One of the most asked questions in the fitness world is, “Should I do cardio before or after weight training?” There are all sorts of opinions and ideas out there, and after some research and my own findings and studies, here is what I’ve come up with:
If your goal is weight loss: People usually find that they lose weight faster at the beginning if they start with cardio. Its a little easier on their bodies, and people who are beginners usually get tired more quickly when they are lifting weights. Since you can walk on a treadmill, bike, or be on an elliptical longer than you can lift a barbell, the majority of the calories lost comes from the cardio part of your workout.
If your goal is to build strength and/or muscle size: Cardio after your resistance training would be a good option here, and cardio on a different day or a different part of the day would be even better. You need your energy for the heavy things you’ll be lifting up and putting down, so a hard cardio session before wouldn’t make much sense. And then you can get all science-y and say your glycogen levels would be depleted, but let’s just stick to laymen’s terms.
If your goal is to increase cardiovascular endurance: I think this one might be a little obvious…do cardio to increase cardiovascular endurance. Weight train on a different day.
If your goal is to improve overall health or maintain what you’ve got: Your best option here would be to do whatever works best in your schedule. You can’t really go wrong with either option if you’re just looking to improve or maintain health. I like doing my hard cardio on a completely separate day from weight training because both are pretty intense, and I’m always too tired to do one after the other.
In my opinion, if you’re actually doing both cardio and resistance training, you’re golden. Some people don’t realize that resistance training increases your metabolism, and on some occasions, can burn more calories than cardio.
If you want to read more in depth articles, here are some of the ones I looked at :
Stay sweaty, my friends!