Cardio Fitness

Does Cardio After Lifting Kill Gains – Strength Training Guide

Does Cardio After Lifting Kill Gains

Cardio is one of the best exercises one can do to maintain and lose fat. Even those who want to gain muscle mass can practice cardio without any fear of burning their muscle. However, what everyone fears are that cardio might result in loss of muscle mass, they think that cardio kills gains which is possible. However, there are ways to avoid it and we will soon get to it. Let’s go through our guide ” Does cardio After Lifting Kill Gains ” in depth.

Cardio is a physical exercise also known as aerobic exercise in which you move from a slow-intensity exercise to a high-intensity level that depends mainly on the aerobic energy-generating procedure. Aerobic exercise directs the use of oxygen to meet energy demands during cardio via aerobic metabolism sufficiently. Cardio is referred to as any kind of workout that gets your heart momentum up and keeps it up for a lengthy period. Your respiratory tract system will begin working harder as you start to breathe quicker and more intensely.  

Does Cardio After Lifting Kill Gains Does Cardio Burn Muscle


Does Cardio Burn Muscle Many people have this absurd idea in their minds that doing even a bit of cardio will burn their muscle mass. However, they are wrong about cardio muscle loss. When people express their opinions that cardio “burns” muscle, what they imply is that cardio halts down the contractile proteins that build up your muscles. If done properly with a controlled diet cardio muscle can help build muscle. 

To some extent, they are right. Cardio can become the reason for your muscle burn. . . if you do practically follow a bad diet and training, then too much cardio muscle loss is possible. 

What you will learn in this article is that cardio does not hinder your gains if you eat enough and train properly. Additionally, what cardio does is, will enhance your cardiovascular health, decrease your chances of heart disease, cancer, and cognitive decline, make it possible and easier to get lean, help with muscle-building cardio and also enhance your performance in the gym.  

In other words, if you avoid the blunders mentioned in the next few paragraphs, you will build muscle and stability even if you continue doing cardio, without killing your gains.

Doing Cardio Instead Of Lifting Weights: Although many people reproach cardio for resulting in muscle loss, a lack of weightlifting is the major reason for muscle loss. Lifting heavy weights is what builds muscle and if your major focus is cardio then there is no way you will build muscle. However, doing both, and prioritizing lifting weights can ensure growth in muscle mass for you.

Doing Cardio As Part Of A Crash Diet: Most people who follow a crash diet along with high-intensity cardio end up losing tons of fat and becoming skinny quickly. They have a low-calorie intake, and this works exceptionally well for them. However, with fat, they also ended up losing their muscle. While they lost weight quickly, they were also losing large amounts of muscle and wound up looking skinny and fat. Now when this transpires, people often blame cardio. Never mind the severe calorie restriction (which was the reason for muscle loss ) or scarcity of protein. It was “all” cardio’s fault. The bottom line is that drastic calorie restriction of any kind—whether it is achieved through eating less, doing excessive cardio, or a combination of both — is the major reason for muscle loss, which is further increased if you do not lift weights. This is the responsibility of careless calorie restriction, not cardio.

Running Too Much: Can running burn muscle? Yes, if done excessively it can. It is true that of all sorts of cardio, running seems to be uniquely adverse to gaining muscle (hypertrophy). Running causes additional muscle damage than any other forms of cardio, like rowing, cycling, and swimming, which interferes with muscle build-up in two ways: 

It immensely advances muscle protein breakdown during and after the running sessions, which makes it difficult for your body to make new muscle proteins.

 It induces disproportionately more fatigue than other kinds of exercise, which can impede your strength training workouts.

However, it does not mean you have to stop running. You can do both, lifting and running, while focusing a bit more on weight lifting. Additionally, you should increase your calorie intake as well to prevent muscle shrinkage. Precisely, a good rule of thumb is not to do more than two-to-three hours of running each week and make certain that you do your running and lower-body weightlifting on different days. 

