Cardio Before or After?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 08, 2011 8:38 PM GMT
    I recently read in Men's Health that people who preform the cardio portion of their workout after weight training lost weight faster than those who did cardio beforehand. I was wondering if anyone has tried this approach and saw results?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 09, 2011 1:53 AM GMT
    I've always done it this way.

    Why would I want to do cardio first and get sweaty and then do weights? Being sweaty on the machines or bench? No thank you.
  • Halcyonz

    Posts: 157

    Mar 09, 2011 2:05 AM GMT
    Blah Blah Blah. There is study after study after study as to when to do cardio. The most important thing out of ALL of these damn articles is that you DO THE CARDIO. Most people have a problem just doing that part.

    It does matter to a certain extent though. The best time for cardio can be after you work out or it can be in the evening or it can be first thing in the morning. The main factor that determines any of those is when your body has used up its glycogen stores (fuel). It will turn to burning fat instead of burning the carbohydrates. For most people, this is first thing in the morning since you've not eaten. Some people this can be after a workout when you've used your glycogen for energy during the workout. Just depends! And obviously this is really broad, but that's the gist of it.
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    Mar 09, 2011 1:12 PM GMT
    People who burn more calories than they consume will lose weight.
    People who don't, won't.
    It's that simple.
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    Mar 09, 2011 8:36 PM GMT
    or

    avoid cardio when doing resistance training ,
    keep the cardio for the other days.

    or

    do circuit training.

  • FcukYea

    Posts: 37

    Apr 25, 2011 1:59 PM GMT
    I do it after till im bout to fall over
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 738

    Apr 25, 2011 2:02 PM GMT
    I like to split it up. Generally, cardio in morning and weights in the evening. That way, I can give both as much intensity as possible.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 25, 2011 2:05 PM GMT
    Always after just works better for me.
  • FcukYea

    Posts: 37

    May 11, 2011 6:29 PM GMT
    I do 8 before to loosen up and 30-60 mins after to kick my ass.... I know unhealty so sue me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 11, 2011 6:38 PM GMT
    Halcyonz saidBlah Blah Blah. There is study after study after study as to when to do cardio. The most important thing out of ALL of these damn articles is that you DO THE CARDIO. Most people have a problem just doing that part.

    It does matter to a certain extent though. The best time for cardio can be after you work out or it can be in the evening or it can be first thing in the morning. The main factor that determines any of those is when your body has used up its glycogen stores (fuel). It will turn to burning fat instead of burning the carbohydrates. For most people, this is first thing in the morning since you've not eaten. Some people this can be after a workout when you've used your glycogen for energy during the workout. Just depends! And obviously this is really broad, but that's the gist of it.


    More specifically, lower blood sugar leads to more fat burn, but, only to an extent. Failure to consume adequate calories causes the famine response which results in what I call "skinny fat." (Resultant of a catabolic state and slowed metabolism.) To stay lean, you need plenty of calories to sustain intense activity, AND you need to regulate the insulin response so that your body tends not to store fat.

    Burning more calories than you consume will cause you to lose weight...but...if you don't have resistance training, and enough calories, you'll end up losing muscle mass which will make it harder to stay lean. More muscle means more calories burned at rest (only muscle burns calories just sitting there), so, it's easier to stay lean if you have more muscle.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 11, 2011 6:40 PM GMT
    I do it before... my dad who is a weight trainer at the local gym said cardio gets your blood pumping and muscles more relaxed so when you are lifting weights it won't be as tense.

    Which is good... it is similar to the concept of stretching before... except stretching gets your body more flexible and loose so you don't sprain or twist anything.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 11, 2011 6:52 PM GMT
    I totally mix it in all through the workout because I'm 44 (soon to be 45) and it stokes my metabolism.

    I do 20 min of Arc Trainer or elliptical
    Work a body part hard and heavy
    then 20 more min of cardio
    Work a body part a little lighter
    then a final 20 cardio, often times swimming.

  • james716

    Posts: 73

    May 12, 2011 3:38 AM GMT
    Ben Greenfield debunked the no morning glycogen so you're gonna burn fat instead thing.

    I forget exactly but I'll write what I took from it.


    Ok say you workout before breakfast and your glycogen levels are low. Since your body isn't working with carbs it will go right for the fat. However after your workout you'll need to eat and you'll be eating carbs which your body will then convert into glycogen and store as fat because you aren't using it. Basically the results are the same if you eat or not. Like the breakfast you didn't eat. had you, you wouldve had those carbs and wouldn't have gone for the fat so you're essentially equal (short term)

    he does say cardio on an empty stomach has some benefit (I forget what tho so sorry..I think it had something to do with jump starting metabolism) but that you should always eat before weights.

