If you’re an athlete with a regular fitness routine, you may think you should never do weight training on the same day you do your cardio workout. If you’re not a serious athlete, you may have never heard of this rule. If the latter is true, no problem. That’s because researchers have found there’s no truth to the old adage against combining the two forms of exercise in a short period of time.
Let me also state that using your ab belt on the same day that you have a cardio workout or weight lifting workout planned is ok as well, but do not use the ems belt at the same time as the other exercise.
The Old Rule
Many serious sports professionals have promulgated the belief that scheduling strength training too closely to a period of aerobic exercise will reduce the effectiveness of either type of exercise. They hold this belief so strongly that they’ve made it a golden rule for anyone wanting to build muscle.
Two groups of scientists decided to see whether there was any truth to this rule. They created experiments that would allow them to test changes in patients’ muscles after exercise.
The first group, at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, looked at middle-aged, sedentary men. The men performed three routines. They rode a stationary bike one day. The next, they did eight sets of leg extensions. The final day, they did four sets of leg extensions and then immediately rode the bike.
The second group, at Swedish facilities including the Karolinska Institute, looked at active male college students who exercised regularly. The men first performed aerobic exercise by using one leg to pedal a stationary bike. They then performed strength training on both legs with leg extension exercises. In this way, one leg only received the strength training and one leg had both types of exercise.
The scientists biopsied the men’s leg muscles before and after each session. Both groups found no difference between combining aerobics with strength training or keeping the two separate.
What It Means
The studies show that you can schedule your cardio and strength-training routines however works best for you. If you are performing abdominal exercises to lose belly fat or as part of a weight loss program, it doesn’t matter whether your weightlifting and cardio workouts fall on the same day or are done at different times during the week.