What is more beneficial? Cardio before lifting weights or after?

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  1. barbergirl28 profile image82
    barbergirl28posted 13 years ago

    What is more beneficial? Cardio before lifting weights or after?

    I have always started my workout with cardio, but lately I have been switching it up and doing the cardio after my weight lifting. Is their one way that is better than the other? Why?

  2. Daffy Duck profile image59
    Daffy Duckposted 13 years ago

    I'm not sure, but what I do is I work on cardio 1 day and weight lifting the next.  This gives my muscles a chance to recover some before the next workout.  It seems to work pretty well.

  3. TheBlondie profile image59
    TheBlondieposted 13 years ago

    Before! Doing cardio gets your heart pumping and your pulse up better than weights. What works best is to do 20-30 minutes of cardio, then lift weights straight after. You want to keep a light sweat while weightlifting. Reserve one day out of the week just for cardio, to improve your endurance. Hope this helps smile

  4. jonathanfb profile image60
    jonathanfbposted 13 years ago

    Light cardio at the beginning of your exercise routine is a great warm up. Walking, jumping rope etc., but don't overdo it.

    It really depends on your goal and your physical condition. Cardio before weight lifting has been known to give better results for building muscle, because your muscles are already fatigued. However, if you do weights then cardio, you'll burn more fat, because you have already exhausted your energy store now you are burning fat.
    This is of course assuming you can maintain your normal level of training throughout you workout.
    If you really want a good workout try circuit training. Cardio for five minutes, then weights for five then cardio and so on. Or you can mix up the time. This keeps your heart up while you're lifting weights,
    I hope this was helpful.

  5. profile image56
    cleverchrisposted 13 years ago

    Ideally the cardio and weight/resistance training should be done on alternate days, with at least 1 day per week for rest.  To ensure the muscles have time to repair and grow if you foloow this suggested programme you will get maximum benefit.

    Day 1 Lower Body weights incl Abs
    Day 2 Cardio
    Day 3 Upper Body
    Day 4 Lower Body incl Abs
    Day 5 Cardio
    Day 6 Upper Body
    Day 7 Rest

    You don't need long cardio or weights sessions or huge sets of reps; just increasing intensity to ensure the muscles get fatigued.

  6. EDYAW profile image60
    EDYAWposted 13 years ago

    It depends on your goals. cardio before is good for warming up and to get the blood pumping through your muscles while lifting.

    But to burn fat cardio after is best.

  7. RGAldriedge profile image61
    RGAldriedgeposted 13 years ago

    I like to warm up for 10 min on the exer-bike before lifting.  I don't like to do a whole cardio workout before lifting because then i leave sweat puddles on all the equipment.

  8. profile image51
    PHYSIOposted 13 years ago

    attaining a good heart rate before you start exercise is good thing and will increase your METS.. and your energy is not wasted to attain target heart rate at the time u exercise.
    even that frees up your muscle and reduce injury

  9. rcrm89 profile image63
    rcrm89posted 13 years ago

    It depends on the type of cardio, duration and intensity, but in general, if you are doing heavy weight training (based on individual standards) then it is better to do cardio post-weight training (preferably you would do them on separate days like cleverchris said).

    Cardio before strength training will do much more to hinder strength workouts than strength before cardio will do to hinder cardio workouts.

    Strength training requires a greater level of focus, technique and muscle recruitment than cardio - too much fatigue is undesirable for optimal progress.

  10. profile image0
    DJ Kleenposted 13 years ago

    Was just going to say what CleverChris did -

    Cardio is a separate workout and should be done on alternate days.  This coming from being a "Jock".  This is just how we did it.

    Even when I "hit the Gym" - this was the adopted and accepted method of training.

    Lemme say it this way - the Heart is a muscle unto itself.  The same way arm and leg muscles fatigue - so too does the heart.

    The way you train is solely dependent upon *your* goals - but be aware - you *can* over-train.

  11. EXERCISESEARCH profile image61
    EXERCISESEARCHposted 13 years ago

    After, especially if it's a heavier session.  You don't want to use all your energy on cardio and not have enough to push through your weight training.  It is important however to warm up sufficiently for a workout.

  12. selfdefenselesson profile image60
    selfdefenselessonposted 12 years ago

    None at all.

    You should keep your cardio on your off days. Cardio shouldn't be mixed with weight lifting unless you are doing crossfit or supersets.

    I do my cardio on the days I'm not in the gym. I do 5-8 full out 100m sprints on the beach with in between short breaks of 30 seconds. This is just for increasing the fat burning process.

  13. profile image0
    trainer ben gamonposted 12 years ago

    it is good to start cardio before lifting for the sole reason of warming up.
    i like to integrate cardion in my workout. meaning i either do exercises that elevate my heart rate as well, or i do high intensity exercises between lifting sets.

  14. Billy Hicks profile image76
    Billy Hicksposted 12 years ago

    It depends on your goals, but in most cases, you want to do your cardio after your workout. I don't want this to turn into a chemistry lesson, so I'll keep it simple.

    Cardio helps increase your heart rate which, after your workout, will result in more oxygen and nutrient rich blood getting into your muscles faster. This can help fight the buildup of lactic acid in your muscles (which is what gives you that sore, burning feeling the next day), and, if you take a protein shake, or other postworkout supplement, it'll help your muscles start the rebuilding process almost immediately.

    If you're trying to lose weight, you will definitely want to do your cardio after your workout, preferably first thing in the morning before you've had anything to eat or drink. The reason for this is that your workout will use up almost all of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in your body, as well as the phosphocreatine in your muscles. This means when you start your cardio, your body won't have any energy left for your workout, this will force your body to use stored body fat for energy.


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