Cardio before lifting?

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    Mar 16, 2008 2:30 PM GMT
    I usually like to stretch and do my cardio before I lift. For some reason I always just kind of figured that's best for your body. Gets the heartrate up and the blood going....

    The other day I was at the gym and this guy just randomly started talking to me about 'workouts' in general and asked what I did.

    After talking for a few minutes (while lifting...that annoys me icon_evil.gif ) He started saying how it was better to lift first, then do cardio.

    That didn't make sense to me, and I started to wonder where he got his information. Then I thought, "what if he's right?"

    So I'm asking all of you RealJocks out there... Is it better to do one before the other? Does it even matter?
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    Mar 16, 2008 2:58 PM GMT
    So I've heard of cardio before lifting (like for 15 minutes or so) because it gets your blood pumping to your muscles. Can't think of why you would do it afterwards... maybe as a cool-down? I guess I never heard of that.
    I think if you're doing cardio for extended periods of time (over 30 minutes), it makes more sense to just break that out into its own routine.
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    Mar 16, 2008 3:16 PM GMT
    Whats yuor goal is the question? if your goal is to get cardio fit and maintain some reasonable muscle then run first. If your goal is to add muscle and keep your CV ability up then run after. Whatever you do first is going to take the biggest amount of energy and therefor the secondary item will be submaximal.

    Either way you should always thro in 5 minutes CV to get the blood pumping rather than start lifting with cold unstretched muscles
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    Mar 16, 2008 4:14 PM GMT
    Your workouts require something called glycogen, or fuel. If you burn off and use up your short term fuel first, you'll have little to give when it comes to your muscles.

    The fuel your muscles need for a weight training workout is different from the potential fuel sources you can use when doing cardio activities.

    When you do your cardio AFTER your weight training sessions, you are warmed up and have a better chance at using fat as a fuel source over glycogen.

    But better yet and if you can, do cardio on opposite days of your weight training.
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    Mar 16, 2008 4:15 PM GMT
    What bfg1 said, sort of.
    Current thinking is that you definitely need to warm up before lifting, but not stretch. Stretching out a muscle before lifting is now believed to cause a greater chance of injury. Warm up, work out, then stretch.

    If you do your cardio first, you will not have the energy reserves for an intense weight training session. The weight training will be submaximal (as bfg1 stated above).

    If you warm up then do your weight training, your muscles will be tired yes, but they will still be able to do cardio since the demand usually isn't as great as required for weight training (most often it is steady, not explosive as required for weights). Therefore your cardio workout won't be as negatively affected.

    Ideally, you would do cardio and weight training at different times and do interval cardio training that is just as intense as a weight routine, but I realize that for many people this just isn't possible. You can also try circuit training--combining the best of both worlds for the time challenged individual.
  • GQjock

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    Mar 16, 2008 7:46 PM GMT
    Fitguy is right...

    You're doing yourself a disservice by doing cardio
    before doing your weights

    Look at cardio as a breakdown process
    it works the muscles but does it in a negative way that makes them more resilient in the future
    weight training builds them up through a process called hypertrophy...
    the yin and the yang all in the same day will get you goin no where
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    Mar 16, 2008 8:06 PM GMT
    fitguymike saidStretching out a muscle before lifting is now believed to cause a greater chance of injury. Warm up, work out, then stretch.

    Yep, but nobody seems to believe this. I've had the nerve to tell a few acquaintances at my gym this and they think I'm out of my mind. A much better warm up is doing lighter sets of each exercise prior to doing the "growth set."

    I do cardio after weights because the lifting raises my HR and makes getting in the "zone" easier than doing it before lifting.
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    Mar 16, 2008 8:11 PM GMT
    for me, i always do cardio first. mainly because when im done lifting i need to fuel my muscles immediately, so i run, lift, then drink my shake. i couldn't lift, drink my shake, then run. my stomach would not like that at all.
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    Mar 16, 2008 9:03 PM GMT
    Here's my routine if anyone is interested.

