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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Should you do cardio after strength training for weight loss?

"Many people split their gym workout sessions between cardio and strength training, and the sequence in which you do the exercises will have a direct bearing on the outcome," says Prateek Sood, director, Grand Slam Fitness

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
March 4, 2021 6:20:41 pm
its important to evaluate one’s goals and then decide the order that can be best for you. (Photo: Pixabay)

Fitness enthusiasts will agree that cardio and weight training form the foundation of most workout sessions. But as soon as we enter the gym, the biggest question that lies in front of us is whether to do cardio before or after lifting weights.

Prateek Sood, director, Grand Slam Fitness says that “it all boils down to your goals. Many people split their gym workout sessions between cardio and strength training, and the sequence in which you do the exercises will have a direct bearing on the outcome. Therefore, it helps to first evaluate one’s goals and then decide the order that will be best for you.”

But, if you are someone who just works out for improving overall fitness, it’s essential that you combine cardio and strength wisely so that you do not end up overworking the same set of muscles.

exercise Combining cardio and strength training is the most effective way to increase our body’s potential to burn fat. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Benefits of strength and cardio training

Muscle-strengthening exercises include lifting loads. This why strength training builds muscles while boosting your metabolism and improving the body’s capability to burn more fat in the long term. “Strengthening muscles can make you stronger, control your weight, stimulate bone growth, improve balance and posture, and reduce pain in the joints and back,” explains Sood.

While cardio, on the other hand, helps improve the blood flow in the body which enables oxygen flow to the muscles, thus strengthening your heart and lungs. He says, “This entire process builds up endurance by training muscles to better use oxygen.”

How beneficial is cardio after strength training?

If your primary goal is to improve body strength, be able to pick heavy things, and build more muscle, then it is advisable that you lift weights first. “Engaging in cardio before will tire you out,” he says.

In order to have a successful strength training session, it’s important that you don’t tire beforehand otherwise there will be higher chances of repetitions to get the correct form. A good form is essential for doing strength training exercises efficaciously and safely.

Secondly, strength training prior to cardio will also be helpful for fat loss. “Doing weights first will enable your body to enter the aerobic mode. This way, by the time you come to running, your body will already be in a fat-burning state. As a result, you can maintain that aerobic state much longer when running and consume fat as a source of energy,” he adds, further saying that this is because muscle cells store glycogen in them which tends to fuel muscular contractions. “During higher-intensity exercises like lifting weights, our body uses glycogen as fuel and then subsequently creates certain by-products that can eventually be used as fuel for other lower-intensity activities, such as performing cardio in a steady-state” Sood adds.

Studies have shown that a combination of both ensures overall health, increases muscle mass, and reduces body fat significantly. But, he also adds that if you want to practice both then try doing them on separate days so that your body gets time to recover in between.

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