I've been told it's better to do cardio after, but I've also been told it's better to do cardio before. I personally haven't seen a difference either way. Next week, I'll be doing cardio/ strength intervals, so they'll be inter-twined.
Hi Brenna, I had to correct my earlier post. After doing some looking online and reading more about it, most trainers say a light 5 minute cardio workout is okay before weights, but weights should come *before* the cardio portion of your workout. So I'm going to change the way I do things starting tomorrow morning's workout. Thanks for posting a good question and making me think! :)
Fitness Minutes: (35,916)
2,810 6/26/13 2:06 P
I do my strength training first, but this is for convenience since I do my walk once I arrive at work
M@L, On the basis of science. During a hard cardio session, protein synthesis (your body's ability to build muscle), drops low and protein breakdown goes up. During a weight lifting session, protein synthesis either goes up a little or stays the same while protein breakdown goes up.
Because cardio impairs your ability to build muscles, hitting weights after cardio will result in no gain or negative results depending on how intense your cardio was.
cardio first, followed by strength if you must do both on the same day- doing cardio second undoes the strength work. Ideally do them on separate days or do one in the morning and the other in the evening.
Cardio, strength, end w/ cardio....always worked for me. This was my routine when I was in the best physical shape in my life & is getting me back into shape.
Fitness Minutes: (1,285)
354 6/21/13 2:13 P
all the evidence says that ST must come first and at an advanced level separate the activities.
Having said that.................... and I know the research... when I was losing weight (50 pounds lost).. I did cardio first... :(
At the moment I've returned to passably athletic... cardio once every ten days is enough. If I do more than this I can't lift well for days after. I would add that a cardio session for me is 40 minutes at 8 MPH
Fitness Minutes: (55,884)
1,939 6/20/13 1:04 P
mine are MOST definitely not in the same workout session
Just one thing to note here is that doing cardio and strength "On the same day" is not quite the same thing as "in the same workout session".
If you can seperate the ST and cardio workouts by a few hours (especially if you can have a meal/substantial snack), your muscles have enough time to recover and the downsides of doing both together are substantially decreased.
Fitness Minutes: (84,588)
3,412 6/19/13 5:03 P
I prefer cardio first to get my ticker pumping and get the feel good hormones working!
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1,801 6/19/13 4:51 P
I do cardio first.
Fitness Minutes: (55,884)
1,939 6/19/13 4:01 P
oh and I forgot to mention that my cardio is fresstyle dancing, belly dance drillz, and just recently I got Doonya - its the bollywood version of Zumba and we'll see how THAT goes.
Fitness Minutes: (55,884)
1,939 6/19/13 4:00 P
thanx for the advice. I do feel better doing strength training or whatever then breakfast and an hour or so later, cardio, then foam roller and stretching.
I should not that MY idea of strength training is classical stretch, exhale core fusion, some squats, 5 min core exercises, MAYBE some interval training.
Fitness Minutes: (6,345)
234 6/19/13 12:04 P
I was definitely not suggesting that someone should do both on the same day if their body is not ready for it. I don't believe anybody should do any exercise their body is not ready for. I was simply pointing it out as an option. Reading over the other responses in this thread, I am obviously not the only person who does both on the same day. And I actually started doing both like that at the advice of a personal trainer, who gave me said advice when I was starting out, although I did not follow it until much later because I did not feel I was ready for it. I think it depends on the person, and I am sorry it might have came across in an offensive way.
I think it depends on your goals for your body. Me I do cardio first and the an hour later I do strength training. Rest is important for me and so is good form. Strength training burns calories long after you are done. cardio burns calories while you are doing it.
Fitness Minutes: (64,272)
4,396 6/19/13 10:23 A
I like to do a combo of cardio and weight with the Firm Aerobic Workouts with weights.
It really depends on my goal for the day. If I'm there for a training session for my running, then I do the run first since that's the focus for the day. I don't usually follow up a run with strength, but I will do yoga afterwards.
On strength days, I always do the strength training first after a short (5 min) warmup. The focus of those workouts are strength and I'll get better benefits doing it with fresh muscles and a full tank. After that, I'll usually go and do some light cardio/cross training.
I don't do a workout session where I'm focused on both cardio and strength. However, when I do strength, I'm always doing compound moves and my heart rate is elevated.
I do cardio first to get my blood flowing and really I was told it doesn't matter since I am not doing bodybuilding workouts.
Fitness Minutes: (6,071)
130 6/19/13 6:53 A
I do them on different days. If I had to do them on the same day (and my legs and lungs could handle it!) I'd do ST first. As said above, good form is imperative to ST, so you don't want to already be tired from cardio. With cardio, on the other hand, the goal is usually simply to get the heart rate up and stay up (unless you're training for a race or something like that). In that case, if your heart rate is already up from strength training, then it won't take you as long to get in a good cardio workout afterwards. On the other hand, if you tire yourself out with cardio first, you won't be able to ST properly.
