Exercise! - Which first: cardio or weights?

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05-24-2006, 04:45 PM
Does it matter whether or not you do cardio before weight training, or weight training before cardio? For those of you that do weights&cardio on the same day, what's your routine?

05-24-2006, 04:58 PM
I just read an article that said it doesn't really matter, except you do need to warm-up before you do the weight training, so you might want to start with cardio. They did say that it's better not to stretch before doing the weights, but you do need to warm up.

05-24-2006, 04:58 PM
I have heard that it's best to do weights first and then cardio....I guess the weight training gets your body warm so that you burn fat faster when you're doing cardio. If I can find the article, I'll post it for you!

05-24-2006, 05:02 PM
Here is a portion of the article and the link. :)

Cardio and Weight Training
The best way to incorporate cardio into your training is to do it in a completely different session then your weight training. If you plan on doing both weights and cardio in the same session, do the weights first. There are two major reasons for this:

First, doing cardio before weights will pre-fatigue your muscles, limiting your weight training. Doing cardio after weights will not.
Second, weight training will serve as a sort of pre-exhaust for cardio; lowering your blood sugar and allowing you to burn fat immediately after you start cardio. If you do cardio first, it will take about 20 minutes before you really start to burn fat


05-24-2006, 05:56 PM
The general concensus seems to be weights first, then cardio. I usually warm up on a treadmill or elliptical for about 5 minutes, then do my weights, and finish with a lighter cardio session than I do on days I do just cardio, esp if I've done a lower body work-out. :)

05-25-2006, 10:28 AM
lowering your blood sugar and allowing you to burn fat immediately after you start cardio. If you do cardio first, it will take about 20 minutes before you really start to burn fat

I'm going to agree with what the article is saying about doing weights before any type of aerobic exercise being the better route to take, but, disagree with the reasoning, specifically with the above statement.

When you exercise, your body needs energy and it needs it fast. the fastest way get that energy in use is to use the energy sources in your body that can most easily be broken down, and that would be sugar/glucose/carbs. using body fat as a source of energy while exercising just takes to much time.

That being said though, after you are done with your exercise session, then you're body starts using more body fat for energy in order to recover from that exercise bout you just went through.

So to summarize, while exercising, your body burns more of it calories from glucose/sugar/carbs than it does from body fat. After exercise, while you're body is recovering from what you just put it through, it burns more calories from body fat than from glucose/sugar/carbs.

Michael Navin, CSCS

Daisy Boo
05-25-2006, 11:16 AM
the problem with weight loss is there are so many 'he said, she said' things - you have no idea where you stand. pick the bits you like and go with it ;)

personally my belief is that weight training should be done before cardio so you can dedicate absolute energy to your form. if you do an hour of high intensity cardio before your weights, you will most likely compromise form as you have exerted the majority of your energy and will therefore not do the moves correctly and possibly injure yourself.

always do a warm up of some kind before both cardio and weights.

oh, and i do weights and cardio on same days - always with weights up first, or in two separate sessions, ie, morning cardio and afternoon weights.

and honestly whether i am burning directly from fat stores or carbs, whatever . . . a calorie is a calorie. so long as i am burning them, i am happy :)

05-25-2006, 09:48 PM
Twice a week I do weights before cardio, and four days a week I do cardio before weights. Since my focus is on weight loss right now, I prefer to do cardio first because if I do weights first, I get too tired to do as much cardio as I would like. If I do cardio first, I might not lift as heavy, but as my goal is weight loss, that's okay. I'm always careful of my form so that's not a problem for me.

05-26-2006, 02:19 AM
Sometimes I do circuits where I mix the cardio and weights. Here is last nights routine
15 minutes hills on treadmill
chest press
glute machine
lat pull down
10 minutes on cross trainer
leg press
10 minutes stair master
pec fly
5 minutes cool down on bike

Sometimes I have split days where I do cardio on seperate sessions than weights. I change it up a lot.

The rationale for doing the weights and cardio like that, is that you continue to work at a reasonably high heart rate whilst doing the weight sets. (and it works well in a busy gym where you have time limits on equipment and there are a million smelly boys using the free weights ;) )