These are some things that should be done to have your cardio sessions be rewarding and not harmful (concerning your muscles).Top Ten Tips
So, let's get started with these helpful tips that will improve your cardio:
1. For fat loss, cardio should be done on an empty stomach. (Everyone knows this, no need to go on with it.)
2. Cardio and weightlifting should be done 8 hours apart from each other. This was something I picked up from AST-Sports; to allow something to take place ... forgot what they said, but it made sense.
3. Start small with cardio, and increase gradually (weekly). This way if you are dieting to be ripped you will not eat away at your hard-earned muscle.
4. Each cardio session should not be done the same. Vary your forms of cardio, whether it is running, rowing, martial arts, and so on. This way it will not be boring (for those who really hate cardio) and it has something to do with your body not getting used to it.
5. This is concerning cardio for fat loss. Your body starts consuming fat after a certain time during your cardio. Some say 20 minutes, but it depends on the individual (everyone is different). So a helpful tip is to keep your cardio going for at least 30 minutes, this is moderate to high-intensity cardio.
6. Always, always, stretch your muscles before cardio. Do a good stretch before each cardio session (includes calves, quads, hamstrings). If you don't, you will be feeling it 5 minutes into your cardio.
7. Switch up the intensity during your cardio. Start with a short walk, go into moderate, then high intensity, then (if you can) do what I like to call ultra intensity, then reduce it down to moderate, and end the session with a nice and easy pace. The walking parts should only be like a minute or two combined! Your cardio should consist of 50% moderate, 40% high, and 10% low (that's what I like to do).
8. It is important to know your target heart rate (THR). This is a must, because if you're under your target heart rate, you're not doing much to get yourself ripped. The actual equation is subtract your age from 220, but I use a heart rate monitor.
9. Never ever do your cardio right after your workout. For any of you that do this, or are thinking of doing it, don't! After a workout, your body is in need of food and other good stuff, and if you do cardio right after, just think what is going to happen. Something so bad, so terrible, so disgusting, that I forgot ... So that just shows you that it must be pretty bad, so don't do it!
Let me see, I guess I need one more tip to make it a Top 10 list ...
10. I got one, concerning fat loss: cardio will not make you become a lean mean muscle machine, it's only 10% of the equation, the other 90% is nutrition. I would bump up the nutrition but that will depress everybody.