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Is Cardio Better Before Or After Resistance Training?

By Russ Howe

Is Cardio Better Before Or After Resistance Training

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.

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.

What about HIIT? The same results applied here too.

This happens because of the release of two enzymes in the body during physical exercise. They are known as AMPK and mTOR. AMPK is the body's call to action to help you adjust to aerobic activity.

When you finish a resistance workout, however, the body responds by increasing the release of an enzyme known as mTOR. This turns on the recovery process and helps you to build more lean muscle. The 2 enzymes don't work together well. In fact, having AMPK in your system will switch off the release of mTOR. So, by staying on a treadmill after your finish your weight training you'll significantly turn down your release of mTOR.

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.

When you are trying to lean how to build muscle in the gym, you'll encounter many areas which are shrouded in mystery and doubt, often coming down to little more than personal opinion. Thanks to ongoing scientific research, however, the question 'Should you do cardio before or after weights?' is no longer something which falls into this category.

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