Should you do cardio before or after weights in the gym? If you are learning how to build muscle this is undoubtedly a topic which will pop up at some stage. Today we’ll answer this question for you.
Thanks to the ongoing scientific research being performed in the health and fitness industry, many of the old myths and theories which were used for years have now been either confirmed as fact or condemned to ancient myth. This area is the latest to go under the microscope.
The last decade has seen a growing number of scientific studies in this specific area. Finally we’re at a stage where definitive answers can be given on the topic.
The most common misconception in this particular area is that you’ll pre-exhaust your muscles by hitting cardiovascular equipment before a heavy resistance workout. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, you’ll greatly enhance your gains if you do your aerobic activity first, so the old theory that cardiovascular exercise should be done after you’ve finished with the weights is not true.
These recent findings lay to waste one of the oldest theories in fitness. It dates back so long that many people believe it to be fact and still insist on doing it to this very day. However, scientific studies prove that those who put their aerobic activity earlier in their workout enjoyed better fat loss and muscle growth.
What about HIIT? The same results applied here too.
When you workout the body releases 2 enzymes which play a major role in your overall results. They are known as mTOR and AMPK. AMPK is designed to help you adapt to prolonged aerobic activity, so it’s released as you do run on a treadmill or cycle.
On the other hand, mTOR is pumped into the body immediately following a resistance workout and is designed to be the switch that activates the process of recovery, i.e. building more lean muscle. The bad news for you is that AMPK stops the release of mTOR, meaning if you jump on a bike after you finish weight training you’ll actually switch the muscle building process back off.
Once the body releases mTOR you enter the golden window for post-workout nutrition. This peaks at one hour in length, although mTOR levels stay increased for up to 6 hours in total. To get the most from this period, simply avoid releasing any AMPK during this time.
If you are one of the many people who like to perform two separate sessions in order to keep resistance training and aerobic workouts away from each other, that last piece of information will stand out as particularly groundbreaking. By separating your sessions with a six hour period you’ll allow yourself to get the absolute full benefits from mTOR release before you blast fat with your HIIT session or aerobic workout.
If you were wondering how to build muscle by optimizing your resistance/cardio split you now have the latest scientific findings to help you do that. Whether you currently do cardio before or after weights doesn’t really matter, it’s what you do from this point on which counts towards your future results.
Writer: Learn how to build muscle with easy steps from the UK’s leading personal trainer Russ Howe PTI. Discover whether you should do cardio before or after weights to increase results with this free report.