Skip Nav
30-Minute Power Yoga Flow Workout
Get Fit 2018 Workouts
30-Minute Power Yoga Flow For Tight Abs and a Toned Butt
Bodyweight Exercises
These Are the 35 Top Bodyweight Ab Exercises to Chisel Your Core
Healthy Living
The Low-Carb Instant Pot Recipes You Didn't Know You Needed Until Now
Vegan
15 Delicious Vegan Snacks You'll Never Guess We Discovered on Amazon
Fitness Gear
Yogis, Listen Up! These Are the Only Sports Bras You'll Want to Practice In

Cardio or Strength Training First?

Should You Run Before You Lift?

If you ask 100 people if you should do cardio before or after strength training, chances are that you'll get an even split of answers. The surprising part of each answer, however, is that you'll get about 100 different reasons why you should or shouldn't do cardio first. Let's cut through the myths and misconceptions and give you the answers you need to build your best body!

A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research discovered something very shocking: it doesn't really make a difference if you do cardio before or after training. Whether you're lifting weights or getting sweaty on a cardio machine, the same hormones spike. Also, you won't really notice much of a difference in your performance either way.

Even though the study was rather clear about the findings, opinions still vary. According to fitness coach Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, "It's always better to do your strength training before cardio because you want to do your heavier stuff when your body is fresh. If you did it the other way, your body would get tired so you wouldn't be able to lift as much weight and your technique would worsen."

ADVERTISEMENT

Diana Chaloux, CPT and owner of the online personal training website HitchFit.com, indicates that, "If your goal is fat loss, the ideal situation would be to perform strength training first, followed by cardiovascular training." She explains that "when you strength train, your body utilizes glycogen (which is stored carbohydrates) for fuel, so if you strength train first, and then do cardio immediately after (which prefers fat for fuel for lower intensity cardio), you would create an environment in your body conducive to fat metabolism."

What about morning cardio, you may ask? Well, research published by the British Journal of Nutrition found that people can burn up to 20 percent more body fat by running in the morning on an empty stomach. What does this mean for you? Some experts advise breaking up your training efforts to do cardio in the morning on an empty stomach and then weights later on in the day with a pre-workout protein-based snack.

What does this mean for you? You've got options — and there's never anything wrong with that! Our advice? If you can split your training efforts into two separate workouts, hit the gym on an empty stomach in the morning and do your cardio (and lift weights later in the day in a different session). If you can't go to the gym twice in one day, make the most of your single session by hitting the weights first then doing your cardio. This way you can do the heavy stuff when you are at your optimum energy levels.

From Our Partners
Do You Need Cardio to Lose Weight?
What's the Best Cardio For Fat Loss?
How to Lose Fat Without Cardio
Best HIIT Workout
Does Cycling Burn Belly Fat?
Is Cardio Necessary For Fat Loss?
How Much Cardio and Strength Training Should I Do?
HIIT Workouts
How to Burn Calories Fast on the Treadmill
Cardio Exercises You Can Do at Home
Is Jump Rope a Good Cardio Workout?
Benefits of Rowing Machine
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds