Cardio Training - Expert TrainerTraining for fat loss is not easy, and proper cardio training is an important part of the process. But if you're doing your cardio at the WRONG time, you could be shooting yourself in the foot! Konowing when and at what level you should do your cardio is critical to overall success. In this article, you find out the best time and intensity to do your cardio training for maximum results. When it comes to fat loss, one of THE most frequently asked questions we get is:
"To maximize fat loss, should I do my cardio before or after my weight training?" We know there are times when we like to increase the suspense… But we're not going to do that to you here… Physiologically speaking, if maximum fat loss is your goal and you want to incorporate cardio into your training schedule, you're better off doing your cardio training immediately AFTER your weight training. Here's why:
1. When you do weight training first, you have more energy and strength for that weight training.
We know cardio junkies won't want to hear this, but intense, QUALITY weight training is actually MORE effective for fat loss than cardio training. Why the emphasis on quality? Well, if you go to the gym and just flail around with light weights for 30 minutes, it's not really going to be very effective for fat loss. However, if you really put some effort into it and train hard, the metabolic boost you get from weight training (in terms of not only calories burned while doing it but the increase in metabolism after AND the increase in muscle mass you get from weight training) can be greater than the boost you get from cardio training. And, when compared to slow, long-duration cardio training, that boost is MUCH greater. So by performing your weight training FIRST, while you're fresh, you're going to have more energy to put into it, and you're going to be stronger. This will increase metabolic and muscle mass stimulation and therefore overall fat loss. It's a win-win situation! That's not to say you can't do a couple of minutes of cardio as a general warm-up before starting into the weights...just don't do an entire cardio session before weight training. Always keep in mind that the weight training is the REAL engine behind your fat-loss efforts. And if THAT isn't enough to convince you to do cardio after weights, we've got another reason for you…
2. Performing weight training first decreases available blood sugar and puts the body in "fat-burning" mode.
When you train with weights, you're performing short, intense muscle contractions. Glucose (blood sugar) is the preferred fuel for driving these intense contractions. As you go through your workout, your body gradually uses up its readily available supply of sugars and starts mobilizing fat for energy. Here's the key…mobilizing body fat for energy is a process that takes time. If you do your cardio first, your body will be initially working on that blood sugar before getting started on the body fat. By the time you're done with cardio and move to weights THAT is when you're in the optimal fat-burning mode. But the problem is, fat is NOT an efficient fuel for weight training. By doing cardio first, you use up all the "good" stuff for weight training and force your body to make do with a less powerful fuel source. Your weight training workouts will decrease in quality, and your cardio efforts won't be as effective for achieving fat burning, which is your primary goal! So basically, you're shooting yourself in the foot TWICE! Think of your body as a hybrid gas-electric car. This car uses gas to provide more power for acceleration and electricity to provide long-term power for maintaining speed. Now think of blood sugar as gas and weight training as powerful acceleration. When you press the pedal (performing weight training), you're going to get much better acceleration when you're using the proper fuel (i.e., gas). If you try and power the acceleration with a small amount of electricity, you'll go forward but not nearly as quickly as if you were using gas.