Cardio BEFORE or AFTER weight training?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 14, 2010 2:11 AM GMT
    I have been given different advice on this, so I am asking you guys whether cardio should be done before or after lifting weights?
    10 minutes of cardio is a good warm-up before lifting, but it also tires you out. 10 min is also pretty short, I was hoping on doing more like 25 min of cardio a day (either running or elliptical).
    Do I really need cardio to warm-up before lifting, or can i just do a full body stretch and do cardio at the end of my workout?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 14, 2010 6:01 AM GMT
    You don't say what you are doing for that 10 minutes of cardio that tires you out so. If you're tired after just 10 minutes, my thought is maybe you should slow down on the weights and really focus on improving your cardiovascular health. But if you're running 2 miles in that 10 minutes, then slow down. Walk for 5-10 minutes at about 3.5 mph to warm up and then go do your weight routine followed by 25 minutes of cardio.

    Very basic, whatever your priority is should be first. If you really want to improve your health focus on cardio.
  • Latenight30

    Posts: 1525

    Jan 14, 2010 11:58 AM GMT
    Cardio is not 10mins. Cardio is about sustained heart rate.
    Do real cardio alternate days 20mins minimum.
  • torontoguy222...

    Posts: 410

    Jan 14, 2010 1:09 PM GMT
    I've always heard that it's best to do any kind of cardio AFTER lifting. The rationale is that cardio before lifting would tire your muscles and would hinder you from fully exerting yourself during your lifting workout. Kinda makes sense to me. If I still have a bit of steam left in the engine I do like 10-15 minutes of interval training AFTER i've lifted. Otherwise I'll dedicate one full day a week (time permitting lol) for cardio.
  • fitjoz

    Posts: 8

    Jan 14, 2010 1:20 PM GMT
    I read an artilcle some time ago that touched the question of what to do first cardio or weight training. It bsically said:

    1.- Not to try do cardio and weight training on the same day.
    2.- If you must do both the same day, try to do one in the morning and the other one in the afternoon
    3.- If you do not have the time to go to the gym twice a day (as most of us) and must do both in the same session, do weight training first and finish with cardio
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 14, 2010 1:23 PM GMT
    Latenight30 saidCardio is not 10mins. Cardio is about sustained heart rate.
    Do real cardio alternate days 20mins minimum.


    I agree 20 mins minimum. it's the work that comes after 15 minutes that is your real cardio workout.

    alternate days is good, but if you want to lift a lot or only have time to do it certain days, do your cardio after an upper body rutine, and save the squats for a day w no running lol.
  • Glorfindel

    Posts: 277

    Jan 14, 2010 1:25 PM GMT
    I am no trainer nor certified to know what I'm talking about, but I would say it probably depends on what your goals/aims are. I always do my cardio workout before lifting because my focus is on the running/cycling for the races I do and I use the lifting as a way to stretch and strengthen my muscles afterward.

    If your focus is on lifting, then it's probably a good cool down for your muscles after heavy lifting to do some cardio work.

    But that other response was right, if you're worn out after 10 minutes, then slow down! icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 14, 2010 2:18 PM GMT
    I am bad. I do my cardio before lifting. I know that if I save cardio for last; it is less likely to happen since I really don't care for it.

    I do agree with all the others above posts. I just know myself enough that it is best to do it before not after.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 14, 2010 2:40 PM GMT
    A short, restrained cardio session makes a good warm up for weight training. But the actual cardio workout deserves its own time separate from the weight training, if possible.
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    Jan 14, 2010 3:32 PM GMT
    If weight loss is the primary goal, doing both on the same day with cardio first may offer some advantages in increased metabolism and energy expenditure.
    You may burn more calories if you do cardio before resistance training.

    Drummond MJ, Vehrs PR, Schaalje GB, Parcell AC. Aerobic and resistance exercise sequence affects excess postexercise oxygen consumption. J Strength Cond Res. 2005 May;19(2):332-7.


    I try to do at least 25 minutes of cardio every day. (The American College of Sports Medicine recommends moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, five days a week or vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week).
    I do resistance training 3 times a week and follow with cardio. I find that I can't do resistance exercises as well if I do cardio first. For me, this routine works. You will need to experiment to find out what works best for you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 14, 2010 10:09 PM GMT
    thanks you guys, this really really helps!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 16, 2010 1:28 AM GMT
    I love how people pull these rules out of nowhere: "Cardio is not 10 minutes".


    Why not? Why isn't cardio ten minutes? Cardiovascular training (the goal) is to elevate heart rate either a) for a sustained amount of time, b) for intense exertion or c) some combination thereof.


    Just like a defensive lineman (short sprints and power) would not train like a triathlon runner (endurance/ minimum exertion over sustained time) you cannot prescribe a set standard of cardio training for everyone. The body is functionally capable of adapting to whatever demands you place on it during training.


    One of the best ways to shred up excess fat is H.I.T. Training. This is High Intensity Training. The athlete sprints, walks, sprints for very short increments of time. As long as you're working the heart - that's cardio.

    Fitjoz had it right on. Scroll up and read his post. "Ideally"...and it is not always ideal - one should train cardio on a different day than your lifting. A major reason for this has to do with your bodies' Adenosine Triphosphate stores. When you lift, you use ATP. When you run, you use ATP. If you lift and run - guess what - no more ATP. Space it out as much as possible.