    Again, I think it all boils down to just do the work and eat correctly. Fussing over what will burn 2% more calories probably isn't worth the time especially considering there are just too many freakin variables. Do what you believe and what makes you feel good, leave the rest to the scientists.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 12, 2011 3:41 AM GMT
    That's what I hear. You can expend more blood glucose lifting for a more intense workout, then run off fat calories afterwards.
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    Jun 01, 2011 1:30 AM GMT
    I typically do 15 mins of medium intensity stuff before the workout. then after lifting I finish off the workout with 1 hour to an hour and a half of High Intensity eliptical machine keeping my HR in the 140-155 range. I don't know if this is really helping anything or not, but I've gotten into the habit now and it's not as punishing as other people seem to think it is
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    Jun 01, 2011 8:04 PM GMT
    Oh, also, I've found that doing cardio after a workout makes me less sore afterwards. Does anyone else find this?
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    Jun 01, 2011 8:09 PM GMT
    I've always been a tidy slim guy, but when I go to the gym I stretch, do a 20 minute run on the treadmill before, without a cool down; workout then do 20 minute run with a cool down and stretch again. Sure I may get sweaty, but I'm not lazy, I got a towel and a spray bottle of sanitizer available to me at the gym; which I use before and after using every machine. I haven't had a weight problem before, so maybe I'm doing something right. After all, they do call me a skinny bitch.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 01, 2011 8:26 PM GMT
    I do my cardio before. The main reason is that it makes sense to me. When your heart rate is elevated/the longer you keep your heart rate elevated the more calories you burn. So after my quick 20 min cardio warm up, my heart rate is elevated and only continues to stay elevated throughout my weight training.
    I've also been told you have to be careful with this because if your not use to this or if you have not consumed enough calories throughout the day you can get tired quicker which I have experianced. I say whatever works for you man.
    Bottom line the more you workout and eat healthy the better you will look/feel. The key is repetition. I have to agree with Halcyonz the important thing is that you just DO THE CARDIO.

    Side note:
    In order to continue to make a profit, the workout/health magazines have to come up with new things to say so we consumers keep buying their stuff. I would be causious on taking what these magazins say as your new workout bible. For example.... oh you should eat carrots because they're great filler veggies and good for your memory and eyes vs. carrots are full of sugar and don't offer that much to the body and will only hinder your diet.
    Or this year we are learning that we have been preparing pork inccorectly for the past century. Will I be suprized if 2 years from now we'll see that "opps we've got it all wrong again and need to reverse everything we've been doing for the past 2,5 or 10 years"....Not really. icon_smile.gif
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    Jun 01, 2011 9:05 PM GMT
    First of all depending of what weights workout you do, cardio is not required at all when it comes to training the two most important muscles( heart and lungs).
    I work the heart and lungs pretty hard when i do heavy squats and deadlifts.

    For fat loss, cardio is the least efficient way. However, if you already do weights and want to do a little more go from HIIT to low intensity cardio, depending on your fitness level.

    I have read that when it comes to fat loss one should take an "all out war" approach to it.
    Meaning do all you can do in a month or two starting with your diet, weights, HIIT, cardio then return to moderation.

    This made sense to me. Fat loss dieting and training regimen is not a lifestyle! You push your body hard while you deprive it of normal calories needed to even maintain it!!! That is not a situation you want to stay in for too long.

    If fat loss is not the purpose; the best would be in the days you don't work out.

    If you do it before the workout you're just depleting the body of energy required for the workout.

    If you do it after workout you may put the body in a catabolic state.

    If your weights training is light then you don't really need cardio as that is considered cardio.

    I hope I covered most for the scenarios. If not please, feel free to add.
    This is assuming cardio in addition to weight training.
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    Jun 01, 2011 10:18 PM GMT
    theantler saidI recently read in Men's Health that people who preform the cardio portion of their workout after weight training lost weight faster than those who did cardio beforehand. I was wondering if anyone has tried this approach and saw results?



    This is a pretty well documented study. IF you're going to do your cardio and weights during the same session, then yes, weights before cardio. However, one of the best ways to really melt the fat off fast is to jump out of bed first thing in the morning and get your ass on a treadmill with an empty stomach. Water and/or black coffee is fine. Then come back that evening and do your weights.