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Cardio Done After Lifting Causes Greater Fat Loss.

A study carried out by sports scientists at University of Tsukuba found that cardio done after lifting causes the greatest fat loss. There has always been a debate as to whether someone should do cardio first followed by weight training, or vice versa. It seems intuitive that diminishing ones glycogen stores during resistance training would make it easier to burn body-fat. Now it seems we have some scientific proof to back up that assertion. Most people in the fitness industry seem to understand that am fasted cardio is most effective, but this research may provided insight into another optimal time to maximize fat loss. This information may prove valuable to those who can’t get to exercise until alter in the day.

Cardio Done After Lifting Causes Greater Fat Loss : The Study Design

The researchers did a trial with 10 healthy male students, with an average age of 23 years. The students we asked to pedal an exercise bike at 50% VO2 Max for 60 minutes in duration. The intensity level is where you are slightly breathless, but still capable of carrying on a normal conversation. This is most likely the level many gym goers would exercise at. Next, the test subjects did weight training before riding the bike. They performed 3-4 sets of the shoulder press, butterfly, biceps curl, squat, bench press and lat pulldown, using weights at which they were just capable of doing 10 reps. After this they lifted, they rested 20 minutes  and on another occasion they rested 2 hours before they started their cardio workout. The results came back that the subjects lost more fat on the resistance training followed by cardiovascular exercise combination than on just cardiovascular training and the resistance training followed by 2 hours of rest before staring cardio. This result is probably due in part to releasing of catecholamines (adrenalin and noradrenalin), fight or flight hormones released during resistance training. These hormones release fatty acids into the blood for instant energy. They also noted a higher peak release of growth hormone which helps oxidize fatty acids and also aids in tissue regeneration. This was only noted in the group who did resistance  training followed by cardio 20 minutes later.

Cardio Done After Lifting Causes Greater Fat Loss…The Take Away Message

While all exercise is beneficial, it can be even more effective when done in the proper sequence. This may clear up some of the debate in the mind of those who are looking for optimal changes in their body fat loss. So do your cardio post weight training to maximize fat loss.

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 Feb; 39(2): 308-15.