Cardio for bodybuilders
Every individual, bodybuilder or not, should perform some kind of cardiovascular training, at least three times a week for optimum heart health.
When it comes to physique champions, the situation may sometimes get tricky.
There is a school of thought which says that a person can do cardio first and then hit the weights.
IFBB pro Evan Centopani once said that he does cardio for about 30 minutes in the morning before training legs.
However, another IFBB pro Victor Martinez has said that a trainer, who tells a bodybuilder to perform cardio before weights, knows nothing!
Martinez went on to add that when a bodybuilder, who intends building size, hits the gym for a workout, he should ideally have some carbs in his system to fuel weight training. If he performs cardio first, his muscle glycogen stores would get depleted and the body would start tapping fat cells for energy. If he immediately moves to weight training, the muscles would not be able to train with heavier weights as the body would have only fat for energy – a poor fuel for muscular contractions. Ultimately, his training poundage and intensity may suffer.
Weights first, cardio next
Several trainers recommend cardio after a weight workout. This is considered a good idea by many champions and trainers. This is because the body would have completely used all glycogen reserves for the bout with weights and when cardio enters the picture, it would immediately start burning fat.
Cardio after leg workout
I remember competitors telling me that three-time Mr. India Jayaprakash used to do cardio even after the toughest of leg workouts.
However, I recently heard that Jayaprakash no longer does that kind of cardio. Anybody who is after building more and more size in the legs may find this approach to be a kind of roadblock, some champions contend.
Team Masters generally recommends cardio in the morning on an empty stomach (you can take amino acid supplements and green tea or black coffee). Weight training can be performed four to six hours later.
If it suits you, perform cardio after weight training three to four times a week. It is better to avoid cardio after leg workout, as it may or may not suit all individuals.
Experiment carefully and find out the best approach for your body.
_ C. Lakshmi Kumar