5 reasons cardio after weight training is always best

Weights or cardio first? It’s a question many athletes have pondered, but the answer is simple – weights first.

Professional trainers and athletes often disagree on this topic but science tells us time and time again that cardio after weight training is the best for the body…and here’s why:

1. Less risk for injury

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Most athletes find themselves pushing the limits on weight training after they’ve completed a 30 minute cardio session.

Muscles are fatigued and ill prepared to put a heavy weight load on, making you more susceptible to injury.


2. The “afterburn effect”

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Fat burning – the thing most people in the gym are focused on – is achieved best with metabolic resistance training.

In other words, you will see your best results saving cardio for after your weight training session.

The “afterburn effect” will not only burn calories during your workout but also 48 hours after. The effect is unofficially known as EPOC- e xcess post-e xercise oxygen consumption.

In simple terms, cardio before weight training only makes sense from a fat-burning perspective, not a muscle-building perspective.


3. Increased energy

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Our muscles feed off of glycogen, also know as our stored energy, in order to function.

If you notice being light headed, having constant headaches, or low energy levels after a workout, it is mostly likely due to low glycogen levels.

The same thing happens when you do cardio before weight training.

You use up the stored glycogen and completely exert yourself in the 30-60 minutes you train cardio, making your weight training session work off an empty fuel tank.

Once your glycogen levels are down, your body will automatically start to burn muscle instead of fat.


4. Higher blood PH levels

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Doing cardio naturally makes your blood more acidic.

As you exercise, energy is broken down and utilized to make lactic acid. A nd although lactic acid helps to replenish your fuel sources for continued exercise, acidic blood causes muscular fatigue.

So, doing cardio before weight training makes it harder to contract your muscles, and being unable to easily contract your muscles will make this extremely difficult if not impossible.

Often making a “muscle – to – mind connection” while weight training is the key to success in putting on muscle.

Being unable to easily contract muscles makes building more muscle extremely difficult if not impossible.


5. mTOR pathways

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mTOR pathways is the avenue your brain tells your muscles to grow.

When you do cardio – especially before strength training – this muscle building pathway becomes inhibited, making an already difficult situation that much harder.

There are several genetic differences in people making weight training and muscle building difficult for some and almost impossible for others.

By doing cardio before weight training, you’re automatically making a difficult situation more difficult.

by Emily Van Law

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