Cardio Before or After Weights?

Published on 9 May 2024 at 13:15

The decision to do cardio before or after weights can depend on your fitness goals. Here are some considerations to help you decide!

Cardio Before Weights

🔥 Warm-up Effect: Doing cardio first can serve as a warm-up for your muscles, increasing blood flow and body temperature, which may help prevent injury during weightlifting.

⚡️ Energy Reserves: Starting with cardio can deplete your energy reserves, which might impact the intensity and performance of your weightlifting session.

❤️ Focus on Cardiovascular Endurance: If your primary goal is to improve cardiovascular endurance or burn more calories, starting with cardio can help you achieve this.

Weights Before Cardio

💪 Power Up for Strength: Lift weights first to unleash your power and focus on building muscle strength and definition.

🌟 Keep the Gains: Prioritize muscle growth and preservation by lifting when you're fresh and at your strongest.

🏋️‍♂️ Finish Strong: Save cardio for after weights to cool down and finish your workout feeling accomplished and ready to conquer the day.


🔄 Training Focus:

Cardio Focus: If improving cardiovascular endurance, aerobic capacity, or overall stamina is your primary goal, starting with cardio can be beneficial. It allows you to prioritize this aspect of fitness without being fatigued from weightlifting.

Strength Focus: On the other hand, if building muscle strength, increasing power, or focusing on resistance training is your main objective, starting with weights when you're fresh may be more effective.

⏱️ Time and Availability:

Consider your schedule and the time you have available for workouts. If you prefer to get cardio out of the way first or have limited time, starting with cardio might be practical.

Alternatively, if you prefer to save the cardio for the end as a cool-down or if you have more energy later in your workout, doing weights first could be preferable.

🔥 Fatigue and Performance:

Cardiovascular exercise can be physically taxing and may impact your energy levels for weightlifting if done beforehand. Conversely, weightlifting can also be demanding and may affect your performance in cardio exercises if done post-weightlifting.

Consider how your body responds to each type of exercise and prioritize the one that you feel you can give your best effort to during your workout.

🍎 Nutrition Timing:

Your meal timing and nutrition before exercise can play a role. Some people prefer doing cardio on an empty stomach (fasted cardio) for fat burning purposes, while others may benefit from having a small meal/snack before lifting weights to provide energy and support muscle growth.

Experiment with different meal timings to see what works best for you in relation to your workout order.

💪 Combining Both:

Another option is to incorporate both cardio and weights into your workout routine throughout the week. For example, you can alternate days where you focus more on cardio and other days where you prioritize weightlifting.

Additionally, consider incorporating circuit training or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts that combine cardio and resistance exercises for a comprehensive and time-efficient workout.

Ultimately, the best approach depends on your individual goals, preferences, and how your body responds to different workout sequences. Don't hesitate to experiment and adjust your routine based on what feels most effective and enjoyable for you!

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