The Importance of Year Round Cardiovascular Training
Endurance A.K.A. cardiovascular training improves the heart’s ability to
pump blood and increases oxygen uptake into cells. A “fit” person also burns
more fat at rest and during exercise than an unfit person. Bodybuilders use
cardiovascular training mainly as a means to increase caloric expenditure
thereby increasing fat loss or decreasing fat gain. By doing cardio year round youwill increase your body’s capacity to burn fat at both rest and exercise. Let’s
discuss what type of cardio to do.
Low-Moderate Intensity Cardio on Weight Training Days
As stated in the intro, bodybuilders primarily use cardio as a means in
increase their caloric expenditure (Cardiovascular training has a TON of other
health benefits, but we will not touch on those benefits here). The use of lowintensity
cardio, done either pre or post weight training, allows one to burn more
calories while not hampering recovery. Low-intensity cardio is not as strenuous
on the body as high-intensity cardio or high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It
would be very hard for someone to complete a HIIT session pre weight training
as it would decrease your performance when lifting weights or to complete the
session post weight training as it would be very fatiguing.
We want to keep the body healthy and injury free. If you get injured then
your workouts will suffer or cease altogether. Therefore, I feel it is more practical
to perform low to moderate intensity cardio on weight training days. Now one
could perform their cardio separate from their weight training, but for most that
would mean two trips to the gym, which is impractical; Hence my
recommendation to perform cardio pre or post weight training. While trying to
gain lean mass, I recommend doing 20 minutes of low-intensity cardio done postworkout.
Whether you choose to do your cardio pre or post weight training is a
personal preference. Remember, your main goal is to hit it hard in the weight
room. If doing cardio pre weight training decreases your performance then it
would be better for you to do it post workout. If you find that you are too tired to
do cardio post weight training or simply find you become too bored and enough
do not finish your cardio session, it would be better for you to do your cardio pre
In addition, you could also do your cardio on your off days instead of pre
or post workout. In this case I recommend doing 30 minutes in the morning.