The type of cardio you do after a strength training session can make or break your workout. After some research, we found out that the best cardio to do after weight training is a workout finisher- and we’ve got the scoop.
You just crushed a killer weight lifting session, so now you’re going to jump on the treadmill for a bit to get in some cardio.
HOLD IT RIGHT THERE. You’re about to undo everything you just did!
If you’ve made a habit of doing 30-60 minutes of steady state cardio on the elliptical or treadmill after a strength training workout, you could be prohibiting muscle growth- or even causing your body to break down muscle you already have.
According to a recent study by the American Journal of Physiology (aka the smart people), steady-state cardio decreases the ability of muscles to absorb glucose after training. After strength training, your muscles are like a sponge, eager to soak up the nutrients and carbs they need to grow. Doing long, steady-state cardio further depletes your muscles and hinders them from soaking up those carbs and nutrients. If you’re trying to build muscle, this is obviously not what you want!
So what type of cardio can you do after strength training? The answer to your cardio conundrum is: workout finishers. These quick, cardio bursts are movement specific, so they’ll actually aid in building the muscle group you worked that day. In addition, it’s proven to burn fat and promote muscle growth. Win-win!
If you are a runner or you’re just a fan of steady-state cardio on the treadmill or stairmaster, go for it- but not after strength training. Perform this type of cardio on a separate day!