T Nation

Cardio: Post Work Out.


Alright, looking to clear something up here. I am looking to do some cardio post work out but the last thing I want to do is go catabolic. I have heard not to do cardio PWO and if you do you should drink a shake in between weights training and cardio. What is your guys take on this. I know the best time to do cardio is 1st thing in the morning on an empty stomach but I am seeing if I can or cant do a little something after my work out. Again, I do not want to go catabolic in the least bit. My normal PWO nutrition is 55g Whey Protein and 80g Dextrose.


Yes it can be catabolic even when NOT after training. Aerobic excersize in and of itself is catabolic. Does that mean not to do any. NO it means adjust it for your goals. Find out what it does to you.

Read these they may help,
Cardio Roundatble I&II



Isn't Da Freak (Check the P&P Photos) doing Half hour of light cardio after every training session at the mo? I'd ask this question on that thread - whatever he's doing, his doing right!


What you've heard is correct. Except the part about cardio in the morning on an empty stomach - to be blunt, the reasoning behind that is stupid. Those who are proponents of it say that you have greater hGH levels at waking, so you'll only mobilize fat stores and use the little bit of glycogen stored in the liver. That isn't what happens - energy is ripped from wherever the body can get it, which includes muscle. If you do it first thing in the morning, at least have a sugary drink with amino acids added (maybe 30g sugars with 15g AA's? Not sure of your size).

If you want to increase aerobic capacity and the associated health benefits without going catabolic, use HIIT or Tabata style workouts as they fit into your training scheme.



Empty stomach morning cardio is not the best thing! If you're worried about going catabolic this is the absolute worst thing you could do. Kiss muscle goodbye.

I've read some studies that say you can drink your shake and continue to burn fat at a high rate. I would sip on a serving of Surge while doing some moderate cardio for like 15-20 minutes. As soon as you're done, drink another serving. Another option is to take in a big serving of BCAA's right after training and do your cardio then.

Doing the cardio with some fast acting nutrients in the blood may improve your recovery. Plan on being in the gym at least 90 minutes from warm up to cool down and stretches.


Although the posts people have made are true, you should still give it a shot for yourself. Test out the different times for a set number of weeks.

I'll do "cardio" at different times. Upon waking, before my workout, in between my workout, after my workout, later after my workout, on my "rest" day, etc. Switching it up is fun and allows you to adjust your workouts.

I'll give you my example. I'm doing Renegade-based workouts right now. So my "cardio" portions are essentially the non-weighted GPP, maximal and sub-maximal sprints, and Jump rope (even the combination of hip mobility, tumbling, and agility work is like cardio). Every day I workout I'll do the hip mob, tumbling, and agility (total time is around 10-15 minutes). I'll move the jumprope (total time is 18-24 minutes) and gpp (total time is from 6 - 12 minutes) around to fit my schedule.



I would definitley consume your PWO shake during that time. You have just finished thrashing your muscles, and now it is time to turn that anabolic switch on. PWO nutrition is the key to that. Dont wait! In fact, after some redings by the author of "Nutrient Timing", I am consdiering applying PWO rules to after my cardio sessions as well, especially the HIIT sessions. He made an interesting point that all exercise adaptation is in the form of protein sysnthesis, and that they type of exercise only influences the type of prtoein being synthesized. In all cases, PWO is key to turning on the protein sytnthesis and turning off the catabolism.


ive actually heard that its best to consume a high protein/low carb meal pre-workout if you're going to do aerobic.... that way your body burns fat instead of carbs


Where'd you hear that?



are you trying to lose fat?

up your gpp?

work sprint form?

active recovery?

something else?

without knowing what you are after i would make the general recommendation of
doing some sort of "cardio" that can actually build muscle/improve strength.

sprints come to mind. jumping drills. someone above mentioned some renegade training.. thats a good idea.

remember youll have to consider how this kind of training will affect your other training.

what are your goals?

obviously if youre pretty out of shape, improving your conditioning is going to lead to better overall workouts.

if youre just looking to burn some extra calories you could always consider doing appropriate light/active recovery work on off days and get double the bang for your buck.

train hard,
ryan b


id like to add sandbag and strongman conditioning, which are both great for conditioning and will compliment your strength goals.

sandbag workouts are no joke though, believe me.