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Does cardio kill your #gainz?

In short, no. In long, no but with an explanation. At one point, I was the type of person that was SO scared of losing the muscle and strength I built that I didn't want to add cardio to my regime. I didn't see it as necessary because I was getting the aesthetic results I wanted by just lifting and eating well. Fast forward to a more educated version of myself: I realize I was missing out on additional cardiovascular health and other benefits.

Cardiovascular health and muscular strength and hypertrophy can co-exist.

Steady state cardio has proven to be beneficial for those who resistance train by providing a cardio base and a method of recovery. Steady state cardio (LISS) is low intensity cardio completed at the same or similar intensity throughout the session. For example, jogging for 30 minutes, cycling for 45 minutes, or hiking for 1.5 hours.

Interval cardio improves conditioning, which is helpful for endurance and power training within a resistance training program, and for general cardio health. Interval cardio tends to be at a higher intensity for short bouts with ample recovery or at a moderate intensity with a period of low intensity training. Hill sprints are an example of interval training.

There's also been an argument that completing both strength and cardio in the same day is counterproductive. It's not. Yes, there is a "preferred" timeframe for each of those training sessions, but it won't be unproductive if you can't train during that timeframe.

Preferred schedule in order:

1. Complete strength and cardio on separate days.

2. Complete strength and cardio on the same day with 8 hours in between.

3. Complete strength and cardio one after the other, starting with the session that's the primary focus. Ie, if strength is the goal, do strength first, or if cardio is the goal, do cardio first.

Ultimately, the best timing of cardio and strength is whatever timing allows you to complete both regularly. It's better to just get it done than wait until the supposed stars align.

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Katharine Moustakes
Hey, friend!

I'm Katharine.

I'm a personal trainer, running coaching, and nutrition coach who's stoked about lifting, the outdoors, summit snacks, and my dog.

 

I understand that fitness is not your whole life. Fitness is a PART of your life. I approach training in a way that adds value to your life and longevity, so you can enjoy being active whether you're romping around in the mountains, playing with your kids, or signing up for your first 10K race.

I'm here to meet you where you are, so you can train safely and effectively, and gain strength and confidence both in the gym and on the trails.

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