Fitness Q & A

Scheduling Cardio Training into an Already Busy Training Program


I’m trying to add muscle mass, I”ve got a good diet, I do 4 days a week of weights (Monday,Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday), but I play football on Sundays. Would I be able to do running on my rest days – which would be Wednesday and Friday – to keep fit for football?

Idai’s Answer:

A couple of things to consider:

*If you run on your “rest” days they are no longer rest days and you have no scheduled rest in your program. This means your anabolic hormone pool never gets a chance to recuperate and you face remaining stuck at the level of fitness and development you are at currently.

*If you increase cardio training it is contrary to gaining mass because the adaptation to running will compete with your weight training for your scarce growth hormone and testosterone which will result in no progress.

*Your muscle bulk relates closely to your ability to lift weights – if you can look at increasing poundages and/or reps in small increments of 2-3% weekly you are more likely to keep rogressing that if you try to make big jumps. Also, before you start this progression consider erducing maximum training poundage by 10-15% first, to make sure you can actually add to the weight lifted smoothly – for a few weeks before getting to your current maximum poundage. You’ll find the progression will continue even after you pass the previous poundage – but only if you cut back first.

*Consider adding running to the end of your gym sessions rather than losing a rest day.

*Consider running up stairs or steeper hill sprints as a way of doing cardio and leg strength work at the same time.