Doing Too Much Cardio At One Time: Adding how much total cardio you do each week, the period of your best cardio workouts also affects your capacity to build muscle. Many studies have shown that a practical way to avoid the adverse effects of cardio on muscle growth is to restrict most of your workouts to less than an hour. Remember, that doing more than an hour does not automatically “catalyst” muscle breakdown, but simply increases the risk of hindering your proficiency in building muscle.

Doing Exhausting Cardio Immediately Before, During, Or After Lifting Weights: Ultimately, the final mistake many people make when merging weightlifting and cardio is blending both kinds of training into the same workout. For example, many people will do about 30 minutes of cardio directly before or after weightlifting, and others intersperse bouts of weightlifting and cardio in the same workout. Neither of these strategies is ideal.

Doing cardio instantly or even a few hours before lifting weights makes it hard to perform at your finest in the gym, which usually results in more undersized muscle growth over time.  

Doing cardio instantly after lifting weights is less detrimental, but can also hinder muscle growth by exhausting some of the anabolic (muscle-building) signals from strength training.  We do not require to get into the details of how this works, but it is commonly best to abstain from cardio instantly after lifting weights to let the adaptations from power training sink in.  

 Despite that, if the only time you can do cardio is directly after lifting, do not sweat it. Research indicates that as long as you keep your cardio workouts fairly brief and low-intensity, this should not get in the way of muscle building.  

Doing cardio at the wrong times can intervene with your body’s muscle-building agents. Keep in mind that not all cardio is complicated. Walking 10-to-20 minutes to the gym is not going to harm your gains. Doing an intense 30-minute workout and stamping from the treadmill to the squat rack will. Now you know cardio and muscle loss are not responsible for each other. 

Does Cardio After Lifting Affect Gains

Does Cardio After Lifting Affect Gains  If you have questions Will cardio affect my gains? then read further to know about your question. Cardio after lifting can affect gains. It could reduce your potential muscle growth. All in all, performing cardio after lifting weights, or better, after a minimum of 6 hours after lifting weights. You should stick to mainly low-impact cardio such as cycling, the elliptical with incline or walking to preserve your recovery and energy for lifting.    

Frequently Asked Questions

It is a fitness myth that cardio compels your muscles to shrink up or prevent them from developing. What is essential, however, is that cardio does not limit your capacity to perform strength training. Equally, healing is key for muscle growth, so make sure you are not overtraining, and are giving your muscles time to heal.
Most fitness professionals will recommend you to do the cardio after the weight training because if you do cardio sooner, it utilizes much of the power source for your anaerobic work (strength training) and it also fatigues the muscles before their most severe activity.
Muscle training is important for body recomposition. With lifting as your focus, it is reasonable to do it first, heeded by 25-30 minutes of cardio if you have time.


Cardio does not kill gains until and unless done excessively or with an improper diet. I hope you now know that doing cardio is not only safe but also incredibly healthy for you and you also know about does cardio kill gains. It not only makes you leaner but allows you to grow muscles faster. Muscle cardio is not that bad. If done properly cardio to build muscle is entirely possible. Cardio is better if done after lifting weights as it saves energy for hard-core lifting. Cardio also makes sure to reduce the danger of cancer, heart attacks, and other diseases; saving you from the trouble of medicines. It enhances your metabolism and immune system making you healthier as a whole. Hopefully, you now understand, with proper knowledge in mind anyone can benefit from cardio, the key is to keep a nutritious diet rather than a calorie deficit if you are looking forward to gaining muscle. 

About the author

Amelia Robert

My name is Amelia Robert, and I am the co-founder and author of the website For the past seven years, I’ve been a certified personal trainer. I am really passionate about assisting women and men in achieving sustainability and happiness in their lifestyles, all while making progress in their own fitness journeys! My goal is to deliver the most accurate information in a way that motivates you to take an active role in your health and fitness journey.

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