Skip Nav
Healthy Eating Tips
Are Steel-Cut Oats That Much Healthier Than Rolled Oats?
Kayla Itsines
49-Year-Old Chelle Looks Exactly Like She Did at 29 Thanks to BBG
Workout Clothes
APL's Fall Colors Are Here — You're Going to Lose Your (Sneaker) Head Over the Lavender

Is Doing Cardio Before Weights Bad For Your Muscles?

Is Doing Cardio Before Strength Training Bad?

Many of you say that you go to the gym twice in a day, but does the order of your workout matter? New studies, according to The New York Times, may answer the age-old debate held by many hardcore fitness fanatics — whether or not doing cardio before or after your strength training routine is bad for your muscle development.

Many athletes and serious exercisers try to avoid doing both in the same session because they think that cardio inhibits the muscles' ability to grow and become stronger. Two studies looked to figure out if this long-held belief was true. In one, researchers had healthy young men pedal on a stationary bike for 45 minutes using one leg, followed by strenuous leg strength training exercises six hours later (they compared the differences in the men's legs, since only one leg had done both cardio and resistance training). In another study, researchers had older men exercise on a stationary bike and then strength train in two different ways — once by riding the bike for 40 minutes and then doing eight difficult leg exercises the next day, and another by doing four of the leg exercises followed immediately by 20 minutes on the bike. The muscle biopsy results of both studies found that there was no difference in muscle makeup in participants, no matter when or how they combined their cardio and strength training. And although the researchers say they only looked at immediate results, they think that long-term observation would also show no differences.

These new studies may put an end to the belief that the order of your workout routine matters, but many people swear by their own experiences of how their bodies react to their training regimens. Tell us, do you believe that doing cardio before strength training is good, bad, or makes no difference for you?

Image Source: Thinkstock
J.r.2667532 J.r.2667532 5 years
I'm 54 & I train 5 days per week 2 hrs per session. 1 hr- 45 mins. cardio, then weights or functional exercises with a weighted vest 20lbs, & core last. 2 hr total. I train like an athlete not workout like most. That is the difference.
ldelia ldelia 5 years
20 minutes of\u00a0treadmilling before weight training\u00a0has little effect on my output, but\u00a0it seems to effect\u00a0my output\u00a0in spin.
janetmouse janetmouse 5 years
I really have tried every combination of exercise over the years from jogging/runnng, elliptical, spinning, kick boxing, bootcamps, free weights/machines, etc...and I get the best results from doing weights one day and doing a 20 minute cardio using the high intensity interval training method another both take less than 30 minutes...and of course yoga another day :-) \u00a0
jlsander07 jlsander07 5 years
\u00a0@janetmouse\u00a0 Yes, that is always how I feel as well. Weights won't wear me out for a long or tough run, but a kick-ass run will leave me too tired to do an effective weight routine. Great article!
The Best Way to Start Trail Running
Butt Workout With Resistance Band
Do I Need to Eat After a Workout?
Can You Gain Weight From Too Much Exercise?
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds