Hi everyone, one of the most frequent questions that I get asked is should I do cardio before or after weights?
I am here to answer all your questions and to give you some free advice so I am happy to share this with you.
Before I give you my answer I will tell you that this is a question that trainers are split on with the majority advising to do cardio after weights.
I think the answer to this question really comes down to what your main training goal is.
If your main goal is to increase aerobic endurance then I would say to start with cardio.
On the other hand if your main goals are to increase muscle mass/strength or to lose body fat then I would start with weights first.
Here is why...CORRECT INTENSE weight training using the RIGHT exercises is MORE EFFECTIVE for fat loss than cardio training, that's right you heard me correct!
The metabolic boost that you get from weight training (not only the calories burned whilst training but also the increase in metabolism and calories burned after, as well as the muscle mass increase you get from weight training) is greater than the boost you get from cardio training!
Jogging on a treadmill at a steady pace for instance is much less effective then training with a correct weight training program.
Starting out with weights first will insure that you are fresh and energised to put the right intensity into the workout to reap the benefits. I am quite sure that if you are a man and you want to build muscle mass there is no way you would have the energy needed to push heavy weights and to squeeze out them very important last few mass stimulating reps after doing cardio first.
Here is another important point to remember...the body uses various sources for energy, some being more quick and efficient then others.
To keep things simple I will talk about three of those sources which are glycogen, fat and protein.
When exercising the body uses stored energy in our muscles called glycogen. Glycogen is the preferred efficient fast energy source used for the short fast intense muscle contractions in weight training and in intense exercise in general.
If you do cardio before you do weights you will use up your bodies preferred efficient glycogen energy source for intense exercise (weights).
As you continue working out your body will gradually use up its readily available supply of glycogen and start mobilising fat for energy.
The problem with this is getting to the fat mobilising stage takes some time.
Fat is also NOT an efficient energy source/fuel for weight training meaning that you will be forcing your body to make do with a less powerful fuel source.
This will mean your weights workout will lower in quality and your cardio won't be as effective for fat burning, which is your main goal!
Here's the key...perform your weight training first so you use up the efficient fast glycogen energy first. Then by time you start your cardio you will ALREADY be in the fat mobilising fat burning mode!
You will be burning more fat by the minute then if you was to start with cardio first!
That said if you are still adamant on doing your cardio first I'm not going to sit here and tell you its a complete no no and bad thing, at the end of the day the fact that you are doing something beats doing nothing each and every time.
If you are wanting to achieve maximum results though I would definitely do the weights first!
I hope that this has been of some help to some of you.
Feel free to contact me any time as I am always happy to help whenever I can.
p.s regarding the protein for energy, protein is used as a last resort by the body. The body will only use protein for energy if glycogen levels are depleted and fat levels are very low.