A question that I am often asked and one that I have seen countless times on message boards across the Internet, in magazines, and on fitness videos is whether a person should do cardiovascular exercise before or after a resistance training workout?
Before going any further, I want to clearly state that it is my position that everyone working out should engage in a cardiovascular exercise of their choice for 5 to 10 minutes prior to any workout. This means any type of workout, be it a more intense cardiovascular, resistance or flexibility workout. This is vitally important for several reasons as a proper, light-intensity cardiovascular exercise will warm up the muscles, ligaments, joints and tendons that will be used more intensely in the following workout routine.
Warming up with cardio also increases the core temperature slightly, increases circulation, slightly elevates the heart rate and helps to prepare the heart for an increased workload, it helps increase lung function, and helps you to mentally focus in on the upcoming workout routine. The most important advantage to warming up with light intensity cardio is the substantial decrease in risk of injury. If the body is not properly warmed up, you are much more likely to experience an injury to a muscle, joint, ligament or tendon.
Now back to the question of whether you should do cardiovascular exercise prior to or after a resistance workout? There is no single best answer here and instead, you should evaluate your individual fitness goals. If you goal is to increase endurance, stamina or overall cardiovascular health, then I suggest doing your cardio workout prior to weight and resistance training. By doing the cardio workout first (after your 5 to 10 minute warm up of course), you are able to engage in a more intense cardio session. Your cardiovascular workout might include some intervals in which you push yourself to your lactic acid threshold or VO2 max level. If that is the case, it is much less likely that you would be able to achieve high intensity cardiovascular work after you have engaged in a weight training session. So, in short if your goal is to increase your cardiovascular fitness levels, you should perform cardio workouts prior to resistance training.
On the other hand, if your goal is fat and weight loss, a current mode of thinking in the fitness community is that by doing a cardiovascular workout after a resistance workout, you increases the rate of fat metabolism. The theory is that by engaging in an intense resistance workout, you will deplete the glycogen stores in the muscles during this workout. Once the glycogen stores are depleted, the body begins to utilize fats in the body for fuel. Endurance athletes have long know this, yet typically in order for this to occur in endurance training, an athlete has to continuously run for approximately 90 minutes to fully deplete the muscles of glycogen. Therefore, I remain somewhat skeptical that many average exercisers are pushing themselves to the point of glycogen depletion during their resistance workout, particularly workouts of less than an hour in duration. For more advanced exercisers, I do believe that it is possible and therefore can be an effective means of decreasing body fat perhaps for these individuals.
I tend to look at it like this, if you are engaging in a cardiovascular and resistance workout on the same day back-to-back, one or the other will be of a lesser intensity level naturally. Again, evaluate your personal fitness goals before deciding whether to do your cardio workouts before or after resistance training. If you are trying to build muscle, you want to have as much muscle strength as you can available for your resistance workouts, therefore doing cardio before weight training would be counterproductive to your muscle building goals. If you are looking to gain endurance or heart health, place your focus on the cardio workouts and do them first.
Remember, regardless of which you end up doing first, it is more important to properly warm up with a minimum of 5 to 10 minutes of cardio (even if it is only a brisk walk on the treadmill) in order to prepare the body for the workout ahead, to get your head in the right space in order to knockout a productive workout, and most importantly to decrease the risk of injury. This debate won’t mean a thing if you get injured 5 minutes into a workout and are sidelined for the next 8 weeks rehabbing an injury!
If you are interested in learning more about how to create a balanced and effective workout routine, improve nutrition, gain strength, or lose weight then contact us! We provide personal training, nutrition counseling and testing, yoga therapy and classes, weight loss programs, and healthy living workshops. We are here to help you reach your Wellness goals! Call us at 828-337-2916 or e-mail at email@example.com
In Wellness and Love,
I'm all about getting plenty of protein in each day and always looking for creative ways to stay satisfied in the process. Here's a great high protein peanut butter cookie recipe that is as easy as it is yummy!
What you'll need:
1 cup of natural peanut butter
15 packets of Stevia
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (or your choice of flavor)
1 tablespoon of cinnamon or nutmeg
1/4 cup skim milk
What you'll do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix them together until you get a nice blending of all ingredients. Take out a baking sheet and cover it with a single layer of wax paper. Then simple roll the cookie mixture into small balls about the size of a golf ball and place them on the wax paper, while flattening them out a bit with your fingers. Then pop them into the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
That's it folks and you'll have a pretty much guilt-free high protein snack that will satisfy your craving and help you stay true to your clean nutrition goals :) Stevia is a natural sugar alternative, yet if you prefer you can always use honey or agave nectar, yet keep in mind that either will increase the carbohydrate content of the cookies.
In Wellness and Love,
Black pepper is one of the most popular and widely used spices in the world, but you might be surprised to know that it has also been used for centuries as a natural medicine. Black pepper has many health benefits that include helping with respiratory illnesses, coughs and colds, muscular strains, coronary heart disease, indigestion and stomach issues, impotency, and constipation among others.
The black pepper that we use to spice our foods is derived from the Black Pepper plant, which is native to the southern part of India. It is grown year round, so it is always readily available. Black pepper has strong antibacterial properties, which is the root of its use as a natural health remedy. In addition to this, its antibacterial properties make it a popular choice as a food preservative.
Black pepper is rich in iron, potassium, manganese, vitamin K, vitamin C, and fiber. It has been found to help increase the secretion of Hydrochloric Acid in the stomach, which helps to improve digestion. This explains why it assists with indigestion and other issues related to digestion. It also helps to repair the mucosal lining of the stomach in the event of disease such as peptic ulcers.
Black pepper is also an effective way to speed up weight loss, as it has a thermogenic effect on the body. What this means is, it can slightly increase the core temperature of the body temporarily after consumption, which increases metabolism. It has also been found to assist in the breakdown of brown fat cells in the body.
There is research that demonstrates black pepper’s ability to aid in respiratory conditions such as asthma because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to breakdown phlegm in the respiratory tract, and aids in both opening and draining the sinuses. Its antioxidant properties help to repair the damage our body sustains from free radicals found in both unhealthy foods and in toxins from the environment.
There is a particular compound found in pepper called Piperine, which has been linked to improvements in memory and cognition. In addition to all these health benefits, there is also more and more research coming out that shows black pepper might be beneficial in killing cancer cells found in the body. While there is more research to needed in this area, the preliminary findings are encouraging, and given all the other amazing benefits of this powerful spice, use it and use it often!
For more health and wellness information, tips, special offers, and lots of love, please join our mailing list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram @pranachiro1. If you’re in the Western, NC area, we would love to meet you and welcome you into our family at Prana Chiropractic and Wellness Center. You are amazing, and we can assist you through enhancing your life experience!
In Wellness and Love,
Dr. Christopher Weaver DC, PAK is a Doctor of Chiropractic and Professional Applied Kinesiologist. He's published two books on health and Wellness.