Cardio before weight training may aid in muscle mass gain. They discovered them. The men’s muscles teemed with proteins and genetic markers known to assist stimulate muscle development after their solitary weight training session. Those identical chemicals were present after the cycling exertion, but they were joined by other proteins and gene activity linked with greater endurance.
In effect, following the dual workout, the men’s muscles were ready to grow in both size and stamina, with no indication that cycling interfered with lifting at a molecular level. Instead, it appeared that the aerobic activity widened and amplified the predicted advantages of weight training.
“The most intriguing finding is that some biochemical factors elicited by leg endurance exercise entered the bloodstream and were then able to influence processes in a completely different group of muscles, and in a way that appears to be beneficial for training adaptations in the arms,” Dr. Moberg said. “It’s almost as though the leg endurance workout was being transferred to the arms to some extent.”
He also mentioned that the men lifted the same amount of weight in both arm workouts. Their arms were not weary from hard cycling with their legs.
“The report is fantastic,” said Dr. Michael Joyner, a physiologist and anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who was not involved in the research. Its discovery that “legs may have primed increased activation of important biochemical pathways in the arms is a nice bit of brain candy,” he added.
Of course, this research, like so many others, involved exclusively men. “However, there is no solid reason to believe the consequences would be any different in women,” Dr. Moberg said, adding that he and his colleagues intend to include women in future tests with fewer biopsies. This was likewise a short-term research that looked at endurance exercise before weight training rather than the other way around. Previous research suggests that lifting early has little effect, for better or worse, on aerobic activity afterwards. However, those studies concentrated on legs, so it remains to be seen whether strengthening your arms before cardio is as beneficial as the other way around.