More often than not, people start a fitness program on their own. It’s not a bad thing. Chances are that if you are a newcomer to exercise your goals will center around weight-loss. As you progress through your fitness journey, the whole endeavor starts to take the shape of a habit rather than a duty or task. Goals that had an almost ‘unattainable’ aura about them pale in comparison to challenges that lay ahead. It is at this point that the ‘order of operations’ can be used to your advantage and satisfaction.
Devoting the most amount of time and energy to your goals is going to give you the results you want. If your goals are weightlifting and bodybuilding, then your program should begin with one or both. It’s common for bodybuilding programs to throw in a 15-30 minute treadmill at the end. Usually accompanied by the words – should you feel like it. It’s honestly not a bad piece of advice. If you have trained all your muscles groups for that day and your feeling ambitious and you have 30 minutes to spare, then a safe choice would be cardio. By safe, I mean an additional exercise to complement a workout that would not jeopardize your original goal.
If you randomly spend 30-minutes on cardio before a resistance program, it will amount to you lifting less weight. However, your heart rate will likely be higher, resulting in more calories burned than your typical routine. But that’s not your goal.
I would say from a professional point of view. Splitting the additional cardio into equal parts: warm-up, and cool down. Would be textbook fundamentals. Not because doing so would directly affect muscular development. Simply because warming up and cooling down are going to reduce your chances of injury, and the potential shock to your heart, vessels and lungs. It’s highly recommended that individuals with asthma are avid about the warm-up in particular.
Given that you read the Mayo Clinic article, one thing you should take away as a bodybuilder or weightlifter. Is that stretching can be harmful to your max attempts. I would recommend stretching after the exercise program or cool-down period.