Should You Do Cardio Before Weights Or After?

By Russ Howe

One of the most regularly asked questions in the fitness industry is 'Should you do cardio before or after weights for better fat loss and muscle growth?' Lots of people are lost in the subject of how to build muscle so today we'll clear up the science behind this subject for you.

There are a number of myths in the fitness industry which lead to confusion. This is because there is still so much scientific research which needs to be carried out. Thankfully, this particular area is something that has now been cleared up.

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 video today will explain whether you should do cardio before or after weights in the gym.

Contrary to mainstream opinion, you should be performing your cardiovascular workout prior to hitting the weights if you want to get the most out of the gym. This will surprise a few people out there, because one of the most common mistakes is to presume that you'd exhaust the muscles if you did your aerobic activity first.

Despite the old theory that you'll exhaust your muscles if you do aerobic work before resistance training, science proves that the opposite is true. Test subjects experienced better weight loss and muscular hypertrophy when they did aerobic work first.

This also applied to individuals performing high intensity interval training, 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.

This information comes in very handy for those who like to separate their workouts into two separate sessions per day. If you keep six hours between each workout you'll be able to get the full benefits of the muscle repairing process switched on by mTOR enzyme before you release any AMPK during cardiovascular activity.

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.

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