Post # 1
I know this has been a huge debate in the fitness world for a long time, but what do you girls think. Is it better to lift weights before or after you do cardio?
The reason I am asking is because I get out of work at 5 and most of the cardio classes start at 5:30. So is it okay if I take the cardio class first and then lift? Will it be as beneficial? Or should I lift and then do my own cardio routine?
Post # 3
- Wedding: June 2010 - Tannery Pond at the Darrow School
I ALWAYS lift after cardio, never ever beforehand. When I was in college and on the track team, that’s how our coach scheduled our practices and it’s just a habit that’s stuck with me ever since. If you do it before your cardio, you still have to warm up with 5-10 minutes of cardio anyways, so it seems like, what’s the point?
Post # 4
@trailmix- Glad to know that lifting after has worked for you. I was always taught to warm up (5-10 mins of cardio) lift and then do cardio. But it’s good to know that it’s worked for you the other way, just want to make sure that I can burn the most calories.
Post # 5
I read that you should do cardio FIRST if you want to burn more fat/lose weight–therefore your heart rate stays up better throughout the weight lifting, but that you should do weights FIRST if you are trying to build muscle specifically from lifting weights because you can lift heavier weights with more ease and are less tired from the cardio. I tend to do cardio first, THEN lift because I more specifically want to lose fat. For my personal goals, I always got the impression this was more bneficial. We always did it this way in high school, too. I like to already be sweaty when I’m lifting weights; it does help me burn more calories that way!
Post # 6
I always lift after cardio as well. I don’t know if it’s better or worse for your body, but I like having the slower pace of lifting after cardio. I’m usually so exhausted after cardio I need to do something else to calm myself a bit before I feel ok to drive home…
Post # 7
- Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union
I do 10 minutes of cardio as a warm-up, switch to weights, and then finish my cardio. I like feeling really weak while doing cardio, makes it seem like I’m burning extra calories 🙂 And I have an excuse to switch between the elliptical and the bike!
Post # 8
My brother is a certified personal trainer and I think he has his clients do 10 minutes of cardio workout as a warm-up (usually treadmill), switch to weight training and then I believe finish with cardio. If you need a more definite answer, just PM me and I can find out.
Post # 9
In the 30 Day Shred, she lifts before cardio! I hope it’s okay, because I’ve been doing it!
Post # 10
When I used to train (like, with an actual trainer) he said that you should always lift first and then do cardio. Lifting takes a lot of strength and your body needs the energy and nutrients to do that. Cardio is kinda like “workout extra credit” so if you do it after, it’s all good.
I don’t think it’s bad to do cardio before, you just might not be able to do as much. I notice if I do cardio before I lift I can’t do as many reps.
Post # 11
- Wedding: September 2010 - Heron Hill Winery
The trainers at the my gym suggest warm-up cardio then lifting, but not heavy cardio and lifting….when I was in college and on the crew team we would always do lifting in the morning with a 10 min warm-up on either the erg or treadmill. I find that lifting after heavy cardio can be a waste of time because your body is already fatigued you aren’t able to work to your maximum potential.
our crew workouts were designed by our coach who also happened to be and exercise physiologist
Post # 12
A lot of you are right I am a personal trainer and a kinesiologist and I can tell you there is NO RIGHT way.
EJS was right in that you want to do the activity that is most important to you FIRST. Therefore, if cardio/weight loss is most important do it first or if toning and weight training is more important do it first (but make sure you do a 5-10 cardio warm-up first).
It also comes down to preference – I hate doing cardio personally I find it boring and monotonous but I LOVE weight training. So I do my cardio first get it out of the way and then lift weights.
Cardio does fatigue you a bit; however, the muscles used for cardiovascular exercise are large and have a lot of endurance. So you will still be able to do you full strength work out no problem afterwards. I push people to do the same weights after cardio as they would before.
And as clarification I am talking about the average person’s gym cardio. If you are an elite athlete and doing 100% effort sprint interval training or running a marathon than it is not recommended to do cardio first or you are likely to hurt yourself while lifting. But most of these athletes will do cardio and weights on different days or different hours of the day.
Post # 13
Well said Future Mrs. Martin – I am pretty sure that is how my brother would have worded it as well. I sadly do him no justice.
Post # 14
Thank you for all of your comments, it seems as though everyone’e routine is a little different.
@FutureMrs.Martin- Thank you for stepping in and offering your expert advice. Which one would be better if I want to tone up and lose weight. I am 5’4 130 pounds and would like to lose between 5-10 pounds, but at the same time tone up. Do you think it would be more beneficial to lift first since I probably need to tone up more since I am not looking to lose that much weigh?
Post # 15
I usually do heavy cardio (60 min or more, higher intensity) on days that I don’t lift. I lift mostly in group classes, so there’s a short cardio warmup, but if I have time, I will run a mile or two before class too. Depending on how I feel, I often run 3 miles or so after I lift. It also seems to help keep me from getting stiff after lifting.
I will say that days that I’ve done more cardio before lifting (30 min or more, higher intensity), I get lightheaded pretty easily when I’m trying to lift…..mostly when I’m lifting weights over my head.