For the majority of gym goers, the experience of exercising hopefully is accompanied with a time efficient attitude. Get in and accomplish what you have come to do, and get out. Although this is a wonderful mentality to adapt, being able to effectively generate lean, toned muscles in a timely manner before you burn out is also appeasing. So the million dollar question is how can we utilize our time as effectively as possible, simultaneously creating significant results?
The main technique that I personally have adapted into my own workout routine is cardio after weight training.
What I Focus On
My primary goal is that I want to build muscle which leads to achieving an overall lean and toned physique. The idea behind cardio after weight training is based on getting the most out of your lifting sessions. Notable gains cultivate out of pushing through those last few reps of training, as you stress your muscles to form tiny microscopic tears that get rebuilt into stronger fibers. Without adequate energy that perhaps had been expended during, say, a cardio session, than weight training will be less effective, thus, inhibiting promising results. You don’t want to exhaust the muscles before you ask them to perform at high intensity. This is not only dangerous, but will not generate the strength gains expected. By lifting while you’re at your strongest and the muscles are fresh, increases your ability to up your weight and improve your strength gains.
Looking at it from a bigger picture, the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism, thus, increasing overall fat burn even when you are sedentary. Although the majority of gym goers are looking to lose weight, they forget that muscle development goes hand in hand. This is why weight training is a critical factor in your sessions. Once you have gone through your various lifting circuits, cardio should then be incorporated, after your muscles are refueled and primed for anabolism.
Nutrition Plays a Critical Role
In order to promote anabolism, or muscle growth, set yourself up for success by making sure you take proper nutrition with you. Overworked muscles are depleted in glycogen and require nutrients within 20 to 30 minutes after weight training. During this time, is when you muscles are the most receptive to refilling glycogen stores or also known as energy stores. Following a weight training session without proper nutrition, throws your body into catabolic state, turning to your precious muscles for energy. Packing some amino acids particularly, leucine, isoleucine and valine, can prevent your muscles from being broken down for energy. This can hold you over until you can get home to cook a proper meal as you fuel your recovery process.
I especially enjoy taking a scoop of amino acids and mixing it in with some water, since it is not a solid food right before a cardio session. Which we all know can be uncomfortable. They merely give you a needed boost to knock-out the session. Exhausted training is no fun and you are just setting yourself up to feel miserable, while producing meager results.
The trick is to work smarter, not harder. Utilize your gym time wisely as you create an anabolic environment, giving your muscles as much support as possible. Through proper nutrition and consistently pushing your limits when lifting, you will find that this is the bread and butter to active and consistent fat loss.