Ask Johnie Jackson
Learn how to walk the line between strength training and cardio to get the best of both worlds
Q: When training for strength, should I be doing cardio and if so, how much would you recommend?
A: think everyone should do 20 minutes of cardio 5-6 times a week to keep a healthy heart. It helps you stay functional as you get older and I believe it’s important to keep good cardiovascular health. Being the age I am and having small children, I find doing regular cardio allows me to keep up with them while also keeping up with the guys in the gym.
Q: Is there a type of cardio you prefer when you’re on a strength cycle?
A: use the treadmill because I like to keep it simple, but everybody is different. Find a comfortable piece of equipment and the right pace for yourself. You don’t want to go too hard with the cardio when training for strength because that can lengthen your recovery time between workouts. I’d say to keep your heart rate up with your pace somewhere between a walk and a slow jog. That should serve both goals.
Q: What’s the value of doing cardio at all if my only real goal is to get bigger an d stronger?
A: In addition to the overall health benefits you have to keep in mind that your body requires oxygen for any kind of activity — even heavy workouts. Conditioning is critical. Some people think conditioning just pertains to how you look, but it’s about your overall shape, performance, health and athleticism. If you’re winded between sets, chances are you’re not in good enough cardiovascular shape and could benefit
from some additional cardio in your training schedual. Cardio is an effective fat-burning tool, so improving your body’s aerobic machinery is important not only for your overall health but in helping you look good as well.
Q: combining strength training with cardio are there any supplements I can take to maximize recovery and keep my energy level high?
A: Creatine is great for recovery because it replenishes your explosive energy stores, helping you keep strength level high from workout to workout. Of course, you should always put a scoop of glutamine (about 5-10 grams) in your protein shake after your workout. BCAAs are also critical for recovery, muscle preservation and energy level. And don’t forget the role of carbohydrates in providing energy necessary to keep training at a high level.