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Effects of Cardio Before and After Resistance Training

Cardio or weights..which should be done first?

When Is The Best Time to Do Cardio?

Let’s get the facts straight, cardio is not the only way nor the fastest way to lose weight. People get shortsighted on how many calories they burn while in the gym, instead of focusing on how your body expends calories outside. No matter what, you burn calories throughout the day, but any exercise will increase the caloric burn rate. With traditional cardio, you expend calories while you’re moving, but once you stop, you quickly shift to your normal metabolic rate. Resistance training builds muscles, and with more muscle, more calories burn even when you are sitting on the couch.

Before or After Your Strength Training Exercises?

Many strength training athletes dislike cardio.  If they include a 20-minute low intensity session after weights, not much to ask for, they may be far more healthier.  According to research from Osaka University, printed in the Journal of Applied Physiology, you should do cardio after your strength training exercises. They learned that a bout after resistance training prevents the arteries from becoming stiff; while sessions done before, does not protect the arteries at all.

The study had healthy non athletic 18 year old mix of volunteers with 11 men and 22 women. For 8 weeks, 22 test subjects practiced strength training on their most important muscle groups with the following exercises: shoulder press, chest press, seated rows, curls, leg curls, sit ups and leg press twice a week.

11 subjects were required to do a 20 min treadmill run while maintaining a maximal heart rate of 60% before they started the strength training. The other set of 11 did the opposite, having a run just after resistance training. The 3rd group of 11 did nothing at all. Before the programs started the scientists measured the elasticity and stiffness of each of the subjects’ arteries. The measurements were taken again upon completion of the weight training, and 4 weeks after too.

Those Who Practiced After Strength Training Were Healthier

The results showed that the volunteers who practiced cardio after strength training were healthier and no arterial stiffness. ACSM recommends that certified personal trainers advise clients to practice short bout of cardio after resistance training to decrease the negative effects of the workout.