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Cardio First, Weights Second

I used to think it was simply a matter of choice to strength train before or after cardio. Most often, my preference is to save the weights until after I have done my cardio. After 20 to 30 minutes of running, I am warm, sweaty, and ready to pump some iron, and I feel less likely to injure myself. It looks like the Journal For Strength and Conditioning Research has added another reason to hold off on weight training until the cardio workout is over. You burn more calories, especially after you have finished exercising, by placing strength training second in the activity lineup. Cardio burns calories consistently, and topping that off with the extended caloric burn of strength training increases the overall benefits to your metabolism.

How do you organize your workout? Do you usually do cardio first or last? Tell me in the comments section below.


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sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I do 10-20 mins of cardio before doing my weights. Then I finish off with another 10-20 mins of cardio.
almostloli almostloli 8 years
separately, and it always depends on my work/activities during the day
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 8 years
I change it up quite often. At the moment I am doing 10 minutes of warm up, cardio, then abs, weights, my full 30 mins cardio then 10 to 15 minutes of yoga.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Hmmm...I usually do my cardio and weight sessions separately, but when I do my strength work I warm up by doing 10 minutes or so of cardio to warm my body up and get the blood flowing.
sourcherry sourcherry 8 years
I feel more energetic after doing cardio, so I usually prefer to do weights second. But since my goal is to build some muscle, I'm gonna try to switch, or do them on separate days.
Fawness Fawness 8 years
I don't understand...I read in a Self Magazine issue that it's better to do strength training first because you can use better form than if you were fatigued from cardio, which might make your lifting a little unsteady and could possibly lead to injury?
SugarKat SugarKat 8 years
I heard weights then cardio b/c weights raises blood pressure and cardio lowers it...who knows though. If I get my butt in the gym, I don't care what I do first...
brookrene brookrene 8 years
I do weights first because I want to be considerate of others and not sweat all over the weight equipment. Yes, i wipe it down, but still. I also do it first because I want to make sure I'm in the right position and I feel way to fatigued after cardio. I do warmup with 5-10 minutes of light cardio first though.
heatherhas heatherhas 8 years
Damn teacher, your hot! ;) (Ssorry ladies, just want to appreciate) I agree with the above. It just depends on your goals and what you want to expend more energy on. If you need to lift heavy to build muscle (as I do) then a brief warm-up, lift and cardio later. If you need to lose weight, then put more energy into cardio first.
teacherturtle1 teacherturtle1 8 years
well, if you do cardio first, one may begin to produce a hormone that may cause one's muscles to not grow as much. since some people would like to build larger muscles, it is better to to stretches and do a light warm up before weight training for about 45 min, then lots of rest to recover. big muscles=shorter harder workouts now, if you aren't into larger muscles, then it isn't a big deal to do your cardio before your weight training. you will still get strong either way, but muscle size may be smaller. that's why you see so many skinny people in cross country. sure they are strong, but it is hard to get bulky when you are exercising for so long.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I always do cardio first.
Lady-HotPants Lady-HotPants 8 years
cardio first, as recommended by "my" PT (ok, the guy from the free gym session) -- precisely for calorie burn reasons...
anna_muffin anna_muffin 8 years
I do cardio first (short, ca. 25 minutes), then strength, because I like cardio less. And I like to feel warm and flexible before doing weights.
kclulu kclulu 8 years
When I am training for a race I do cardio first because that is what I want to emphasize, but when I am not training for a race I will do strength training first for the reasons Sundaygreen listed above. I think it also depends on how long you do both. If you are only doing cardio for 15 minutes or less, it probably won't effect your form and strength very muchto do cardio first.
ella1978 ella1978 8 years
I'm with Sunday Green... I prefer to do them on seperate days. I do cardio on Monday, Wed & Friday, and stregnth traning/ videos on Tuesday, Thursday. I'm just starting to get used to 5:30 am :o)
jessie jessie 8 years
i've always done my cardio first, then my weights. i have a routine that i stick to
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
I like to do my mile run BEFORE the weights too. I think it' just a matter of prefence, because there are pros and cons to both ways.
Renee3327 Renee3327 8 years
I usually do 15-20 minutes of cardio before weights. It's not enough to fatigue my muscles but it makes me feel looser and warmed up. I was a runner in high school on a state champion track team and our coaches would never let us lift with out some light running before so I guess that just stuck with me.
gemini7827 gemini7827 8 years
full out cardio, yoga plus or pilate plus before strength training.
laellavita laellavita 8 years
yeah, i was told by my personal trainer to do cardio after strength, with only a five to ten minute cardio warm up to begin with.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
I have read on most fitness blogs and bodybuilding books etc that you should do your cardio after weights - that way you can perform strength training with perfect form instead of your muscles already being fatigued. Also... something about your glycogen levels.... "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" Personally, I prefer doing them on seperate days. I find that if i do 20-30 mins of strength training I'm always way too tired to do a proper interval session on the treadmill (also for roughly 25 minutes). Or I do cardio in the morning and weights after work.
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