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Thread: If i'm cutting/trying to lose weight...should I do cardio before or after weights?

  1. #1
    Work in progress
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    Mar 2004
    Columbus, Ohio

    If i'm cutting/trying to lose weight...should I do cardio before or after weights?

    I workout 4 days a week...I think i'd have to go to the gym every day to get enough cardio to dedicate days to just cardio...

    I joined my gym 2 months ago...and when I started...I did cardio first...then weight trained and I was getting results...

    I switched up a few weeks ago just to change routine and started lifting first and since...I don't think i've lost much weight...I actually may have put on a pound or 2. My diet hasn't changed much and i'm still doing a good 40-60 mins of cardio.

    I figured that because I had more energy to lift...i may have gained some muscle mass which made it harder to lose...i'm not too concerned with gaining any muscle right now...i need to drop another 35-40 lbs...

    Should I go back to cardio first?

    I hear conflicting arguments on which way is better...

  2. #2
    I wannabebig!
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    in my own world
    lift first, cardio second!

  3. #3
    is numero uno Saint Patrick's Avatar
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    May 2002
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  4. #4
    Wannabebig Member
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    May 2003
    Morris County, New Jersey
    Men's Health had a study about this. They said cardio afterwards burns more calories than if you did it before lifting.

    ...and it's Men's Health-- the pimps of the universe.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ebu's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    Syracuse, New York
    I also do AEROBIC activity after lifting, you do cardio with lifting AND running.
    "Color outside the lines"

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by GrindingOut
    I actually may have put on a pound or 2.
    That's probably due to lean muscle gain. Lifting first while you still have the energy to lift heavy will help you gain lean mass faster. You are probably still expending as much, if not more, calories by doing cardio after lifting. So, it's a win/win to lift first, aerobic second.


  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2001
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  8. #8
    Wannabebig Member
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    Sep 2003
    I was once told by a trainer that cardio after lifting can negatively effect gains, due to the additional time until protein intake, as well as (the biggest issue), taking your body's focus (blood, etc.) away from the recently worked muscle group and putting it into legs/organs. Any truth to this? I want to do cardio post lifting, but do not want to negatively effect my gains.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    on the short bus
    Any negatives experienced by doing cardio after weights are significantly outweighed by the negatives of pre-weight training cardio. Cardio before weight training will deplete muscle glycogen needed for effective weight training.

    I like to have a small protein shake between weights and cardio, and then a full post-workout shake when I'm done everything.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member aka23's Avatar
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    Feb 2003
    If you want to minimize interference, then separate the two activities. For example you might do one in the morning and the othe in the evening. You are most likely to catabolize muscle when doing cardio in a glycogen-depleted state (especially liver glycogen), such as after certain types of weight training or in the morning on an empty stomach. Furthermore doing sequential cardio may delay your postworkout nutrition, interfere with recovery from the weight training session, and reduce performance in the cardio session. The performance change may result in fewer calories burned, less fat lost, and less cardiovascular improvements.

  11. #11
    Wannabebig Member UKmarkw's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    I personally think the two are better separated as Aka said. I know after lifting I never feel like doing cardio.Also I just want to get in the postworkout meal and rest.

    If you have to do them together though definitely do the cardio second.

  12. #12
    Continuously Dangerously
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    ive been doing 1.1-2.2 miles (8-16min) of running prior to lifting. i only exercise one muscle group per day and down a monster high protein concoction of some sort (differs) when im done. ive only been doing this for several weeks and consistently have gains day after day- i believe my biceps are the only muscle group im at a standstill on and ive never been strong w/those anyway. otherwise my bench, shoulder press, triceps, and back (not lifting w/legs at the moment for academic reasons- will start next month) go up each time.


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