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Does Running After Lifting Ruin Your Workout

author image Andrea Cespedes
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.
Does Running After Lifting Ruin Your Workout
A woman is running through a forest on a trail. Photo Credit: petrunjela/iStock/Getty Images

Your overall fitness goals tell you if you should run after a lift. If building a lot of lean muscle is a priority, such as when training for a bodybuilding competition, you should lift heavy, skip the run altogether and refuel with a combination of protein and carbs right after to take advantage of the anabolic, or muscle-building, window. If you're simply looking to get into good shape, maintain muscle mass and increase your stamina, running after a lift will help you reach these goals. When your priority is running -- maybe you're training for a race -- running after a lift is contrary to your goals and could negatively affect your running workout. Lifting zaps your energy and may make your legs tired so you can't run with ideal form and speed.

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Intensity Considerations

For the average person seeking balanced fitness, a short 20- to 30-minute easy-paced run after a lift may enhance recovery. The American Council on Exercise points out that a run can increase circulation, thus providing more oxygen and nutrients to worked muscles. At the same time, a run expedites the flushing out of muscular waste accrued during your lift.

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