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RUNNING BEFORE OR AFTER GYM? WHICH IS BETTER?

Publish date 29.08.2022

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RUNNING BEFORE OR AFTER GYM? WHICH IS BETTER?

For some people, the week is too short. Too many responsibilities interfere with daily training. It should be emphasized that for any runner, strength training or stretching is extremely important. If you want to burn body fat you must also think about signing up for a gym. This is an additional activity and a commitment that is difficult to weave into the flurry of daily responsibilities. 

However, if you manage to do it, then the question may arise: What is better – running before or after workout at the gym? Which will bring better results that you will be satisfied with? Would you like to find out? If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we will give you everything you need to know about this topic.

Running before training at the gym – why do it?

1. If you want to lose weight

If you want to burn body fat, it’s a good idea to go to the gym before running. Why? Over time, the body gets used to one stimulus – in this case, running – and does not produce the expected results. This means that it burns calories more slowly. If you don’t start running longer or more intensively, nothing will change. That’s why you can support yourself by going to a gym in addition to your usual workout. Not convinced about it? I think it’s worth a try. You should see for yourself. If it’s not for you, then you can quit the gym at any time 🙂 

2. You want to do a good warm-up 

A run will warm up your muscles, and prepare your joints and circulatory system for your planned intense strength training. If you’re treating the run as part of your warm-up, keep a relaxed pace at first and gradually increase the intensity. After about 5 minutes, you can reach up to 85% of HRmax. This will be an excellent form of exercise and warm-up before the weight training at the gym that you have planned for yourself. 

If you are at the beginning of your adventure with running, then a 10-minute run is enough. A longer run before weight training is not advisable, as it may result in unnecessary loss of energy, which will come in handy at the gym. Remember to do everything in moderation, as overtraining can lead to an unwanted and often painful and long-lasting injury. 

3. Want to boost your endurance? Run before strength training

If your goal is to build endurance, and you want to increase your running time and the length of the distance you cover, then you should start with running. The gym should be in the background. This is especially important if you are preparing for a long run, such as a marathon. 

Are you wondering why? After an intensive workout at the gym, your muscles will already be tired, and you will definitely not run far. What’s more, micro-injuries can occur, and if you don’t take care of them they can lead to more serious injuries. Therefore, if your goal is to focus on endurance, you should start with running and then do some light training at the gym. 

However, the gym is not a bad thing. If you have the opportunity to train at the gym, take advantage of one day a week – take a small load and do exercises with it (focus on a high number of repetitions). It’s always some variety for the body to continue to develop. 

Gym before running - young women doing exercises
Lose weight, boost your endurance and do a good warm-up – Gym before running.

Running after gym – why do it?

1. Building musculature and exposing muscles

Is it better to run before or after workout? If you want to build muscle and expose muscles, then the answer is clear – after. Gym + low body fat = exposed muscles. However, to nullify body fat, you should also include running in your weight training. This will burn off unnecessary calories and give you the muscularity you’ve been working so hard for. However, you have to be careful. You should run properly so that you don’t burn your hard-won muscle tissue. How to do it?

  • Run steadily and use the days off – when you don’t train at the gym. Such a run should not exceed 30 minutes. You should not run intensively, because the body must have time to recover, and if you don’t provide it with this, it will reduce or stop the effect of increased capacity after weight training (i.e. supercompensation).
  • You can run right after the gym, but the run should be no longer than 30 minutes, and your heart rate should not exceed 70% of HRmax.
  • Don’t run every day – we mentioned earlier that the body gets used to the stimulus. If you run frequently, you’ll have to increase the intensity and length – which can be a contributor to muscle burn and more fatigue. 

2. You want to achieve a better result when it comes to running

Runners who already have experience in running, know that in order to get better and better at running you also need to do strength training. If you want to work on your running strength, you should focus at least once a week on appropriate exercises. 

Remember that an increase in running strength is tantamount to an increase in maximum strength, which you will build at the gym. This is why you should spend at least one workout in a fitness club. This will help you improve your dynamics and acceleration. 

Do you want to run faster and faster? You will need to focus not only on your leg muscles, but also on your body and arm muscles. Take a look at sprinters. They are built better than marathoners. They boast a muscular abdomen and nice muscles. 

Such strength training at the gym will be perfect if you plan to run up mountains or over rough terrain. Running uphill requires intense work of fast twitch fibers. These, in turn, you will engage more just in the gym, exercising with heavy weights in small numbers of repetitions (5-6). Such a small number of repetitions will not cause excessive growth of muscle mass, which is not too desirable with running.

Running before or after gym – what you should know?

  • A long run = loss of energy and drop of glycogen in your body. If you want to do strength training afterward, you won’t be able to lift as much weight as normally you would lift. Your strength will drop significantly;
  • After intensive training, run for about 30 minutes and maintain your pulse at about 65% HRmax;
  • Do you run recreationally or for health 2-3 times a week? In this case, it doesn’t matter if you run before or after workout;
  • If you care most about your muscles, then you need to separate the days at the gym and the days you run. Run for no more than 30 minutes. More intense running can lead to less muscle mass;
  • If you combine running and training at the gym (one day), remember that only one activity should be intense;
  • Do cardio no more than 2 times a week – it can contribute to a decrease in muscle mass and strength. 

Running before or after workout – summary 

We hope that now you know the answer to the question: Is it better to run before or after workout? The combination of running and gym will allow you to develop your muscles and motor skills in a more comprehensive way.

What’s more, running and strength training complement each other perfectly. Running training alone won’t build you the strong muscles you need to run from the midfoot, for example. Strength training alone can contribute to the deterioration of your fitness. 

To improve your fitness, strength, and endurance must include:

  • strength training, 
  • running training, 
  • stretching, 
  • recovery.

Running before or after the gym? You have to answer this question for yourself. The most important thing is that you set yourself a training goal. This will help you see what you should focus on. This will make it easier to train every day and bring you closer to achieving your goal. 

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