T Nation

The Rules on Cardio Post-Lifting During a Cut


#1

I'm just beginning my next cut cycle. I'm 26, 178 lbs about 18% bodyfat. I'm currently doing 5/3/1 for programming with 2-4 accessories depending on the day.

My initial reduction of calories is going to come from diet alone. After my weightloss stalls I plan to introduce cardio to progress further rather than cut calories more (made the mistake of dropping calories too far too fast last time). I plan to do cardio on my off days, but if I get to the point where I'm adding cardio on my lifting days, how does that affect my post-lifting nutrition? Should I down some protein after lifting or maybe some BCAAs (I know there's debate on whether they help) but before cardio or does that really make THAT much of a difference?

thanks guys


#2

If there’s a debate on the utility of BCAAs, thats news to me


#3

Personally never noticed a difference. Taking in some form of protein immediately after lifting wouldn’t be a bad idea though.


#4

well ideally i would reccomend separating your cardio from your workout, if you have the time. however from what i’ve read taking the shake after lifting and before the cardio will significantly reduce the effectiveness of the cardio. providing you dont overdo the duration of post workout cardio i’d reccomend postponing the protein shake until after the cardio.


#5

please answer:

how tall are you? how do you know youre “about” 18% bodyfat? why are you cutting?


#6

I was planning on the first bouts of cardio being on separate days from lifting as long as I could, but it was more of a worst-case scenario thing. I’m 5’6", I’m saying 18% based on a DEXA scan I had at a slightly heavier weight. I’m cutting purely for aesthetic reasons. The BCAA comment was based on what I’ve read from a round table discussion(see link below).

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/bcaa.htm


#7

[quote]dez6485 wrote:
please answer:

how tall are you? how do you know youre “about” 18% bodyfat? why are you cutting?[/quote]

I want to know to


#8

[quote]95whtgst wrote:
I was planning on the first bouts of cardio being on separate days from lifting as long as I could, but it was more of a worst-case scenario thing. I’m 5’6", I’m saying 18% based on a DEXA scan I had at a slightly heavier weight. I’m cutting purely for aesthetic reasons. The BCAA comment was based on what I’ve read from a round table discussion(see link below).

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/bcaa.htm[/quote]

oops ok.

Just eat a little more to make up for the extra calories you burn afterwards.


#9

[quote]Bunny Bench wrote:

[quote]95whtgst wrote:
I was planning on the first bouts of cardio being on separate days from lifting as long as I could, but it was more of a worst-case scenario thing. I’m 5’6", I’m saying 18% based on a DEXA scan I had at a slightly heavier weight. I’m cutting purely for aesthetic reasons. The BCAA comment was based on what I’ve read from a round table discussion(see link below).

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/bcaa.htm[/quote]

oops ok.

Just eat a little more to make up for the extra calories you burn afterwards. [/quote]

He’s doing cardio to burn calories and lose weight…so you tell him to eat more…

…this is why people tell you not to give advice.


#10

what its going to come down to is calories in vs calorie burns, but running or whatever after you lift and have not eaten, you will have already burned down your glycogen stores, which takes about 20 min of steady state work, so you will be burning immediately into fat. Ive always preffered the post workout run, of lesser time and high intensity, works pretty good for dieting.


#11

with regard to fat loss ive never seen the benefit of cardio after wieghts bearing in mind the little extra calories you’ll burn plus when im finished training im F’ed . what i do when dieting (IF 16/8) is fasted cardio (30/40min bike ride) with 5g bcaa come home (i train in my garage) have 50g hi Gi carbs with 30g whey n 20 mins later hit the iron for about 70 to 90 mins then pwo more hi Gi carbs n whey . not post lifting cardio but for combining lifting with cardio i think this aint a bad combo.


#12

[quote]95whtgst wrote:
I’m just beginning my next cut cycle. I’m 26, 178 lbs about 18% bodyfat. [/quote]


#13

What I’m getting at is–how many “cut” and “bulk” cycles has it taken you to get to 178lbs???


#14

Also, welcome back Bench Bunny–does this mean that we won’t be seeing any more of HaveIronWillLift around here?


