Muscle glycogen levels do not drop as quickly at lower levels, as fat usage increases.

This might include exercise done when glycogen levels are low (for example in morning on empty stomach or after glycogen depleting type weight training); several hours of continuous moderate intensity exercise; or HIIT in which sprints totaled roughly 30 minutes to an hour, depnding on many factors such as intensity. I believe Hultman & Bosch's research suggested roughly 50% muscle glycogen depeltion after 6+ hours at 50% VO2Max, ~2hours 40min at 70% VO2Max, ~1 hour 40 min at 75% VO2Max, ~1 hour at 85% VO2Max, ~30 minutes at 120%VO2Max (sprint HIIT), and ~15 minutes at 150% VO2Max (sprint HIIT). Even under conditions of complete muscle glycgoen depletion, protein still only accounts for a small portion energy usage during exercise. The study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...5&dopt=Abstract (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=80204005&dopt=Abstract) at 60% VO2Max for 1 hour under complete CHO depletion estimated ~10% of energy usage was from protein. It is important to note that protein usage does not equal muscle catabolism. Much of the protein comes from other sources. In short, I think there is little to worry about unless the exercise is done in unusual conditions such as after fasting, or while on a low-carb diet.

Doing longer sessions of cardio immediately before or after weights may interfere with your goals. Doing cardio before weights may leave you fatigued so that you can not perform to your best while weightlifting. This may hinder your progress. In addition, it is important to refuel your glycogen reserves following a longer cardio session. This helps improve recovery and helps prevent the protein in your muscles being broken down for energy.

I think doing cardio after weightlifting is better than doing it before. However, the cardio may hinder recovery and muscle gains by delaying the postworkout meal and leaving your body in catabolic state. In addition you may not be fatigued and not able to perform your best during the cardio, interfering with cardiovascular improvement, as well as burning fewer calories. One possible advantage to doing low intensity cardio (not HIIT) following weighttraining, is you may have increased fat mobilization, so you burn a larger portion of fat from stuborn areas. There also may be increased fat burning during the activity. This does not mean you will lose more body fat. If you burn a larger portion of calories from fat during the cardio, then you usually burn a smaller portion of calories later in the day. Similarly if you burn a larger portion of calories from glycogen during the cardio, then you usually burn a larger portion of calories from fat later in the day.

The best solution depends on your goals, the exercise intesities, and the exercise durations. I would suggest separating longer amounts of cardio from weights by at least a few hours and a meal. It would be even better if you seperated it by 8-12 hours or did it on alternate days. I think a very short cardio warmup/cooldown before/after weights is fine. This helps reduce injury and may improve performance.

03-19-2004, 11:21 AM
Thank you ,good post and good advice in my opinion.TJ