When it comes to the weight lifting world, cardio can be a very debatable topic. In this post, I am going to share my personal opinions on the ins and outs of cardio. One of the most debated questions of cardio is whether or not you should do cardio when you are trying to gain muscle and if so, when throughout the day is best to do it. I used to ask myself this same question a while ago until I finally decided to do some research on the topic for myself. From all that I have come across, it is best to separate out your cardio from your weight lifting sessions and preferably do cardio after your weight lifting sessions. This is because when you do your cardio before your training session, your body is using up energy and nutrients that could otherwise be used to build muscle.
When I first started out weight training, I did not know of this cardio concept. I used to run up to the gym (about a mile to a mile and a half run) and then do my weight training and walk back home. I quickly noticed that I was not putting on the size that I wanted to put on. This was due to the fact that my body was already tired and empty by the time I got to the gym. I now have chosen to do my weight training in the morning and cardio in the evenings. This gives my body plenty of time to regain some of that energy and macronutrients back in between sessions.
Now, when it comes to deciding whether or not you want to focus on all weight training or throw in some cardio, it really depends on your goals. If you are really trying to build muscle, I recommend only doing cardio once or twice a week. Without very little cardio, your muscles will be able to recover quicker and your body will not be as taxed for your next workout. In the end, this will lead to greater muscle gain. However, if your goal is to slim down, it is good to do cardio 3 to 4 times a week.
Most people do not realize that by gaining muscle, you are going to burn more calories and as a result, burn more fat. This is due to the fact that as your muscle mass increases, your resting metabolism increases. Thus, causing you to burn more calories at a resting heart rate. This is why I recommend doing strength training with any exercise program. Cardio is great to burn calories and lose weight quickly, but weight training and building more muscle are essential to living a healthy lifestyle. This is why the two go hand in hand.
That being said, cardio is great to throw into an exercise program twice or three times a week. It will help you shed off those pounds and it has numerous health benefits. Along with cardio, weight training is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Put these two together and you are going to be well on your way to meeting your health goals.