Should you do your cardio before or after weight training?

Strength training and cardio are complementary physical activities that provide different fitness and health benefits. The two types of exercises are often combined in the same training program to achieve various objectives. However, the question arises of the order in which it is preferable to perform them: is it better to do cardio before or after weight training? We will explore this question in detail in this article.

What is bodybuilding?

Strength training is a form of exercise that involves working against a form of resistance, such as free weights or weight machines or against your body weight, to gain muscle mass and strength. Resistance training acts as a stressor on the muscles, causing them to adapt to become stronger and less prone to injury. This adaptation, called hypertrophy, leads to muscle growth. However, these intense exercises are difficult to sustain over long periods of time due to the energy required, limiting the number of repetitions performed.

  • Why do cardio?

Cardio , also called cardiovascular training, is a type of exercise that increases heart rate and improves cardiovascular endurance. Cardio can be done in different forms, such as running, walking, cycling, swimming, or jumping rope.

Let's find out why it is interesting to do cardio:

To. Light cardio to warm up:

It is essential to warm up the muscles before starting a workout , whether it is weight training or cardio. The most common and effective way to warm up is to do some light cardio exercises. Here are some examples of cardio activities to practice before starting strength training:

  • Jumping rope
  • Run on treadmill
  • Walking on an incline treadmill
  • Dynamic stretches

These light cardio exercises will gradually increase your heart rate and pump more blood to your muscle tissue to warm it up and prepare it for more intense activity . A cardio warm-up should last between 5 and 10 minutes . Keep in mind that too much cardio in the warm-up can lower your energy levels for the rest of your workout.

No matter what your main fitness goal is, or what type of workout you want to focus on, get into the habit of doing a cardio warm-up at the start of each session .

b. Cardio training to improve your muscular endurance:

Cardio training is a physical activity that can be practiced in addition to other sports activities or alone for fun. It can be a major asset in advancing your physical condition, including in bodybuilding. Often combined with a period of dieting and bodybuilding, cardio can help you burn extra calories , but it's not limited to that.

During a cardio session, you maintain an intensity effort over time, which strengthens your heart . Training strengthens the heart muscle, which increases the oxygen resources necessary for the muscles to function properly.

By practicing bodybuilding, you can be more enduring and efficient between your series of exercises and less tired. Cardio has real benefits for sports in general, so don't hesitate to include it in your sports routine to improve your cardiovascular endurance and performance.

Should you do your cardio before or after weight training?

Now that we've seen the benefits of doing cardio and weight training, we can ask ourselves whether it's better to do cardio before or after weight training.

The answer is… it depends on your goals!

If your primary goal is to gain muscle mass and strength , it's best to do strength training before cardio . This is because if you do cardio before strength training, you risk drawing on your energy reserves, which can reduce your performance during strength training. Additionally, cardio can lead to increased production of cortisol, a hormone that can reduce protein synthesis and thus decrease your muscle mass.

On the other hand, if you are looking to lose weight and fat , it is often recommended to do your cardio before weight training . This helps burn stored fat to provide energy to your body during exercise. For even greater results, incorporate HIIT into your cardio routine, which can help burn more calories in less time.

The benefits of cardio

It's important to note that the effects of cardio and strength training on your body can vary depending on many factors, such as your diet, stress level, and age.

Also, doing cardio and strength training is important for maintaining good physical and mental health. Cardio is great for improving your overall fitness , cardiovascular endurance, and heart health, while weight training is essential for building muscle mass, strength, and bone density.

When it comes to deciding whether to do cardio before or after strength training, it all comes down to your personal goals. If you want to improve your endurance and overall fitness, it's best to do cardio before strength training . If you want to gain muscle mass and strength, it's best to do strength training before cardio.

fitness woman reluctant to do cardio before or after bodybuilding


The importance of nutrition:

Whichever order you choose, it's important to consider nutrition . Make sure you are consuming enough carbohydrates to provide your body with energy, as well as vitamins to support your immune system. An additional tip is to prioritize nutrition focused on fat loss if that's your goal.

It's important to remember that every body is different and the best strategy for achieving your personal goals may vary. Consult with a healthcare professional or personal trainer to help you develop a fitness and nutrition program that suits your individual needs.

Other tips related to this theme might interest you:

Weight loss : 7 misconceptions
Why weight training is very effective for losing weight?

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