Doing cardio after strength training is an interesting option for anyone who wants to combine strength and endurance training. If you’re already doing sports, why not just hang on for another half an hour and do the endurance training right away? I do it myself regularly.
However, there are a few things to consider if you want both your strength and endurance training to be effective.
What are the reasons for endurance training after strength training and what you should pay attention to when combining these two disciplines within one unit, I want to deal with this in this article.
Why cardio after strength training?
From a health perspective, nothing beats a combination of regular strength and cardio training. Also, most people’s fitness goals are best achieved with a combination of the two. However, it is precisely this combination that is not always that easy. After all, everyone only has a limited amount of time.
It therefore makes sense to make the combination as direct as possible. So why not do another cardio session right after strength training?
That gives you a massive time advantage. You don’t have to go out again. You don’t have to take any additional time for WarmUp and CoolDown . You don’t have to change clothes again, shower, etc. All of this saves a lot of time.
In addition, it is of course an important motivating factor. If you are already exercising, it will be easier for you to invest a little more time in a short cardio workout. After all, you’re already there, dressed and warmed up. There is the motivation needed significantly less than for an independent endurance unit. And especially in endurance sports, some find it even more difficult to motivate themselves.
In addition, a cool down after training makes sense anyway. Instead of doing the standard 10 minutes 30 minutes, that’s really no big leap.
I am a great time optimizer myself. I also try to make it as easy as possible when fighting my weaker self. That’s why I do cardio regularly after strength training and thus virtually replace a (short) independent endurance unit. For similar reasons, I also do a lot of Tabata training and use other tools like Supersets to optimize my workouts.
What you should consider when doing cardio after strength training
As you can see, there is a lot to be said for doing your cardio after strength training. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you want to achieve the best possible results. This applies to both your strength and your muscle growth , as well as your endurance performance. Of course, you must never neglect what is best for your health.
If you want to combine cardio training with strength training, it is important that you make clear where your priorities are. Do you rather do cardio after strength training as a supplement to your strength training or do you actually do your strength training as a useful addition to your endurance sport? Depending on this, you should set up your entire training plan.
If your priority is clearly on strength training, regular cardio training after strength training can be sufficient from a balance and health point of view. The other extreme would be the thoroughbred endurance athlete who should do strength training at least twice a week as a supplement to his endurance sport.
Personally, I currently do 4 strength training units a week. I do about 30 minutes of cardio after two of these units. I also have one or two running training days a week of my own.
Don’t be too long
If you do a cardio unit immediately after strength training, it means additional oxidative stress for your muscles. It also shifts the time when you replenish your energy stores with a meal and / or a protein shake after strength training. So you are delaying the “kick start” of the regeneration of your muscles stressed in strength training.
With 20 minutes to an hour of cardio after strength training, I think this effect is negligible. However, if you do 1.5 hours of strength training and then run for another 2 hours, this will have a noticeable effect on your progress.
Don’t be too intense
Post-strength cardio shouldn’t be too intense either. You should clearly see it as the addition to your strength training that it is.
Due to the pre-load, something like basic endurance training is particularly suitable. It is better to do your threshold training on a separate training day. You can certainly do interval runs (or HIIT ), but they shouldn’t be that long.