    -Roq
  • Tyinstl

    Posts: 353

    Jan 27, 2010 3:28 AM GMT
    fitjoz saidI read an artilcle some time ago that touched the question of what to do first cardio or weight training. It bsically said:

    1.- Not to try do cardio and weight training on the same day.
    2.- If you must do both the same day, try to do one in the morning and the other one in the afternoon
    3.- If you do not have the time to go to the gym twice a day (as most of us) and must do both in the same session, do weight training first and finish with cardio


    The New Rules of Lifting says that you should do them both on the same day. Can you cite the article or explain its reasoning?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 27, 2010 3:37 AM GMT
    I do 2 different sessions:

    1. A 10-minute warm/wake-up, 4:45am HURTS! LOL! Then weight train and end with 20min of sustained cardio

    OR

    2. A 20min sustained cardio session, weight train and end with a 10-min HIIT session
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 27, 2010 3:38 AM GMT
    Hey, im now a certified personal trainer! as of last week! so i can help on this one.

    - never stretch cold muscles, you'll hurt yourself.
    - a lil 5-10 minute warmup on the bike or treadmill or ellyptical is essential to any weight workout, if this tires you out...dont do weights - you have bigger issues.
    - cardio is essential to any human being, your body is a machine, treat it as such, if you never take a car out for a drive, it wont function properly. furthermore, high intensity cardio is essential, just like taking your car out on the highway once in a while.
    - your cardio sessions should be in the morning ideally, as it will burn off the excess calories your body has retained, not the ones you just consumed that day.
    - if incorporating cardio into your weight workout, do it after, and no need to do it for long periods of time, just 20 minutes is cool, start out at a speed of about 4 walking, raise it to 6 running and slowly raise it till your full out sprinting, lower it, and raise it and lower it and raise it, you'll confuse your body and thus lose excess fat.
    - alwways stretch after any workout, your muscles and joints need to know they can move and need to be stretched to their natural limit to work properly in the future.

    enjoy icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 27, 2010 3:38 AM GMT
    I agree with doing the bulk of your heavy cardio on separate days.

    Personally, I do cardio after weights because I sweat a lot and don't want to slide around on the bench or machines (plus it's nasty for others).
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Jan 27, 2010 3:43 AM GMT
    The conventional wisdom is that weight training come first, but a diet Doctor I trust explains that once your body goes anaerobic, it can't come back to areobic. Which means, do the bike first, then hit the weights.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 27, 2010 3:53 AM GMT
    All the rules and scientific stuff is great. Thanks for the info on ATP, Roq...good to know. However, personally I live by doing whatever my body feels up for.

    As a high school athlete cardio was done before lifting most days. It has been a few years and a new coach oversees the athletes now, but I am sure both lifting and cardio are done every day. Aside from that, I have always found a short 5 minute run and stretch is good for shaking out the tension in my muscles before hitting the gym.

    Bottom line, I say, is you should always listen to your body and do what it feels it can handle. Every now and again don't be afraid to push and make it do both a hard weight/cardio combo in the same day...make sure to rest up afterward, though.
  • WILDCARD73

    Posts: 545

    Jan 27, 2010 3:59 AM GMT
    it depends on what u are trying to achive

    if u are going for a lean look....
    do cardio before the weights... try the HIIT....
    when you do weights , think of it as a secondary cardio
    short resting time between sets
    lower weight with higher reps
    this way you keep heart rate up and you burn calorie and fat

    if you are looking to beef up
    do cardio after
  • DrewbieDoo

    Posts: 63

    Feb 01, 2010 5:45 PM GMT
    I guess the question is lacostejock - what are you looking to do with your body... beef up, slim down, both? Because there's not just one right way
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 28, 2010 10:44 PM GMT
    gltrainer said


    - your cardio sessions should be in the morning ideally, as it will burn off the excess calories your body has retained, not the ones you just consumed that day.


    enjoy icon_biggrin.gif



    I've never understood this. Can someone explain this a little more? Isn't a calorie a calorie? Does it really matter what time of the day you burn it?... If someone is trying to burn fat/lose weight, does it really matter if they're burning a calorie from last night's dinner or this morning's breakfast?
  • gaylynx

    Posts: 6

    Mar 01, 2010 6:54 AM GMT
    Always work out your muscles before cardio. Your muscles and liver store glycogen which is a simple carbohydrate that the body uses during physical activity. If you do cardio before weights then you just burned all your glycogen stores during cardio (and not fat) and now you won't have the energy your muscles need to grow during weight training.

    GayLynx.com
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 04, 2010 5:30 AM GMT
    I personally do about 10 minutes of cardio before my workouts and then 20 minutes after... Every trainer I have ever had has advised me to do it this way... I don't know the technical terms like everyone else on here knows about what happens but from what Ive learned is when you do about 10 mins before, it gets the blood flowing through the muscles for your workout, and then 20 before is good for the cardio part. I don't know how true all this is but iv had some pretty good success and more energy through the day when I do it this way.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 04, 2010 6:18 AM GMT
    I never do cardio, its a waste of time. same with situps/crunches. waste of time. Just eat healthy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 05, 2010 2:39 AM GMT
    If I am doing weights and cardio during the same workout, I do cardio last. I do it this way because I want to have my strength and energy to push really hard while weight training.