To get the best results possible, how much rest time do you need between cardio exercise and resistance training?

One recent study has revealed that up to 24-hours recovery between cardio and resistance training exercise is required to lift your heaviest weights.

Lifting your heaviest weights in the gym is vital for rapid progress in any physique transformation. I’ll explain exactly why in a moment…..

The purpose of this study was to determine if aerobic exercise affected performance during a subsequent strength-training session. Different time periods of recovery between the workouts were assessed. Sixteen male subjects participated in this study in which each subject performed a weight lifting workout 4, 8 or 24-hours after a high-intensity aerobic exercise session.

Results showed that both the 4 and 8-hour rest intervals after cardio exercise were not long enough for the bodybuilders to recover and lift their heaviest weights. However, 24-hours recovery ensured that the participants were able to lift their best weights in the gym.

These results have important implications If you want to achieve the best results from the shortest possible amount of time.

A question of strength…..

Performing at your best in the gym – lifting your heaviest weights for a designated rep’ range, is vital for rapid progress. The capacity to activate the molecular mechanisms responsible for muscle gains comes down to recruiting the most muscle fibers (motor units) possible and activation of muscle protein synthesis (the molecular mechanism that builds muscle). This all comes down to one aspect – overload.

See Also:
12 Muscle-Building Mistakes That Will Stop Your Gains Dead in Their Tracks

Therefore, the amount of overload placed on muscle in each workout is a key aspect of rapid results from resistance training. If so, then obviously an individual’s strength will determine the amount of overload applied.

A person’s strength becomes the limiting factor in their potential to build muscle and improve body shape. More particularly, improvements in strength will enable greater overload to be placed on muscles. Gaining strength enables greater overload which in turn provides a new stimulus for muscle growth!

Previously, you may have thought you understood the importance of building strength, but now you know the science-based reason why!

The bottom line, for best results, 24-hours recovery between weight lifting and cardio exercise may be the best strategy for most people. Fitting this into your training schedule is another matter.

Source: The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

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How much rest is required between cardio and resistance training?

by Paul Cribb Ph.D. CSCS. time to read: 2 min