A common question we get from our athletes is when to fit conditioning into their training program.
Our answer may differ based on their goals, but in general, we do follow some principles.
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#AskMikeReinold Episode 301: When is the Best Time to Perform Conditioning?
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So this question is when is the best time to perform conditioning? So Haley from Kansas City asked for athletes and patients, is cardio best done before or after weight training in order to maximize or optimize training strength.
Dude, nailed it. That was awesome. Good job. Sweet. I think that’s going to catch on Len. I think that’s a good one. So good question. I think Haley a little bit, I think, maybe we’ll let, Diwesh just tackle this from his perspective because I know Dewey puts a lot of attention into programming and there’s definitely some reasons why we put things in certain ways. I think your word cardio, I think Dewey could probably talk about that a little bit here and what do we actually mean by that? Because I think there’s many different versions of that potentially and when you would put certain things in certain spots, but Dewey, what do you think? How would you answer that for Haley?
Yeah, good question. We actually got this question quite a bit and I think a lot of athletes in general are also pretty confused by it because they don’t have a big background in weight training and stuff like that and combining that with their cardiovascular work and their endurance work. But from a general sense, we’re definitely big fans of doing conditioning work after lifting. Right. And the reason being is we don’t want to lift heavy weights or push the boundaries lifting heavy weights and stuff like that under fatigue. Right? So I think one thing that we got to realize is what are we talking about when we do conditioning or we talk about programming conditioning? Well, we’re trying to work on being fatigue resistant, which can only be done by taking you to a fatigue state. Right? So it’s kind of funny, but we’re essentially trying to tire you out so that we build your capacities for handling being tired later on when you have to play your sport.
So ideally we want to do that after we’ve done all of our speed development stuff, power development stuff because we want to do that when we’re really fresh, right. We also want to get our lifting out of the way. So we’re doing that fresh as possible so we can push some boundaries there and then conditioning after that. Now, as far as what do we mean by conditioning? I would say the big things that you got to think about is all your energy systems. We’re talking about cardiac output, right? Like long sustained cardio, somewhere between 120 to 150 heart rate, doing that for an extended period of time. Then we might also have our short burst sprints working on, let’s say creatine phosphate system, which is going to be slightly different. So I think this is where we can separate and distinguish a little bit. Right.
So I would say the two recommendations I would have is if you’re talking just general cardiac output work, meaning you’re kind of get into a moderately high heart rate and you’re sustaining that for long period of time, definitely do it after your lift or after your weight training. If you’re trying to build a little bit more of your creatine phosphate for your short burst type conditioning stuff, I think that might be the only exception for being able to do that on in your workout. You do want to be able to build that, not under fatigue.
Bam. That was great. Right. Ba-bam, we got another ba-bam. I don’t think… Anybody have any input on that one? I think Diwesh just nailed it there. You guys got anything? I love episodes like that, dewey where you just lay down the hammer on an answer, but I do think you’re right. I do think a lot of athletes bring that up. Right. And a lot of athletes say that when’s the best time to do it. And the answer’s always going to be depends on your specific goals and needs and your focus and stuff like that. So I think that was perfect. So yeah.
I’ll add one thing, Mike, real quick. Obviously we’re going to have the conversation of what’s the best, what’s ideal. If we do take a step back though, I think if you’re an athlete that needs to get conditioned and you have an issue with time management or you have a hard time fitting it in, don’t look for the ideal, just do it. Right? The number one thing is you have to do conditioning, obviously more ideal to do it after you lift, but if you can’t make it work any other way, figure out a way to do your conditioning at any point and just get it done, even if it’s before your lift, before you work out. So just want to clarify that we can’t always be seeking the ideal if you got to get conditioned for your sport and you want to be good at your sport, do the conditioning work and not only look for the ideal and end up skipping it.
I like that, great stuff. Awesome. All right, Dewey. I appreciate it. Great episode. That was amazing. If you have questions like that, please head to mikereinold.com, click on that podcast link, and you can ask more questions. I like some of these sports performance-based ones, because I think as physical therapists sometimes we don’t get this education so I think it’s helpful to learn from these, these opportunities from an expert like Diwesh. So thank you for that. And please rate review, subscribe, see, and hopefully we’ll see you on the next episode. Thanks so much.