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Is It Better to Perform Cardio Exercises Before or After Weight Training?

The sequence in which you incorporate cardio and strength training into your exercise regimen can greatly influence your fitness outcomes. Both cardio and weightlifting bring distinct advantages to the table, and figuring out the best order for these activities can enhance your gym performance. We’re here to explore an often-asked question: Is it better to do cardio before or after you lift weights?

The decision to place cardio before or after strength training ultimately comes down to what you prefer and aim to achieve with your workouts. Each method has its unique positives, and the best sequence varies based on aspects like how much energy you have, the intensity of your workouts, and what you personally enjoy. Trying out various sequences can help you pinpoint the approach that not only suits you but also propels you toward your fitness objectives most effectively.

It’s important to remember that commitment and consistency in following your exercise plan are crucial for achieving success. Always pay attention to how your body reacts and be willing to adjust your workout plan to optimize both the outcomes and your enjoyment of the fitness process.

The benefits of cardiovascular exercise:

fit woman running outdoors, concept of best type of exercise for weight loss

Cardiovascular exercise, often referred to as “cardio,” is any activity that elevates your heart rate and increases oxygen circulation throughout the body. This includes activities like running, cycling, swimming, and using cardio machines like treadmills and ellipticals. Cardio is excellent for improving cardiovascular health, increasing endurance, burning calories, and promoting fat loss.

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The benefits of lifting weights:

woman lifting dumbbells for dancer arms workout

Weightlifting, or resistance training, involves lifting weights or using resistance bands to build strength and muscle mass. This type of exercise helps increase lean muscle mass, boost metabolism, improve bone density, and enhance overall body composition. Additionally, lifting weights can lead to functional strength gains, making daily activities easier to perform.

Should you do cardio before or after lifting weights?

fit middle-aged man doing indoor cycling, concept of daily cardio workouts for men over 40

The order in which you perform cardio and weightlifting depends on your fitness goals and personal preferences. Here are the key considerations for each approach:

Cardio before lifting weights:

  • Increased fatigue: Performing cardio before lifting weights can lead to increased fatigue, potentially impacting your strength and performance during lifting sessions.
  • Enhanced warm-up: Cardio serves as an effective warm-up, increasing blood flow to muscles and preparing the body for resistance training.
  • Fat loss: Some individuals prefer doing cardio before weightlifting to deplete glycogen stores and prioritize fat burning during their lifting session.

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Cardio after lifting weights:

  • Preservation of energy: Lifting weights before cardio allows you to preserve energy for more intense resistance training exercises.
  • Strength and muscle growth: Prioritizing weightlifting ensures you have the energy and strength to lift heavier weights, leading to greater muscle growth and strength gains.
  • Post-workout fat burn: Performing cardio after weightlifting can enhance fat burning during the post-exercise recovery period, known as the “afterburn” effect.

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Considerations for your workout routine:

woman doing barbell back squats, resistance training exercises to transform your body after 30

Similar to determining whether to perform cardio before or after your weight-lifting session, building your workout routine requires a customized approach based on your unique fitness goals, schedule/lifestyle, and personal preferences.

  • Fitness goals: If your primary goal is to build muscle and strength, consider prioritizing weightlifting before cardio. Alternatively, if you’re focused on cardiovascular endurance or weight loss, you may prefer doing cardio first.
  • Time and convenience: Some individuals may find it more convenient to complete cardio and weightlifting in the same session, regardless of the order.
  • Personal preference: Ultimately, the best approach is the one that aligns with your preferences and allows you to enjoy your workout routine consistently.

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Tiara Clephin

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