Do Your Cardio After Weights

What a rig – David Bickley Photography

Cardio – Before Or After Weights

Bodybuilders have been doing cardio after weight training for donkeys.  Personal trainers have been suggesting cardio after weights for eons as well.  We usually say this as you want to be as strong as possible for your weights workout and then it doesn’t matter what you do to get your heart rate up for your cardio.

The strength purists out there who hate cardio, would have you believe any cardio whatsoever is going to turn you into a weak little girl, but it appears the bro science has been right all along.

Check this study out

Researchers did a trial with 10 healthy male students of whom the average age was 23. In one instance the students had to cycle for 60 minutes at 50 percent of their VO2max. [E] You could still carry on conversation quite easily at that rate

On another occasion the test subjects did weight training before cycling. They did 3-4 sets of the shoulder press, biceps curl, squat, bench press and lat pulldown for 10 reps. After this they rested for 20 minutes [RE20] and on another occasion they rested 120 minutes before they started their cardio workout [RE120].

Basically, the subjects lost more fat on the RE20 combination ( weights, rest 20 minutes, do cardio ) than doing cardio on its own or doing weights and resting for 120 minutes then doing cardio

The mechanism by which this works researchers have hypothesised  is probably because the stress hormones adrenalin and noradrenalin are released during weight training. These stimulating hormones initiate the fat cells to release their contents into the bloodstream.

It also appears that subjects doing cardio 20 minutes after weight training had the highest growth hormone levels too.  Double the good news as growth hormone is a fat burner and promotes recovery.

So if you if enjoy doing your cardio and weights together and your currently doing your cardio after weights, your on the right track.  The caveat here is not so much cardio that you contaminate your strength training.