Does Running after Lifting Lose Muscle or Fat?

It is quite important to have the answer to whether running after lifting weights would cause you to lose muscle or fat. After all, if you want to compete at the top level in bodybuilding, you need to ensure that your diet and workout routine are optimised for muscle growth. Otherwise, you won't be able to compete at the highest level.

Both have the potential to cause unintentional weight loss if not executed correctly. Consequently, what does scientific research conclude? After a tough workout, can engaging in cardio activity like jogging lead you to lose more of the muscle mass you've worked so hard to gain than fat? Find out more by reading on!

Cross-training is now universally regarded to be the best universal strategy for improving athletic performance, mobility, and overall wellness. When you follow a cross-training programme, your workouts will be different each time. The focus will be on your heart rate, various muscle groups will be taxed, and you will engage both slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscles.

Should I get my lifts in first, or should I get my cardio in? It is maybe one that is tough to respond to because the answer is dependent on a great deal of variety in the following factors:

  • Where do you want to be in terms of your general fitness?
  • What are you hoping to get out of this experience?
  • How do you plan to advance your skills?

If you do not leave any stone unturned in your pursuit of an answer, you will almost certainly end up with contradictory information. According to a new analysis published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, it does not appear to make a difference in which activity you perform first or last during your workout. In either scenario, an increase in hormone production is anticipated.

It may be uplifting information for many people. You no longer need to be concerned about the sequence in which your lifts and runs are performed. Nevertheless, it is always to your advantage to have a greater understanding of the physiological changes that occur in your body as a result of exercise and what these changes signify for your health and your capacity to lose weight.

Benefits Of Weights

Resistance training and strength workouts both contribute to the development of muscle. Because muscle has a higher metabolic rate than fat, having more muscle will result in a little rise in your resting metabolic rate (the amount of energy your body uses while at rest) compared to having more body fat.

However, the differences are not particularly noticeable. Even at the higher end of estimates, which are debated, adding one pound of muscle only requires a few hundred additional calories each day. That is useful, but it will stay the same.

However, resistance training is necessary to maintain muscle mass when following a plan to reduce body fat. The muscle and fat that you lose are typically the components of the weight that you lose. Therefore, it is best to minimise the amount of fat in your body while keeping the same muscle mass. Weight training offers a wide variety of benefits for both your health and performance, in addition to assisting you in achieving this objective of yours by allowing you to gain muscle.

Suppose an additional muscle does not offer a significant advantage in terms of the energy required to maintain itself. What about the afterburn, a benefit of weight training that has been touted for a long time? The term "afterburn" refers to the additional energy your body uses after you have finished exercising. When you exercise, your metabolism speeds up for at least many hours, which can be explained in another manner by saying that this happens.

Benefits Of Cardio

The primary advantage of doing aerobic exercise at a moderate level is that you can carry it out continuously for a significantly longer period than intermittent exercises, such as lifting weights. In addition, because of the constant motion involved, cardio has a natural advantage over other forms of exercise in terms of the amount of energy expended throughout a workout session.

You can add an extra kick to your circuit training sessions by combining weight lifting with movement, but the movement itself is the most important component. If you move swiftly enough to the point where you are running or cycling at approximately 80% of your maximal heart rate, you will experience some afterburn. It is because your body will continue to burn calories even after the activity has stopped. In addition, most studies have demonstrated that aerobic exercise, namely cardiovascular exercise, leads to a greater increase in energy expenditure than traditional strength training.

What Goals Do You Have?

Many runners need to have clear goals in mind. You likely include running into your life because you value the things it does for you, the benefits it offers to your health, and how it makes you feel. Having said that, it is safe to assume that you are searching for the "greatest" training regimen because you want to improve.

"Getting better" at running means improving several aspects of your running, including:

  • aerobic capacity
  • stamina
  • muscular endurance
  • strength and endurance of the legs, as well as their potential to create power
  • mobility and flexibility
  • your general sense of balance and proprioception

Assuming that everyone is interested in enhancing their running ability would be unreasonable. So instead, one of your objectives is to reduce your waistline by a few unwelcome pounds you gained over the winter months and to get a healthier weight overall. Your best option for a training strategy is to throw your body for a loop during your workouts continually. Make it a point to vary your workout routine on each of the successive days you do it. This technique is successful because it:

  • increases your metabolism, which allows your muscles to recover more quickly
  • helps you avoid burnout and exhaustion
  • keeps your mind stimulated and motivated to achieve your weight reduction objectives
  • provides your body with the benefits of aerobic exercise, including the burning of calories, as well as the benefits of weight training, including the burning of fat and the shaping of your body

Is Running Allowed After Weight Lifting?

