Friday, April 20, 2012

Aerobics: Before or After Weight Training? by Jerry Brainum

Should you do aerobics before or after your weight workout? Many prefer to do their aerobics before lifting to get it out of the way and as a general warmup. A recent study, however, suggests that the best time to do aerobics is after a weight workout and that how long you rest between the two can make a difference in both hormone release and fat oxidation.
Presented at the 2006 ACSM meeting, the study featured 10 healthy men who did three types of exercise regimens on different days:
  1. Endurance exercise only (EE)
  2. Endurance exercise after weight training and a 20-minute rest (RE20)
  3. Endurance exercise after weight training and a 120-minute rest (RE120)
The weight workout consisted of six exercises, each done for three to four sets of 10 reps. The endurance exercise consisted of stationary cycling for an hour at low intensity (50 percent of maximum heart rate).
Doing the weight workout before aerobics led to marked increases in lactate, norepinephrine and growth hormone levels. Before the endurance exercise those in the RE120 group showed the highest levels of free fatty acids in the blood, while those in the RE20 group showed higher levels of norepinephrine and growth hormone. During the endurance and weight exercise, blood levels of free fatty acids and glycerol were higher in both weight groups than in the endurance-only group, meaning that those in both weight groups were burning more fat during the exercise.
The study clearly shows that doing a weight workout before aerobics leads to hormonal changes that favor increased fat oxidation during the subsequent aerobic workout.
Goto, K., et al. (2006). The effects of prior resistance exercise on lipolysis and fat oxidation during subsequent endurance exercise. Med Sci Sports Exer. 38:S545.

©,2012, Jerry Brainum.Any reprinting in any type of media, including electronic and foreign is expressly prohibited.