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Aerobics before or after leg workout?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Friends, I have been working out seriously for about twenty years. This year I have retuned my five day routine to include two dedicated leg days - for skiing. Am doing a mix of front squats, adducter/abducter, calf, hams and glutes work. But I have been also been spending 15-20 mintutes each workout on an eliptical or stairmaster machine. On upper body days, I do this at the end. Should I do this first or last on leg days?

Thanks,
David

post #2 of 9
I'd say at the end, not that I am qualified.  But I'd also suggest something different - get rid of the elliptical, even 2 days a week and substitute a Tabata.

20 sec "on"  followed by 10 sec of rest - times 8, leaving you a 4 minuet WOD.  You can do this after your other training if you like.

On the treadmill, warm-up a bit, then feet on the sides of the belt in the rest mode get the belt speed up.  Holding on, jump on and run like hell for 20 sec. hop off to the sides again and rest 10 sec.  Repeat this 8 times with as much intensity as you can offer.

You usually see the incline at max and a sprint speed.  You may have to work up to it.  It'll give you a huge bang for the buck.

I'd love to hear what you do for "legs" specifically.  It sounds like machines.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Paul,
Thanks for yours. I looked into Tabata training last year. It looks brutal, and enticing. To get a full aerobic workout in four minutes is almost unbelieveable. I have heard that it is more like a 10-12 minute window into hell. I know it can be done with legs (ie:sprints) or upper body (ie: rowing machine). But I wonder if I could train one of the aerobic machines to do it. Certainly, it could be done on the eliptical on the manual setting, or on the stair machine as well, again on manual. Doing it with the treadmill may require a fair amount of coordination that I may not have a few minutes into it. And since it is self-powered, bad things might happen if it was going too fast for my feet and brain. I will experiment with the machines available to me an report back. Would appreciate any others who have used Tabata in their skiing workout routine.

As for my leg rountine, it is a work in progress.  I am doing front squats in a Smith frame while  balancing on the flat side of a Bosu ball. It does not take much weight to burn up the quads, given the balance element. I tried doing these in a cage with a 45lb bar, but could not get the balance right. And racking the bar was a problem on the Bosu. The calfs I do on a sled - alternating toes straight, then supinate, then pronate. The hams are on a machine (reverse curl). Upper quads (hip stablilizers?) I either do in a frame by elevating both legs simultaneously as in an iron cross, or I do them on the ground by hooking up a belt to my lower thigh and lifting it, under load, as if marching. I rather like this better than the other technique because it takes the abs out of it and is more isolated. Finally, I am trying this exercise I saw an Olympic skier do. You straddle a large exercise ball - like a full bosu, put your feet about half way down it and SQUEEZE your feet into it, all the while trying to maintain balance. I have only done this once, and do it over a frame where you do triceps because I am not strong enough or balanced enough yet to hold my own weight. I saw this guy get into an unsupported tuck doing this. Damn, those are some strong adductors!

Anyway, that is the routine I am doing now - subject to change as always.
Again, thanks for reminding me about the four minute Tabata blitz. That would leave 16 extra minutes to enjoy the nausea.
D
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post

Paul,
...it is more like a 10-12 minute window into hell. I know it can be done with legs (ie:sprints) or upper body (ie: rowing machine). But I wonder if I could train one of the aerobic machines to do it. Certainly, it could be done on the elliptical on the manual setting, or on the stair machine as well, again on manual. Doing it with the treadmill may require a fair amount of coordination that I may not have a few minutes into it.

...  I am doing front squats in a Smith frame while  balancing on the flat side of a Bosu ball...... The hams are on a machine (reverse curl).

 
Tabata is something that you should start off slow, but you should just do it and come back to it before you pass judgment.  It is true that the treadmill can be tricky with the tabata, so hold on tight.

I would just plain not go on the elliptical.  Same with all of the machines - especially the the leg curl.  Learn dead lifts to work the posterior chain (hams are included).  Experimenting with the Bosu ball is fun, but make sure your are doing squats properly, proper stance - that ball may interfere with that.  So back squats w/o the smith is the way to go.  Some gyms just don't accommodate working with the bar.

Back to Tabata, you can do jumping squats, 20 sec on and 10 sec off.  You can do burpees, same.  You can do 4 rounds of sit-ups and 4 rounds of push-ups rest a minuet and do it again.  I like jumping squats.

Meanwhile, strength is where it's at.  so much emphasis has been placed on cardio, but the fitness that can be had from strength is phenomenal.  IMHO Olympic lifting is worth pursuing.  It works and the results can be seen, though I am not talking about body building. 

 
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Paul,
What are "burpees"? I have been thinking about adding the dead lift (Romanian?) to my routine but want to get the technique right.
I have done "hop squats" in the past, if that is what you are referring to as "jumping squats" where you hop down the hall with a weighted bar on your back. Brutal.
Agree that strength is where it is at.
D
post #6 of 9
 For me after many years of focusing on leg strength the thing that did the most for my skiing this year was a lot of road biking.  For the first year ever I had almost no quad soreness, even the first day out.  Other years I built up strong legs, but the lactic acid buildup is the issue when you're skiing more then pure strength.

As to your original question I would do the cardio after so as to not fatigue the legs before lifting.  Everything I've read said you should try to do cardio on a different day then you lift, but that's hard to do.

Interval training on a bike is a good approach for getting the most in the least amount of time, but I know for me that next off season it's going to be a lot of road biking.
post #7 of 9
 Definitely do conditioning after strength.

You can do tabatas on an eliptical or bike as well as the treadmill.  If you have access to an airdyne (do a google image search if you're not familiar with the name) they are particularly good for intervals.

Tabatas are really tough, so I'd definitely not do them on lower body strength days and I wouldn't do them too often (but I would do them).  You can do other high intensity interval training (HIIT) after lower body strength days.  If you are already in shape, then start with something like 2 min warmup then 5 reps of 1 min hard followed by 1 min easy; then 2 min cooldown.  You can mix it up with 30s hard 45s easy as well.  Pretty much any option you want.  If you're going to do 5 days of conditioning (cardio) each week, I'd do one of them as a 20 minute steady-state run/eliptical/bike, but no more than 1.

I'm not a fan of machines for weights (other than the cable machine), but I am fine with eliptical or stationary bike for conditioning. But stay away from recumbent bikes. 

Elsbeth
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post

Paul,
What are "burpees"? I have been thinking about adding the dead lift (Romanian?) to my routine but want to get the technique right.
 

Go here http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/excercise.html 

In the top section look for burpees.

Scroll down to Olympic lifts, quite a ways down and you will find a full progression on the dead lift.  They sometimes use the F woid.

You can also look up proper form on the squat in the list of exercises and demos.  When we say squat we mean full squat below parallel.  It's a wide stance knees track in the direction of the feet/toes.  Squats are basic and awesome.

Save the link, it's a great resource.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks all!
Paul, that Crossfit site is great. Appreciate that.
D
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