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  1. #1
    Registered User dharmaRunner's Avatar
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    best Schedule for cardio/strength workouts to build muscle & lose fat simultaneously

    i want to build muscle and lose weight in the fastest time possible.

    what i do now is weights in the AM and cardio in the PM. i realized that both workouts draw from different fuel sources which makes it possible to do both in a single day.
    compared to going on a bulking, cutting cycle, this gives more immediate feedback and results. also, as a runner or endurance athlete, i also want to keep my cardio muscles active.


    is this scheduling of workouts good? has anyone tried doing this? any suggestions?

    thank u very much!
    Last edited by dharmaRunner; 05-07-2011 at 09:24 PM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User CodyByrne's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dharmaRunner View Post
    i want to build muscle and lose weight in the fastest time possible.

    what i do now is weights in the AM and cardio in the PM. i realized that both workouts draw from different fuel sources which makes it possible to do both in a single day.

    is this scheduling of workouts good? has anyone tried doing this? any suggestions?

    thank u very much!
    It's impossible to build muscle and lose weight. Muscle growth requires a calorie surplass, which means you need to eat more than you burn, which results in the inevitable gaining of weight.

    If you are overweight, chances are you have more muscle than you give yourself credit for. If you work hard to lose those extra kilos, then you will more than likely be happy with the results. If you're skinny and lack any muscle definition then a little bit of weight gain probably won't hurt.

    You have a whole lot of stickied threads above this one, plus a wealth of knowledge in these forums. I'd say you should have yourself a good read in regards to the fundamentals.

    Relevant to your workout times. There are 1,654,883 theories on what times of the day are optimal for weight loss, muscle gain, fat loss etc. However, you should just be working hard at the times you feel motivated, especially if you're just beginning as any exercise is good exercise.

    Don't try and be a warrior if it's not in your nature. Aim for consistent exercise.
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  3. #3
    Registered User dharmaRunner's Avatar
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    thanks 4 the feedback, CodyByrne

    ive stuck with this since the start of the month and i have dropped my body fat and have gained muscle.

    i know about the bulking/cutting cycles but i also read that its possible to gain muscle even at a calorie deficit.

    the thing with the bulking/cutting for me is i find it hard to bulk up and gain weight because i have a hard time losing the extra fat after the bulking phase. mentally, its also more of a drag and causes me to lose motivation coz my body starts getting ugly when i put on weight.

    so im opting for the slower route of doing both at the same time, but also being able to see both results also at the same time
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  4. #4
    Registered User Apex702's Avatar
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    I would do cardio in the morning and lift in the afternoon. I've read that weightlifting is better done in the afternoon, I drew my own conclusion as to why, but I could be wrong -

    - Weight lifting is more beneficial in the afternoon when considering recovery is the single most important aspect to muscle gain; doing it in the afternoon vice in the morning, you are more likely to start the recovery process sooner,as you'll be sleeping sooner rather than later.

    Also I'm not quite sure what you mean when you say that cardio and weight lifting draw from two different fuel sources nor do I know what "cardio muscles" are.
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  5. #5
    Registered User dharmaRunner's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Apex702 View Post
    I would do cardio in the morning and lift in the afternoon. I've read that weightlifting is better done in the afternoon, I drew my own conclusion as to why, but I could be wrong -

    - Weight lifting is more beneficial in the afternoon when considering recovery is the single most important aspect to muscle gain; doing it in the afternoon vice in the morning, you are more likely to start the recovery process sooner,as you'll be sleeping sooner rather than later.