To put it, yes, unquestionably. It's not a problem if you do that. However, you need to be conscious of your fitness goals to determine whether this is the best option for you. For example, if you want to improve your pace or log more kilometres, there are better choices than weightlifting, followed directly by running.

On the other hand, if you are interested in gaining size and strength as well as positive hormonal changes that will help you burn excess calories more quickly and reduce the production of cortisol, the stress hormone, lifting weights first is the way to go if you want to maximise your chances of success in all of these areas.

Because of a few different factors, many people find that it is more beneficial to run after weightlifting rather than the other way around. However, it is essential to remember that more than one hundred studies have conclusively demonstrated that it takes more time to recover from strength training than from a strenuous run. Imaginary, huh?

If you lift weights before you go for a run, you will have more energy for strength training, which is one of the reasons why you should do that first. As a consequence of this, you should start with the exercise that requires the most amount of energy on your part; doing so is essential for strength training.

Another effect is tiredness, which can be caused by running. When you run at a fast pace, it will be more difficult for you to power through your strength training. Furthermore, being sleepy hampers your mental clarity, which may cause you to lose focus, particularly later in the day. It is especially true if you haven't had enough sleep.

How To Workout To Achieve Your Goals

Condensing the lengthy response into the brief form everyone is looking for is doable. If you want to put on muscle, you should start running. If you want to develop your aerobic and endurance abilities, save your running until last.

In essence, the type of physical activity you perform at the end of your workout triggers a more robust adaptive reaction in your body. Therefore, a training session that ends with weightlifting will promote muscular growth more effectively, whilst a training session that ends with running will strengthen your body's capacity for aerobic exercise. Both of these benefits will come from the training session.

Resistance training first depletes your body's glycogen reserves, forcing your body to dig into fat stores as you begin a cardiovascular exercise programme if weight loss or muscle building are more important to you than performance. If this is the case for you, consider beginning your resistance training immediately after beginning your cardiovascular exercise programme. To put it another way, increasing your cardio at the end of your workout will make it more effective at burning fat.

Combining the two guiding concepts is another approach that you can take. If you make it your goal throughout your weekly workouts to push your muscles and your heart rate to their limits, you will see rapid weight reduction. You should schedule runs at the beginning of your workouts on three days of the week, and on the remaining two to three days, you should schedule runs at the end of your workouts.

When you're trying to lose weight, adding resistance training to your routine will help you keep your muscle mass even if you're cutting calories. Keep in mind that eating a diet heavy in calories, rather than physically lifting itself, is the primary cause of women acquiring bulk due to lifting weights. If you replace a few pounds of fat with muscle, your body will maintain a better resting metabolism and an appearance that is more toned and athletic.

Combining aerobic exercise with strength training in the form of interval training is yet another effective strategy for losing weight. It requires alternating between lifting weights and running at various intervals. It will keep you stimulated and raise your heart rate, which is especially beneficial if you struggle with boredom when using the treadmill.

Exercises For Strength And Cardio

The conventional knowledge is that you should undertake your aerobic and weight training on separate days or sessions.

On a typical week, you would perform aerobic exercises on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, and you would perform strength exercises on Tuesday and Friday. On Thursday, recovery exercises such as yoga, stretching, or other similar activities will be performed.

You may also try doing your cardiovascular exercise first thing in the morning and saving your weight training for last. If you want to increase your strength, this allows you to focus on one part of your body one day and then the other part the next day. Again, you may do this on most days of the week.

If, on the other hand, you need help to work exercise into your daily routine, you might perform both strength training and cardiovascular activity during the same workout session. Studies have been done on the topic and discussions to determine whether it is better to practise aerobic activities first, followed by strength training, or the contrary.

There needs to be more evidence to support the benefits of one sequence over another, regardless of whether your purpose is to increase lower body strength, lose fat, grow muscle, or improve your aerobic fitness. The best course of action is to move forward in the order that makes the most sense to you without giving it too much thought.

Which Is Preferable: Pre- Or Post-Strength Work?


Using a helpful chart that the American Council on Exercise supplies, you can determine whether running before or after strength training workouts is more beneficial. It is best to do cardio workouts after strength training rather than the other way around.

Always begin with strength training if you want to get leaner, reduce weight, or are more concerned with boosting your strength. Strength training is the foundation of all other fitness goals. If you're only working out your upper body, you can choose whatever activity to do first. However, strength training should come first if you're working out your lower body.

