Out of all the intensive workouts in the world, leg day is one of the most dreaded by almost everyone other than a handful of fitness maniacs who enjoy pushing their bodies beyond their physical limits. Leg day is hard, painful and requires an extra amount of discipline and to be effective, a lot of people like to carry out intensive cardio after leg day as part of their routine, but is it good for you to go running after leg day? The answer to that question is it may be good for you, but your body just doesn’t have the energy reserves or a fast enough recovery rate that can let you go running after a day or two of rest.
A vast majority of the people who go to gyms follow an exercise routine which starts on Monday with chest day and ends on Friday with leg day, Saturday and Sunday are set aside as rest days or for cardio. However research has indicated that in order to make leg day more effective and more bearable it should be pushed back on your workout schedule, by doing so you not only give your legs more time to rest but your weekend also becomes more pleasant as you don’t have to put up with painful cramps and wobbly legs.
The reason why leg day is so hard is that our legs are made of four quad muscles, two glute muscles, three hamstrings and two calf muscles per leg, all of which are large muscles that require a lot of energy to function, and these muscles use the same fuel which is used during cardio; stored muscle glycogen. Meaning that intensive cardio and leg day share a limited amount of fuel, you can do one but not the other, and replenishing your body’s stored muscle glycogen you need time and a lot of carbs.
If you really want to fit cardio activity into your workout and aren’t comfortable with changing your routine then you can go for lighter cardio, it won’t be as effective as intensive 10k runs, but it won’t leave you feeling totally beat and will also promote blood flow in your legs. Just remember that high-intensity cardio activity after an intensive leg workout session is pretty much of the table, your body needs a day or two to recover from such punishment, getting carried away and overworking yourself only leads to bodily pains and an increased chance of getting injured.
Overall, any kind of intensive cardio does not go along with leg day, the best way to have both in your exercise routine is to have leg day earlier in your weekly schedule, but if you aren’t able to do that then you can either go for lighter cardio activity or carry out some low-intensity steady workout right after working on your legs. Alternating between leg day and cardio day on a weekly basis is also an option, just remember, working out requires discipline and patience, if you can balance both then anything can become possible.
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