Today’s question is one of the most popular among those who are trying to learn how to lose weight, should you perform cardio before or after weights? Today you’ll discover the factual answer to this often debated topic.
There are numerous areas in the fitness industry which, until recently, were shrouded in mystery. This is one of them. Despite the fact everybody knows someone who has some fitness knowledge, until very recently the answer to this question was based entirely on personal opinion because there weren’t sufficient studies to give a definitive answer.
That’s no longer the case. Today we’ll be looking at a few recent studies and talking about why science has now shown cardiovascular activity to be more effective when performed before resistance exercises, as opposed to afterwards. [
Participants in a study at the James Maddison University were subjected to an exercise program over a number of months where one group followed a cardio/weights spit and the others followed a weights/cardio split. The muscle growth in those who did their resistance training first was substantially lower than those on the opposite routine.
When it came to fat loss, the results were very similar. The Journal Of Strength And Conditioning recently commissioned a study which discovered that fat loss results were substantially higher by performing aerobic activity prior to resistance training.
Of course, it is highly important to remember that if you are regularly training with weights and getting a good deal of cardiovascular activity into your life then you will still see positive results no matter which order you perform them in….
The main findings of recent studies focus on the effects of two enzymes:
* Adenosine Monophosphate-Activated Protein Kinase (also called AMPK for short!)
* mTOR (aka mammalian target of rapamycin)
You may have heard of these before. AMPK is the enzyme responsible for helping the body adapt to endurance exercise, while mTOR is considered an ‘on’ switch in the muscle building process. After you finish a weights workout, your mTOR levels surge for around one hour. This means consuming quality nutrition at this point will ensure quality lean muscle gains. After around six hours, levels of mTOR return to normal. [
By spending that crucial hour still working hard in the gym on a bike or treadmill you do two bad things. Firstly, you waste that golden hour of mTOR release. Secondly, you’ll release more AMPK which actually blunts the release of mTOR, too.
Although you can certainly achieve a fitter physique regardless of whether you do cardio before or after weights, recent studies seem to weight heavily in favor of performing your aerobic activity before you begin using dumbbells and barbells. In order to learn how to lose weight, getting past common myths like this is part of the battle. You’ve just done that today and can now apply this new knowledge to your own training.
About the author: Uncover the simple, no-nonsense facts behind how to lose weight with Russ Howe PTI, the UK’s most watched Personal Trainer on Youtube. His free guide on whether you should do cardio before or after weights will clear up this common issue for you.