Cardiovascular exercise for the next few months might not be current in your training routine due to the need of increasing muscle mass and gaining size. Is this you? If so I want to give you a few reasons why finishing strong with some cardio exercise in some of your sessions is going to keep you fit and healthy. When you gain size and muscle mass it is still important to stay fit internally and the fitter you are the more you will be able to lift.
Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise
Performing cardiovascular exercise by running, rowing, swimming or cycling is great for your body and overall happiness. Exercising in this fashion will promote more endorphin's to be released within your body and this helps you feel happy. A part from feeling great you will also look great as cardiovascular exercise helps control your weight. In my opinion it isn't a good idea to bulk excessively by eating whatever calories you want, only to then lose it in the summer months. So here is what you can do....
As always this is just what I think and what I have put into practice over the years, so please work with what is best for you. My approach to gaining more muscle and more size is by staying lean and not gaining excessive weight. You know what I mean, increasing your body fat percentage and getting a bit of a belly? When you gain weight and gain bulk you become heavier, less functional and are you more likely to hold more fat than you once did? It isn't always healthy to gain weight which restricts you so pay attention to how you develop if you aren't being strict with your eating. Staying lean means staying in good shape all year round and looking healthy.
If you love hitting your weight sessions as much as I do then you will certainly benefit from this next piece of information. Performing your cardio sessions last is optimal for your training sessions. Why is this? When you perform weight training sessions you use up a lot of energy and need the energy to lift the big weights. Weight training stimulates your metabolism and the rate at which your body burns fat. If you are looking to increase size and strength then this will make sense to you. However, for the female readers you should also hit the weights first and cardio after even if you are looking to tone. This is for the same reason outlined above in that weight training session use up more energy, therefore you need to give your body what it needs. So it is important to perform your cardio at the end of your training sessions so you don't use up your energy stores before your weight session.
What Cardio Is Best?
After a weight session you are going to be feeling tired and your muscles should be feeling worked. Therefore choose cardio equipment which is going to compliment the muscles you have worked. If you are into a split whereby you work chest muscles one day, back the next and so on, tailor your cardio sessions to hit other muscles. For instance, on a chest day, you might want to look at finishing with some rowing sprints which will work your back muscles effectively.
HIIT it Hard
Finally if a long run or swim after a weights session bores you then stick with short bursts of speed to keep you entertained throughout. Your cardio session at the end of a heavy weights routine only needs to be 10-15 minutes long. So why not try HIIT (high intensity interval training) to meet your needs and stay in tip top shape. To explain this simply, take running for example. Begin jogging at a moderate pace and then change your speed after a few minutes. Keep changing speeds so that you ultimately speed your metabolism and increase fat burn. By using HIIT in your sessions you will also stay fit and increase your stamina when it comes to lifting weights!
IF you are looking to stay lean and keep fitness levels high this winter, make sure you include cardiovascular sessions and keep them at the end of your weight sessions. Good luck :)