Should cardio come before weight training?

Deciding whether to do cardio or strength training first can be one of the most hotly debated topics in the bodybuilding world.

Many people will say that cardio is better for warming up when working out, while others will recommend that energy for a good weight training session. So what is really better to do first? We’re here to weigh the pros and cons for you:


First cardio vs weights

First of all, combining both forms of training in one routine is never a bad idea. We call this cross-training. Second, remember that there are many different forms of cardio. There are high-intensity versions like HIIT or AMRAP routines and lower-intensity, steady-state exercises, such as jogging or cycling.

Obviously, low-intensity workouts won’t knock you out as much as high-intensity workouts. This makes low-intensity cardio ideal for warming up in front of weights.

A few minutes of running, biking, rowing, jumping rope, etc. have been shown to help support a strength routine by warming up the body first, helping the muscles and heart pump blood. Furthermore, these exercises are aerobic, that is, they work with the oxygen reserves in the body to produce energy.

If you’re looking to cram in an intense HIIT routine for your cardio, it’s best to save it for your weight training routine. That’s because you can use up the energy stored in your cardio routine if you do it first, leaving you with less energy to push later.

That may be because the short bursts of energy are provided by anaerobic processes, i.e. energy from food stored in your muscle cells is converted into ATP – adenosine triphosphate – known as the body’s energy currency.

Weight training is also fueled by ATP in the same process. Therefore, doing a HIIT routine before lifting weights may not really be the most ideal.

If you’re looking to lose weight, doing cardio before weight training can be a good idea, as you need to put your best into those routines. Weight training that follows will help speed up the process by strengthening your muscles.

Similarly, you can also follow this pattern if your fitness goal is to improve your endurance or stamina. Lifting weights is still essential to maintain muscle mass, but you only need to do it at a lighter intensity.

Note: if your goal is to build strength and you choose to start your routine with light cardio, keep the interval between 10 and 15 minutes. Spend time on the treadmill or bike. That will ensure your body is adequately warmed up without expending too much energy and getting tired too soon.


Whether you choose to do cardio before or after your strength routine, make sure to follow the right warm-up and cool-down procedures before and after your workout. Cross-training is a fun way to get stronger and toned, and build better stamina. Moreover, there are many habits you can follow. Stay safe and exercise regularly.


Q. What do you do first?

1 vote so far

https://www.sportskeeda.com/health-and-fitness/should-cardio-come-weight-training?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=sportskeeda Should cardio come before weight training?

Emma Bowman

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