If you’re trying to lose weight, you need both cardio and strength training to make it happen. But the best way to maximize results is to find the right balance of these two types of exercise.
That means putting the cardio in before the weights, especially if you’re going for hypertrophy (building muscles). It also means giving your body a day of rest after the weights to allow it to recover from that workout.
Warm Up and Cool Down
A warm-up and cool down are essential before and after every exercise session. Performing them correctly will help prevent muscle injuries, reduce muscle soreness and promote recovery.
A good warm-up should last from five to ten minutes and include both dynamic and static exercises. Dynamic exercises are more effective than static ones because they increase your body’s core temperature and blood flow to muscles. They also increase your flexibility and decrease the risk of injury.
Examples of warm-up exercises include leg bends, leg swings, lateral shuffles, lunges, jumping jacks, walking or slow jogging, yoga, and torso twists. Choose movements that are specific to the type of workout you are doing.
When warming up, it’s important to feel how your body feels and be aware of any tightness or stiffness. If your body starts to feel achy or you start to feel pain that doesn’t seem like it should be there, stop.
As you cool down, you can use the same principles to decrease your intensity of the exercise you just completed. This is a great way to avoid muscle cramps and dizziness while you gradually slow down your heart rate.
You can also add stretching exercises into your cool-down routine to further relax and stretch out the muscles in your lower body. Try quadriceps, hamstring and calf stretches to target the muscle groups that get sore after you exercise.
While you’re doing your stretches, make sure to hold each position for 30 seconds. This will give your body time to re-learn its innate stretch reflex.
Lastly, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout your workout and especially after you finish. Hydration helps your body recover from your workout and keeps you feeling energized.
If you don’t properly warm up and cool down, you could end up with muscle soreness and a compromised immune system. This could affect your ability to do your workouts regularly and cause injury in the future.
Do Your Cardio First
Doing your cardio first is the trick to balancing strength and cardio in your workouts.
Whether you’re training for a marathon or simply looking to improve your fitness, both cardio and strength training are crucial. But with all the different types of exercise out there, it can be difficult to figure out which exercises are best for your specific goals.
Doing cardio first helps increase your heart rate, promotes blood flow throughout your body and prepares your muscles for strength training. These benefits can help reduce the risk of muscle strains during your weight-training sessions, explains Cherie Lamb, a NASM-certified personal trainer.
It also gives you a boost of energy and a surge in mood-boosting endorphins as your heart pumps faster. This will boost your mental focus and keep you pumped up during the rest of your strength session.
Additionally, doing your cardio first will maximize the calorie expenditure of your workout since a cardio session generally burns more calories than a weight-training session. This is because the cardio session typically has a greater afterburn, which is the amount of calories your body burns even after you’re done exercising.
In addition, doing your cardio first will help you avoid depleting your glycogen stores for weightlifting. This means you’ll be able to perform more reps during your strength training.
There are a few factors to consider when it comes to deciding which exercise to do first: your fitness goals, your preferred exercise rhythm and the type of workout you want to do.
Ultimately, the decision to do your cardio or weights first depends on what you’re trying to achieve, advises Women’s Health. Do you want to build muscle or lose weight? Are you a beginner or an experienced gym rat?
Experts agree that doing your cardio first will help you maximize the calorie expenditure of your workout. This is because a cardio session typically has a greater afterburn, according to Women’s Health.
Furthermore, doing your cardio first will help you avoid wasting energy during your strength training, as your heart is primed to lift heavier weights, says Matt Nolan, an ACE-certified personal trainer. Nolan says that doing cardio first will allow you to perform more reps during your strength session, which can help you hit your goals quicker.
Don’t Overdo It
A lot of people have a hard time balancing strength training and cardio in their workouts. While there is no denying that both workouts can be effective, doing too much of one or the other can lead to some serious health and fitness problems.
It’s not always easy to determine if you are overdoing it, but there are a few signs that it may be happening. If you find yourself getting sore more often than usual, or are experiencing trouble sleeping or winded while you’re working out, it could be a sign that you are overtraining.
Overtraining is a common problem for people who exercise for more than two hours a day or more than three days a week. The trick is to start slow and work up to more intense workouts as you get used to it, ACE-certified trainer Sivan Fagan tells SELF.
In addition, you should be sure to give your body plenty of rest and recovery between workouts so that it doesn’t get injured. It’s also a good idea to change up your workout routine from time to time so that your muscles are not overly stressed.
This is especially important if you’re trying to gain muscle mass, as doing too much cardio can actually reduce your muscle gains by slowing down muscle growth. Instead, incorporate cardio into your strength-training program two or more times a week and do short intervals of high-intensity cardio like cycling, incline walking or rowing to boost your heart rate.
The goal is to increase your endurance and strength over time while keeping the intensity low enough so that you don’t feel exhausted afterward. It can be easy to get stuck in a rut, so do your research before starting a new workout plan and choose exercises that you enjoy.
If you are doing too much cardio, your body will start to experience a buildup of cortisol, which can cause serious issues for your health and wellbeing. This will not only make your muscles sore and tired, but it can affect your mood and energy levels too.
Rest is Key
Resting your body allows your muscles to rebuild and recharge, which can help you achieve your fitness goals. It also helps improve your overall health and wellbeing. Even some of the workout routines NFL players follow include rest periods.
Many people have a hard time finding the time to rest, but it’s important for your physical and mental health. Even if you’re working a demanding job or you have kids, it’s important to take care of yourself so that you can perform at your best.
One of the biggest reasons why people don’t make enough time to rest is because they feel like it’s counterproductive and that resting is a sign of weakness. It’s easy to think that resting is just for lazy people who don’t want to work, but in reality, rest is vital for your health and happiness.
Aside from the obvious physical benefits of resting, it can also have a positive impact on your relationships. It can help you cultivate presentness in your love life, which is a key quality that makes a good relationship great.
It can also give you more energy in your day-to-day activities, so you’ll be able to get more done. For example, if you have a difficult time getting creative with your tasks at work, taking a day off to rest can encourage you to be more productive again.
In addition to allowing your muscles time to rest and recover, resting also helps your heart pump more efficiently. This is because your arteries can carry more oxygenated blood to the tissues. This can help you burn more calories at rest, which can lead to weight loss.
Resting can also help you to focus on your goals and work harder towards them. It’s not uncommon for people to lose sight of their goals and become stuck in a rut, but resting can help you regain focus and see them more clearly.
Finally, if you’re looking to balance your strength and cardio workouts, rest is essential. Not only can it help you avoid injury, but it can also help you achieve your goals faster and easier. Lastly, resting will allow your body to recover so that you can keep pushing through to the next level!