    Also I'm not quite sure what you mean when you say that cardio and weight lifting draw from two different fuel sources nor do I know what "cardio muscles" are.
    different energy sources: lifting uses energy from what u just ate and cardio uses glycogen stores.. not sure exactly how it goes, but in effect, u can squeeze in say 1hr weights and 1hr cardio easier than u can do 2 weights sessions or 2 cardio sessions. and i read that its not recommended to do 2 weights in a day or 2 cardios in a day but weights and cardio its ok..

    cardio muscles: i mean like heart and lungs, endurance, keeping cardiovascular peak performance.. if when bulking and minimizing cardio, afraid that this might go down..
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  6. #6
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    If your goal is to "look good" I think your plan is solid enough. The truth is that you aren't going to build a lot of muscle (or any, as the case may very well be) while losing fat. However, the overall appearance will be that of muscle gain as you slim down. I am certain that I could show you pictures of me at 190lbs and you would think I was bigger than I am at 220, simply because I had a lower body fat and my muscle were more easily visible. In reality I was quite a bit smaller and weaker.

    As for order, I don't know that it much matters. What matters is that you stay consistent and motivated to give 100%. Consistency won't matter if you half arse it, and 100% effort won't matter much if you miss half of your training. All of the "perfect lab rat" scenarios in the world don't matter much when you apply them to the real world. This is why so much lab tested research has such little result in the real world.

    More than anything, your diet is going to be very important. This is the place that 90% of everyone fails when it comes to achieving the body they want.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Apex702's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dharmaRunner View Post
    different energy sources: lifting uses energy from what u just ate and cardio uses glycogen stores.. not sure exactly how it goes, but in effect, u can squeeze in say 1hr weights and 1hr cardio easier than u can do 2 weights sessions or 2 cardio sessions. and i read that its not recommended to do 2 weights in a day or 2 cardios in a day but weights and cardio its ok..

    cardio muscles: i mean like heart and lungs, endurance, keeping cardiovascular peak performance.. if when bulking and minimizing cardio, afraid that this might go down..
    I understand what you mean by "cardio muscles" now, I thought you were implying that there certain muscles or something to that affect that directly relates to doing cardio. As a side note you can easily incorporate cardio INTO weightlifting.

    As far as I know you use your glycogen supply for both cardio and weightlifting. Your liver contains roughly 1500 calories in surplus for such activities. Your body does not differentiate weight lifting from cardio. It's all exercise.

    If what you're saying is true, what is the case if you woke up in the morning, drank a bottle of water and went to the gym to lift weights? Are you saying it would be impossible because you haven't eaten in roughly 8 hours?

    Your body uses the glycogen during a workout and immediately following a workout, typically weightlifting, you'd down a protein shake and maybe eat a granola bar for carbs. Your body will immediately use that source to replenish your glycogen storages. At that point your body will now have no energy to draw from in the form of recently ingested food, so your body is now forced to start using fat storages for the everyday calorie burning process that takes place to sustain your heart beating, lungs breathing, brain function etc known as RMR. This is a way you burn fat.

    Yes you can eat before lifting, yes you can drink a protein shake prior, but it isnt necessary. As I said before your liver has more than enough readily available energy to sustain even strenuous workouts.
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  8. #8
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    The best schedule will ultimately depend on you. I work shift work so my workout schedule is changing every week. I find what works best for me is dedicated cardio days. That gives me enough rest to have good workouts.

    In the end if you can eat enough and rest enough to recover from doing 2 a days you should lose fat. Just be careful of overtraining.
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  9. #9
    Registered User dharmaRunner's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Apex702 View Post
    I understand what you mean by "cardio muscles" now, I thought you were implying that there certain muscles or something to that affect that directly relates to doing cardio. As a side note you can easily incorporate cardio INTO weightlifting.

    As far as I know you use your glycogen supply for both cardio and weightlifting. Your liver contains roughly 1500 calories in surplus for such activities. Your body does not differentiate weight lifting from cardio. It's all exercise.

    If what you're saying is true, what is the case if you woke up in the morning, drank a bottle of water and went to the gym to lift weights? Are you saying it would be impossible because you haven't eaten in roughly 8 hours?

    Your body uses the glycogen during a workout and immediately following a workout, typically weightlifting, you'd down a protein shake and maybe eat a granola bar for carbs. Your body will immediately use that source to replenish your glycogen storages. At that point your body will now have no energy to draw from in the form of recently ingested food, so your body is now forced to start using fat storages for the everyday calorie burning process that takes place to sustain your heart beating, lungs breathing, brain function etc known as RMR. This is a way you burn fat.

