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Why do bodybuilders take recovery periods that are longer than any other type of athlete?

Im doing a mixture of weights and cardio. I try to do 2 sessions with weights focusing on upper body and 2 cario sessions (with some high resistant) a week. If I do weights on monday and I want to do cardio to tuesday, should I avoid the rowing machine?

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Hi! Is your question really just about how much rest you should get between your weight and cardio sessions and how hard you can go during your cardio sessions? If so, you can simplify this question a lot by taking out the bodybuilder question. –  Kate Dec 19 '12 at 11:42
    
Its more complicated than that. My cardio sessions are high resistance and so also anaerobic. The rowing machine is cardio, anaerobic and upper and lower body. So if I use the rowing machine in either work out im going to be working some muscles more frequently than bodybuilding would normally reccomend. –  jdln Dec 19 '12 at 13:39
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Anything that is cardiovascular IS AEROBIC. You can do anaerobic sprints (100m) but much further than that is all aerobic. Anaerobic means "without oxygen," and for cardiovascular workouts to take place they have to be aerobic (with oxygen). If you do short burst, power exercises that alone are anaerobic, but strung together in succession they become aerobic. –  Grohlier Dec 19 '12 at 14:56
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@Grohlier Strung together with rest periods, sprints (or (bar/kettle/dumb)bell complexes) retain a significant anaerobic component, no? –  Dave Liepmann Dec 19 '12 at 16:05
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@Dave Liepmann, did I miss the rest periods part? If so, my fault and yes, you are correct. If there are rest periods that let the ATP-PC system reset you can maintain an anaerobic workout. If there is no rest period (think circuit-training) it becomes aerobic as the ATP-PC and Cori-Krebs cycles run their course and can no longer meet the needs of the exercise. –  Grohlier Dec 19 '12 at 16:34

1 Answer 1

After doing strength training, the body's levels of Human Growth Hormones rise, and tend to stay elevated for approximately 48 hours. During this time your body sees the most muscle growth. So bodybuilders tend to tried to schedule a major strength training session every 48 hours to keep the Growth Hormone levels continuously high. Additionally, to achieve maximum growth a muscle needs some time to rest, as strength gains are made during recovery. That being said, for most of us who are mostly trying to improve overall fitness, having a cardio exercise that happens to work the same muscles on the off days should not hurt you, and probably will help reduce Delayed On-Set Muscle Soreness. Just make sure that you occasionally have a complete rest day to allow for fuller recovery.

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