    I start our with "cardio":

    Jumping Jacks/Push Ups/Crunches
    OR
    T-Pushups/Squat Thrusts/Jump Squats
    OR
    Plank/Push Ups/Jump Squats.

    I do as many sets within a set 15 minute time limit - breaks depend on how long I need to catch my breath so it may be long or short. I vary the number of reps each time but it is always at least 10. I normally get in about 6-8 sets. Its a great warmup and way to get the body ready...for me at least.

    Next I Lift for 45 Minutes. I normally focus on one or two muscle groups at a time. So for example this week went:

    Day 1 - Shoulders
    Day 2 - Bicep/Tricep
    Day 3 - Chest
    Rest
    Day 4 - Back
    Day 5 - Lower Body (including abs)
    Rest

    Finally I do 30 minutes on the bike/spin bike. So in an hour and a half I have a great workout...and a shake waiting for me in the car. (I try to do about 300-400 g's of protein per day and NO XPlod is obviously a good friend of mine haha)

    This has been working pretty well for me. Maybe it will work for others too.
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    Mar 16, 2008 9:58 PM GMT
    Right now I prefer to get my cardio out of the way, then stretch and do circuit training. In the past I have done the circuit before cardio, and it doesn't really seem to make much of a difference for me--but then again I am not trying to bulk up. YMMV.
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    Mar 16, 2008 10:10 PM GMT
    I do cardio now before any workout but only 20 minutes. I just changed my routine so I'll keep track of the progress and tell you about it later. The idea is to get a good warm up before I start lifting and get into the fat burning stage during the workout.
    I'm starting to cut for summer, doing lower weight and high reps, we'll see how this works.
    Great workouts
    Joe
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    Mar 18, 2008 6:00 PM GMT
    I have always been given the advice to do cardio AFTER lifting, to reserve glycogen stores for use during lifting. Assuming you want to add muscle.
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    Mar 18, 2008 6:37 PM GMT
    maxx10 saidI do cardio now before any workout but only 20 minutes. I just changed my routine so I'll keep track of the progress and tell you about it later. The idea is to get a good warm up before I start lifting and get into the fat burning stage during the workout.
    Joe


    This I do, too. I have a deskjob, so I do the cardio + stretching (20 minutes total) to limber up. :-)
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    Mar 18, 2008 6:44 PM GMT
    I read once, years ago, (so i'm sure there are now 7 studies that say otherwise) that cardio AFTER lifting burns more calories. ::shrugs::
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    Mar 18, 2008 6:51 PM GMT
    stretching before working out is actually more likely to injure tissue.

    cardio before weight training eats up the fuel source that weight training uses. weight training uses fast fuel - glycogen.

    cardio is capable of using both fast fuels and slow fuels.

    i recommend only doing a short warmup before doing your training just to get your system moving. i would rather suggest you do your full cardio on alternate days.

    if you do extensive cardio right after weight training, you're depriving your body of refueling in that golden hour and you're definitely running the risk of actually eating more muscle mass as your cardio fuel.
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    Mar 18, 2008 6:54 PM GMT
    Rocco, that's my understanding.
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    Mar 18, 2008 10:07 PM GMT
    obscenewish said[quote][cite]fitguymike said[/cite]Stretching out a muscle before lifting is now believed to cause a greater chance of injury. Warm up, work out, then stretch.

    Yep, but nobody seems to believe this. I've had the nerve to tell a few acquaintances at my gym this and they think I'm out of my mind. A much better warm up is doing lighter sets of each exercise prior to doing the "growth set."

    I do cardio after weights because the lifting raises my HR and makes getting in the "zone" easier than doing it before lifting.[/quote]

    depends if you are sitting on your bum all day, even a warm up set not shown to be of that great a value.

    Cardio to get the blood pumping and a gentle stretch is not problematic but if you spend so long stretching that your heart rate has gone down then it aint good
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    Mar 18, 2008 10:11 PM GMT
    FirefighterBlu3 said

    if you do extensive cardio right after weight training, you're depriving your body of refueling in that golden hour and you're definitely running the risk of actually eating more muscle mass as your cardio fuel.