#15

[quote]The3Commandments wrote:
What I’m getting at is–how many “cut” and “bulk” cycles has it taken you to get to 178lbs???[/quote]

178lbs is good at 5’6" (more-so if he was leaner)…it’s not that far off what you could expect for a natty.

I do agree on the bulking/cutting cycles though; if bodyfat is constantly reaching 18% often, likely you need to go easier on the bulking calorie intake. If you have a more “endomorphic” body type, you probably need to aim for less gains in bodyweight monthly.

Or at least, you may need to trim up for longer (i.e. don’t be the type who looses 5-10lbs and gets scared from the “flatness” and bulks up again). Don’t kid yourself with how much lean mass you have - if the scales go down more than you expected, but you are maintaining strength, it’s not likely muscle you are losing lol.


#16

My thoughts:

-Cardio PWO is the last resort because your body has already taken a beating from the weights, but sometimes, you have no other options.
-Always steady state work PWO, as intervals are way too stressful to combine with any worthwhile weight session.
-If you’ve already got some form of peri-workout nutrition (Anaconda, BCAAs etc), you don’t need to obsess about additional stuff before adding in a PWO cardio session.
-Ingesting any actual ‘food’ items (shakes) between weights and immediate cardio will divert bloodflow towards digestion, which isn’t ideal, but considering that most steady state work isn’t very stressful anyway, and you’re getting such a small caloric burn, I doubt it would make much of a difference in the long run.
-If your recovery abilities are truly crap, then by all means do your cardio at a different time.

S


#17

My thoughts:

-Cardio PWO is the last resort because your body has already taken a beating from the weights, but sometimes, you have no other options.
-Always steady state work PWO, as intervals are way too stressful to combine with any worthwhile weight session.
-If you’ve already got some form of peri-workout nutrition (Anaconda, BCAAs etc), you don’t need to obsess about additional stuff before adding in a PWO cardio session.
-Ingesting any actual ‘food’ items (shakes) between weights and immediate cardio will divert bloodflow towards digestion, which isn’t ideal, but considering that most steady state work isn’t very stressful anyway, and you’re getting such a small caloric burn, I doubt it would make much of a difference in the long run.
-If your recovery abilities are truly crap, then by all means do your cardio at a different time.

S


#18

[quote]The3Commandments wrote:
What I’m getting at is–how many “cut” and “bulk” cycles has it taken you to get to 178lbs???[/quote]

It’s basically been several cut cycles to be honest. I started at 223 lbs at a pretty dang high bodyfat. I have never bulked.

Stu - thanks for the pointers. Cardio post-lifting was going to be a last resort, but I was wanting just what you said for information, thank you.


#19

[quote]
I do agree on the bulking/cutting cycles though; if bodyfat is constantly reaching 18% often, likely you need to go easier on the bulking calorie intake. If you have a more “endomorphic” body type, you probably need to aim for less gains in bodyweight monthly.

Or at least, you may need to trim up for longer (i.e. don’t be the type who looses 5-10lbs and gets scared from the “flatness” and bulks up again). Don’t kid yourself with how much lean mass you have - if the scales go down more than you expected, but you are maintaining strength, it’s not likely muscle you are losing lol.[/quote]

I tend to be more endomorphic. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have yet to ever “bulk”, the most I’ve done is eat at maint. for a month or so before dropping calories again.


#20

Here is what I do in a prep:

  • 2-3 HIIT sessions seperated from weighlifting sessions. I lift weight almost every day, even during a prep, so I do my cardio upon waking up and my weight lifting 6-8 hours later.

  • I always have 20g of whey or hydrolyzed casein before my moring cardio sessions and an additional 15g of BCAA during the HIIT sessions. After the sessions, I do not eat for approx. an hour. Then I have my normal breakfast.

  • Towards the end of a pred, I start doing a little cardio after my weigh lifting sessions. BUT: I only do 15 minutes of steady-state, low intensity incline treadmill. The goal of those mini-sessions is to increase energy turnover a bit without overtaxing the body

  • I use my standard peri-workout nutrition during a prep (Surge Workout Fuel, FINiBARs, Surge Recovery and, after the workout, Grow! Whey). So I really don’t bother taking any more supps only because of the 15 minutes cardio.

Don’t overdo cardio after weight lifting sessions.