    Yes you can eat before lifting, yes you can drink a protein shake prior, but it isnt necessary. As I said before your liver has more than enough readily available energy to sustain even strenuous workouts.
    thanks for the info,
    hmm, i dont know how exactly it works or how accurately i remember the details but i just read it off an article. It says anaerobic exercise uses calories and FFA's (free fatty acids). It also uses glycogen, but only a little bit compared to aerobic exercise. Also, cardio is said to send the body into a catabolism (thats why its worst to do weights after cardio), but just the opposite, it triggers the body into (insulin-mode?) or muscle-building mode with Anaerobic exercise. So while it is possible to turn weight lifting into cardio, it makes it less effective and also it wouldn't match the sustained intensity of running specific training with the aims of increasing lung capacity, the speed of the body to clear lactate acid, the amount of blood pumped per beat.

    personally me i make my weights sessions into cardios as much as possible.. i cant stand to rest that long, but its not enough compared to full-body simultaneous cardio like swimming or running. i guess by cardio muscles, i also refer to the muscles themselves, maintaining the power/stamina/endurance of the cardio muscles, like in running, the legs
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  10. #10
    Registered Boss MG5's Avatar
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    What I do

    Monday-legs
    Tuesday-chest
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    Sunday-off

    Abs- Monday, Wednesday, Friday

    Cardio- tuesday, thursday, Saturday, Sunday
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  11. #11
    Registered User Apex702's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dharmaRunner View Post
    thanks for the info,
    hmm, i dont know how exactly it works or how accurately i remember the details but i just read it off an article. It says anaerobic exercise uses calories and FFA's (free fatty acids). It also uses glycogen, but only a little bit compared to aerobic exercise. Also, cardio is said to send the body into a catabolism (thats why its worst to do weights after cardio), but just the opposite, it triggers the body into (insulin-mode?) or muscle-building mode with Anaerobic exercise. So while it is possible to turn weight lifting into cardio, it makes it less effective and also it wouldn't match the sustained intensity of running specific training with the aims of increasing lung capacity, the speed of the body to clear lactate acid, the amount of blood pumped per beat.

    personally me i make my weights sessions into cardios as much as possible.. i cant stand to rest that long, but its not enough compared to full-body simultaneous cardio like swimming or running. i guess by cardio muscles, i also refer to the muscles themselves, maintaining the power/stamina/endurance of the cardio muscles, like in running, the legs

    I have no idea what you've read, but the above, makes little sense to me, however, you might have a general idea but are struggling to convey it.

    First of all, weight lifting, poor nutrition/malnutrition and cardio can all be catabolic. Catabolic is simply your body breaking down it's own muscle for energy. You curb this by taking in enough protein with a proper diet and not over training. All training uses calories as energy. Where you derive those calories is key, generally its roughly 30% protein 45% carbs and 25% fats of your total caloric intake. Your body will use protein first then carbs, then fats, weight lifting will necessitate the uptake in protein, cardio will usually demand the carbs which leaves your body to start burning excess fat as a source of energy. Insulin spikes caused by ingesting large amounts of sugars are both good and bad. Although insulin spikes cause your body to immediately start storing fat, it also is essential in protein synthesis. Insulin and namely a few chemicals/hormones(I don't recall the names off the top of my head) that are triggered by insulin spikes help deliver protein to the muscles for the recovery process. This insulin spike should be accompanied with protein after a weight training session, a protein shake with say, honey, or pineapple will be beneficial and in most other instances an insulin spike will do nothing but tell your body to start storing energy as fat instead of burning it. With maybe the exception of breakfast as you've starved your body all night. There is quite a lot more to it but it's all fairly simple if you take the time to read and understand it. I suggest searching this site for a lot of useful information. Also know that your exercise consists of a minimal amount of your everyday calorie burning metabolic rate. Search BMR/RMR for info on that and you'll be surprised how little gym time matters in comparison to diet.
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