Cardio and Weight Training – both are equally important aspect to a great workout. We all know this, they go hand in hand and make a complete workout. However, its confusing for people how to plan these together. Like should we mix cardio and weight training together the same day? Should we do cardio before or after weight training? Should we plan cardio and weight training on alternate days?
Well, there are different views about mixing cardio and weight training at gym. Some say that cardio and weight training should never be taken up on same day as these are two different forms – cardio being aerobic and weight training being anaerobic.
Aerobic and anaerobic both are necessary for fit and healthy body. Now it’s totally up to an individual to keep cardio and weight training on separate days or on same day. If you are comfortable with keeping these 2 on separate days it is fine. On other hand doing both same day is also fine. Whichever way you want to opt is perfect just that take good care of before and after workout meals. Because usually people feel exhausted and tired when they do cardio and weight training the same day and then they declare it is not good for health or it makes them feel dizzy. These people do not consider before and after workout meals properly and hence conclude wrong.
So, now when we know any schedule is fine to follow, let’s see in detail the other aspects of these 2 workouts –
Cardio and weight training on different days –
If you plan to keep cardio and weight training on alternate days then most people would divide their weekly workout as: 3 days for cardio and 3 days for weight training (keeping one day in week for rest).
Now in such workout you will have to cover all body parts in just 3 days for weight training. And hence you will have to work on more than one body part each day. Like you may keep – back+biceps; chest+shoulder+triceps; legs(hamstring+quads+glutes) – along with abs on any 3-4 days.
Other breakup could be – 2 days for cardio and 4 days for weight training. Division could be – back; chest; legs(hamstring+quads+glutes) and arms+shoulder – along with abs on any 3-4 days.
This workout will take less time on cardio days. So you can plan cardio for days when you have less time to spend in gym. Not to forget, always plan your cardio before legs workout because your leg muscles would remain soar for 2 days after the workout. In this schedule, take care that when you miss your workout even for a day, your cardio will be pushed by one more day, making the gap even more for cardio. So, plan in a way that you are doing cardio every alternate day. Keep the cardio duration such that you complete at least 90 mins of cardio in a week. Also, ensure to keep the intensity as much as possible.
Cardio and weight training the same day–
With this workout, you can focus on just one body part each day and then go on with cardio and abs to finish. This workout will need more time in gym each day and hence more energy to keep up with the workout till the end. The ideal breakup could be – chest; legs; back; arms and shoulder followed by cardio each day and abs for 3-4 days. Since the weight training is being done for one muscle part, try lifting more weight to increase strength faster and build muscle faster. Also, if you really want to focus more on lower body(which is needed), split the legs workout in 2 days: one for quads and glutes and another for hamstring and glutes. Keeping 2 days a week will make this a perfect 6 day workout in which you are doing cardio daily and abs for at least 3 days. This workout is little more strenuous but effective too. Not to mention the cardio should be done with same focus and determination each day as you would have done picking it up for 2 separate days altogether.
The final call –
You can follow any workout considering the above points. Just ensure to remain fair with the workout that you select and give your best efforts. Always plan your week ahead and decide which body part you are picking which day and try to follow the same pattern for at least 4 weeks. If you get bored and want to change the pattern of your workout, don’t do it too often; 5-6 weeks is the ideal time frame for any workout to be followed to get results.
Last thing – make workout a part of your daily routine; don’t take it as a difficult activity that needs daily push. Trust me, you will start enjoying it.