    Bearing in mind that its all about what you ate 3 hours before thats more relevant I think we have a propensity to overplay the golden hour. Granted as blood is pumping faster then absorption occurs at a greater rate but thats more about releasing the nutrition already digested.

    For mist guys they are trying to bulk and create an excess in their diet then you ahev to ask why are they running after the weights anyway as all they are doing is burning what they needed for growth.
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    Mar 18, 2008 10:21 PM GMT
    OK, after reading all of this, no wonder I look like I do! Damn, doesn't someone have the definitive answer to this question? Where's that book with all the answers. I think I'll stick to a short warm up and lifting (not that my lifting is going to hurt much of anything) and do cardio on an entirely separate day.

    Whew, I'm sweating already just trying to figure out what I'm suppose to do to sweat!
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    Mar 18, 2008 10:30 PM GMT
    eb925guy saidOK, after reading all of this, no wonder I look like I do! Damn, doesn't someone have the definitive answer to this question? Where's that book with all the answers. I think I'll stick to a short warm up and lifting (not that my lifting is going to hurt much of anything) and do cardio on an entirely separate day.

    Whew, I'm sweating already just trying to figure out what I'm suppose to do to sweat!


    Its easy Eb just make sure you get a calorie deficit save the running for a 5 min warm up and a 5 min warm down, nail down the diet and hit the weights hard and heavy. Then you will have the boys drooling on your 6 pack

    12 weeks 24lbs down
    further 10 weeks 18-20 lbs

    You will be as fit as a butchers dog icon_wink.gif
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    Mar 18, 2008 10:37 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]bfg1 said

    Its easy Eb just make sure you get a calorie deficit save the running for a 5 min warm up and a 5 min warm down, nail down the diet and hit the weights hard and heavy. Then you will have the boys drooling on your 6 pack

    12 weeks 24lbs down
    further 10 weeks 18-20 lbs

    You will be as fit as a butchers dog icon_wink.gif[/quote]

    Wow bfg, I didn't realize it would be that easy! LOL Well, after reading one of the other threads I'm trying on the calorie deficit. Let's see today was oatmeal, banana, celery w/peant butter and an avocado. The only reason I'm alive now is the cup of coffee I had! Hmmm....actually I think I'll fix another. LOL
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    Mar 18, 2008 10:42 PM GMT
    eb925guy said[quote][cite]bfg1 said

    Its easy Eb just make sure you get a calorie deficit save the running for a 5 min warm up and a 5 min warm down, nail down the diet and hit the weights hard and heavy. Then you will have the boys drooling on your 6 pack

    12 weeks 24lbs down
    further 10 weeks 18-20 lbs

    You will be as fit as a butchers dog icon_wink.gif


    Wow bfg, I didn't realize it would be that easy! LOL Well, after reading one of the other threads I'm trying on the calorie deficit. Let's see today was oatmeal, banana, celery w/peant butter and an avocado. The only reason I'm alive now is the cup of coffee I had! Hmmm....actually I think I'll fix another. LOL[/quote]

    It is that easy but peanut butter and avocado dont make it easy Not sure what time of day it is there probably early afternoon in which case I would ask where are your lunch time carbs its no wonder you are hungry!
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    Mar 18, 2008 11:04 PM GMT
    Thank you all for the advice!! It would certainly explain why I don't put on muscle as fast as other people. I eat like a freakin' horse - but also have a metabolism faster than anything. I'm probably burning everything off before I've even completed a set! UGH! icon_redface.gif
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    Mar 18, 2008 11:05 PM GMT
    I do cardio after I lift cause if you do it the other way around, you are more likely to die.

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    Mar 18, 2008 11:28 PM GMT
    yeh but Boston going by your name Volleyball players tend to be more on the lean side dont they as you dont want to be running round with tonnes of muscle and you must burn huge amounts in a game all that explosive jumping