As we know by now, there are tons of cardio myths out there. The ongoing debate is whether you should be doing cardio before or after your weight training? Does it really matter when you do your cardio? Well, whether you are looking to build muscle, gain strength or lose fat, doing cardio after your weight training will help you maximise your efforts.

In this article we are going to delve into the physiological reasons why post-weights cardio is better than doing this first.

Cardio After Weight Training and the Effects On Energy

In order to fuel workouts, our bodies rely on glycogen (stored energy in muscles). If we have depleted our glycogen stores by doing cardio first, we won’t have sufficient energy to power an intense weight training workout.

This will have a significant impact on our muscle building, strength gain and fat loss as it will inhibit heavy lifting and decrease overall calorie burn.

Cardio After Weight Training and the Effects On Blood PH

As we exercise, our blood becomes more acidic through the process whereby energy gets broken down and used to make lactic acid. The problem with a build-up of lactic acid is that although it helps to replenish fuel sources, it creates a large amount of hydrogen ions which need to be buffered. Our bodies handle this at an ineffective rate and this lowers blood pH. An acidic blood pH causes our muscles to become fatigued and performance levels to dip.



Doing weight training before cardio makes it easier to contract our muscles and push to maximum capacity.

Cardio After Weight Training and the Effects On Hormones

Beginning a training session with cardio will lead to the release of cortisol without a simultaneous release of testosterone. Without this concurrent release of testosterone, cortisol will break down muscle in order to provide our bodies with continued energy to sustain the workout. With weight training, these two hormones are released at the same time. This then provides energy for the workout and aids in the repair of muscle post-workout. Without this simultaneous release, it will become much more difficult to increase muscle mass.



Beginning a training session with cardio will lead to the release of cartisol without a simultaneous release of testosterone.

Cardio After Weight Training Effects On mTOR Pathways

The mTOR pathway is essentially what tells your muscle to grow. It is the largest contributor and genetic difference that makes some people gain muscle easily while others struggle. Those who are able to add on lean muscle mass without much effort generally have easy access to this pathway while those who battle don’t.

If you do cardio before weights, the mTOR pathways becomes repressed, making it increasing difficult to access this muscle-building initiator.

Cardio After Weight Training Effects On EPOC

Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) will be increased by performing HIIT cardio after weight training. This will have a positive impact on fat loss our bodies will continue to burn more calories for hours after exercise is completed.

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