When people are planning their workouts a common question that often comes up is when to do cardio. Lots of people are unsure whether to go running before or after their weights, as they don’t know which option will benefit them the most. If you want to build muscle and burn fat then it’s probably best to do your cardio after your weights session. When you are lifting weights, you are burning off a lot of the excess sugar in your system and predominantly using any carbohydrates that you’ve got stored. Then when you come to do the cardio afterwards you can target fat more and you’ll end up burning more calories.
Obviously it depends on your training goals and the type of equipment you have access to, but in general, you will get more out of your weight training if you do cardio afterwards. Here are the main benefits of doing weights first.
Lift Heavier Weights
When you’re working on strength training, you won’t be tired from a tough cardio session, so you should be able to put 100% into lifting the weights. You won’t feel as fatigued or out of breath so you will be able to lift heavier weights than if you had done your cardio beforehand. You will be much more efficient and get more done in the time you have.
Get Your Technique Right
If you are exhausted and disoriented from a hard run on the treadmill, or a rousing turn on the elliptical you won’t be able to concentrate very well. You may lose focus and find it difficult to get your technique right. If you are feeling weaker, then your technique is likely to suffer which can cause lots of problems if you’re working with heavy kettle bells or weights.
Burn More Calories
Doing your weights first will mean you can put more effort into lifting increasingly heavy amounts so you’ll be able to really push your body to the limit. This will result in your burning more calories during your weight session than if you had done cardio first.
If you are looking to build muscle, try separating your cardio and weights into different workouts. You can do them either on a separate day, or do cardio in the morning and weights in the evening. This is how some professional athletes, like bodybuilders or rugby players split their days up.
Workouts like skipping and sprints may be more also be beneficial than longer steady pace workouts such as running if you are looking to build muscle. Sprints will predominantly use fast twitch muscle fibres, and that produces more of a sprinters’ physique than that of a marathon runner.
Article: Bodybuilding Warehouse