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Should You Do Cardio Before Or After Weight Training ? – Find Out Now !

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A question that is commonly asked when it comes to cardio is “Should I Do Cardio Before or After Weight Training ?” The short answer would be after weight training, but it largely depends on your lifestyle and your goals whether it be muscle gain or fat loss.

For Muscle Gain

If your goal is to gain muscle mass then doing cardio right before weight training isn’t a good idea because when you do cardio your glycogen stores starts to get depleted. Having almost depleted glycogen stores means that your muscles won’t have enough energy to push through the last 2-3 reps of an exercise which results in a far less effective workout because the last 2-3 reps is where you stimulate your muscles to grow.

Although if you like to wake up early and do your cardio, but then do your weight training later on in the day because it fits your lifestyle that is fine. You just need to make sure you give yourself an adequate amount of time to recover and replenish your glycogen stores before you weight train. Still though, the more intense your cardio session was the higher the chance of your performance in the weight room suffering even though you gave yourself time to recuperate (especially if HIIT cardio was done, but if steady state cardio was done like jogging on the treadmill you should be able to recover in time for your lifting session).

hiit cardio

For Fat/Weight Loss

If your goal is weight loss then it would still be the best to do cardio right after weight training because it allows you to get to the fat burning portion of the workout faster than if you had done cardio first. The main reason for this is that after all the glycogen is depleted from weight training doing cardio will result in a much higher percentage of fat being burned. Furthermore, having more energy to weight train means that you’ll be able to lift heavier weights for more reps/sets, this is extremely important when you’re trying to preserve muscle mass while being in a caloric deficit for weight loss because the more muscle you keep the higher your metabolism will be making weight loss easier since you won’t have to drastically cut calories. The reason why having more muscle mass gives you a higher metabolism is because muscle tissue burns roughly around 7-10 calories per pound per day, compared to the 2-3 calories per pound per day for fat.

abs weight loss

However, the only downside to doing cardio after weight training is that it can be difficult to have enough energy to push yourself through it, but if you have the time you could rest up for at least 2 hours or more for a better cardio session (just remember to have a small meal during this time).

For The Best Results

For the best results in your cardio training you could schedule them on different days from your weightlifting program, but if that isn’t possible then the best option would be to do them after your weight training no matter what your goal is.

If you have anymore questions about this topic then please leave a comment down below.

8 thoughts on “Should You Do Cardio Before Or After Weight Training ? – Find Out Now !

  1. I usually do cardio before weight training so that it would warm me up. I did not know that it is not a good idea, but after reading your post I’m convinced that it is better to do it the other way.

    Or instead as you suggested it is better to do cardio in the morning and then weight training later on in the evening.

    1. If you can do cardio after weight training that’s always the better choice and if you can do cardio in the morning then weight training later on in the afternoon that would be even better !, of course only if you have the time to do 2 training sessions a day though.

  2. Very informative and helpful, thanks for posting Andrew ! I have been working with a trainer and doing cardio on separate days, but I often wonder why he makes me do a cardio “finisher” on weight days. It totally makes sense now ! and the concept is pretty easy to understand, we need glycogen to build muscle. I also didn’t know that muscle burns more than double the calories of fat ! That’s awesome 🙂 I knew it was more, but that’s a huge difference. Seriously thanks for posting !

  3. My fitness goals are centered around weight loss and body toning. I do a lot of cardio and HIIT classes. I mainly use dumbells for body toning focusing on triceps- I hate bingo wings !

    I normally start with cardio, but I’ll take your advice to begin with weights. I would prefer to split my workout and leave a gap between cardio and weights, but my lifestyle is currently too hectic at the moment. Maybe one day soon.

  4. I’m real glad that I know which order to do it in now, as before I was told to do cardio first, then weight training. They said I’d be able to rest my lungs while my muscles worked, but it was clear that my muscles were fatigued as a result. I’ll try to get my cardio and muscle workouts in on different days from this point on.

    1. That would be the best to do cardio and weight training on different days, but unfortunately many don’t have time for that. So lucky you Brandon 🙂

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