Since cardio exercise is less important and effective for fat loss than strength training according to the most current research my question is why do both on the same day.Strength training done correctly requires a day between workouts which leaves the alternate days for cardio. Workouts for fat loss or fitness in excess of thirty minutes are in my opinion not necessary, a well constructed workout done at the proper intensity can be completed inside that time block.
There is no need to go to the gym to get in your cardio, a quality , adjustable jump rope will cost under $10 and give you three times the workout a mufti-thousand dollar treadmill or elliptical will provide.
Bottom line for quality workouts for both do them on different days.
Strength training first ALWAYS. One caveat: my strength training involves compound movements and my heart rate is high the entire time I'm STing.
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80 6/18/13 11:05 P
As a personal trainer, I would NEVER recommend a client hit both cardio and strength train on the same day unless....like I said....they were bodybuilding (and were obviously more advanced than the average person). Obviously, Healthyforever4, you are at a more advanced training level than others. There are people on this site that are dealing with health issues.....diabetes, asthma, heart issues, high blood pressure and are just beginning their journey to fitness. To suggest that it's ok for someone to tackle both cardio and ST on the same day 'if that's what is preferred" could be disastrous for them. This is something that "beginners" SHOULD NOT be doing until their body becomes more conditioned.
Fitness Minutes: (6,345)
234 6/18/13 10:33 P
I do cardio every single day, and I strength train 3 days a week. I also do short (10-15 minute) yoga workouts on my non-strength training days. If I have enough time throughout the day, I like doing my cardio and strength training workouts at different times. When that's not an option, what I do first depends on a lot of different things. Sometimes, I will even do half my strength training workout before cardio, and the other half after. It depends on my energy levels that day, boredom, spur of the moment decisions, etc. I tend to put a lot into my cardio, and honestly, I like feeling exhausted when I'm done with cardio, which doesn't leave much for strength training, so when I plan on doing hard cardio that day, I try to ST first. When I know I'm going to aim for a light cardio day, I usually ST first. It really does depend on your preferences, but as already mentioned, do keep form in mind. You need to be able to maintain good form, so if you know you won't be able to after a cardio session, ST before cardio.
And I have to politely disagree with the above poster. I've never heard doing cardio and ST on the same day is a bad idea. I do both, and I don't spend 3 hours at the gym. My ST workout is 30-45 minutes long, and I usually aim for 45-60 minutes of cardio. That being said, there's certainly nothing wrong with not doing cardio on your ST days if that's what you prefer.
Edited by: HEALTHYFOREVER4 at: 6/18/2013 (22:37)
Fitness Minutes: (2,769)
80 6/18/13 9:39 P
Both and neither. Confusing, I know.....but in a nutshell, I have my strength days and I have my cardio days. NEVER try to accommodate both in the same day unless you are a body builder and absolutely have at least 3 hours a night to spend at the gym and keep your cardio light.....no hardcore, huffing and puffing, sweating bullets the size of golf balls, level of cardio.
Most of the bodybuilders I know will spend about 30 minutes doing light cardio followed by 2 1/2 hours of weights. They do this because of they have a very thin line of balance to maintain.....which is not something I recommend to people who are on their fitness journey.
The truth is that if you do cardio and ST back to back, whichever you do second is going to suffer. But thinking this through, it is actually better to do ST first.
1. Good form is essential for ST, for reasons of both safety and effectiveness. And it is difficult to maintain good form if your muscles are already fatigued. So ST should always be done when you are feeling fresh.
2. Because of the need to rest 48-72 hours between ST sessions, you can only ST 2-3 times per week. If you always do ST second, you NEVER get the opportunity to do a good quality ST workout. But because you can still do cardio on non-ST days, it is possible to ST first and get a good quality (ie. intense) cardio workout in on your non-ST days.
In any event, ST will never burn a whole lot of calories in the same way that cardio does. The real significance of ST is not that it burns calories, but that it maintains your existing muscle mass and ensures that more of your weight loss comes from fat alone, rather than a combination of fat and muscle.
The best option is to do ST and cardio at different times of the day to give your body enough time to recover, although scheduling, travel time to the gym, etc means that this is not always possible.
Fitness Minutes: (82,861)
2,489 6/18/13 7:47 P
I can't strength train first. I tried it before and nearly died trying to do my cardio after. However, I find if I do a moderate cardio session (HIIT/calisthenics video, about 30-40 mins) before my ST routine I am loose, limber, energetic and ready to lift. My ST takes a lot of me and leaves me exhausted, cardio hypes me up. So I have to do them in that order.
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