In addition to the objectives you have set for yourself, you should consider the specifics of your exercise routine. For example, do you prefer lifting weights but despise running as exercise? Or, would you rather walk a lot instead of regularly lifting weights to improve your fitness level? You are almost certainly an example of the second group.

If this is the case, you should give some thought to performing strength training first the majority of the time so that you may get the job you despise done first and then move on to the pursuit that brings you the greatest pleasure. If you switch the jobs that you're doing, you'll have a lot less energy to lift weights.

If you want the best of both worlds, one method you should consider is running for five to fifteen minutes before lifting weights. It can provide you with the benefits of both types of workouts. This short run will help your muscles become more mobile by increasing their range of motion. In addition, strength training can reduce the risk of you being injured and make it easier for you to engage in tough strength sessions.

Before Working Out With Weights, You Do Cardio

The order in which you finish each workout component will be determined by the priorities and goals you set for yourself. For example, if you want to feed your muscles' growth, you must undertake resistance training before doing cardio. You may not be able to grow muscle if you begin your workout with weight training and then move on to cardiovascular exercise.

If you tyre yourself out with cardiovascular exercise before you even start lifting weights, you won't be able to perform at your peak for the weightlifting portion of your workout. It can hinder your performance, and lifting when fresh makes it impossible to complete as many repetitions or sets or lift as much weight as you normally would.

It is extremely important since increasing the weight you lift is one of the most important aspects of gaining strength and muscle. Ensure that you are constantly challenging your body to work harder by doing so with time. If you finish your cardio before a workout and then find that you are unable to lift as much weight as you typically would, you will not be able to overload your muscles effectively gradually.

What should be substituted:

Continue to perform your weightlifting exercises first thing in the morning, and save your cardio until after completing your weightlifting workout. You will be able to improve your performance and, as a result, your outcomes while simultaneously gaining the benefits of both options. In addition, make sure you warm up and cool down at the beginning and end of each workout session.

Why Should I Take Up Running After Weight Lifting?

After a weightlifting session, going for a run is one of the best things you can do to ensure that the strength gains you achieved during the workout stick with you. In addition, you may speed up the recovery of the muscles you worked out by providing them with additional oxygen and nutrients after your workout.

You will not only be able to enhance your running technique to some degree, but you will also develop healthy strength and have plenty of time to rest, promoting your overall physical fitness. In addition, running after weightlifting can help you improve your running technique.

To wrap things up, the exercise that you save for last in your workout routine will have the most significant effect on your body. Running at the end of the race will help strengthen your body's aerobic endurance, which every runner strives to do.


If you like to absorb information more visually, you should watch this video, where much of the information we cover in this essay is summarised. Moreover, it features animated characters and objects, sure to keep you entertained!

When it comes down to it, jogging after strength training is typically preferred to running before it. The only exception to this rule is if you are training for a race and need to raise your speed and total distance. Most of the time, the greatest physical advantages come from running after something. Although it is often overlooked, strength training is vital to getting stronger at running. It is true regardless of the training approach you choose. To build more muscle, you need to make an effort to devote more time to your workout routine.

After weightlifting, can jogging slow muscle recovery?

Running after weightlifting without enough rest and nutrition can slow muscle recovery. Running, especially long-distance or intensive running, stresses muscles and requires recovery. Post-workout diet should include a balanced meal or snack with protein and carbohydrates to restore energy and repair muscles.

Should I alternate running and weightlifting days?

Running and weightlifting on the same or different days depends on your fitness objectives, schedule, and preferences. Both can work. If you do them on the same day, prioritise one to avoid weariness. Weightlifting can be followed by a moderate-intensity run. Alternating days between jogging and weightlifting gives each activity enough healing time.

How long should I wait before running after lifting weights?

The duration you should wait before running after lifting weights depends on various factors such as your fitness level, intensity of workouts, and personal recovery capacity. As a general guideline, it is advisable to wait at least 6-12 hours before engaging in intense cardio exercises like running after a weightlifting session. This timeframe allows your muscles to recover, reducing the risk of injury and optimizing performance in both activities.

Running after weightlifting affects performance?

Running too soon after weightlifting can hurt your performance. Running depletes energy and tiredness. Weightlifting and jogging should be done on different days or separated by several hours to maximise performance. This lets your body rest and refuel.

For fat loss, should I run or lift weights?

Running and weightlifting are best for fat loss. Running burns calories and improves cardiovascular health, while weightlifting builds muscle and boosts metabolism. These two activities synergistically boost fat loss and body composition. Fat loss is best achieved by combining aerobic and weight training.

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