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Incorporating Cardio and Weightlifting Into Your Workout Routine - What Should Come First?

One of the most common questions people have when trying to create a workout routine is whether they should do cardio or weightlifting first. The answer to this question isn't as simple as it may seem. It depends on a few different factors, including your goals, your schedule, and your preferred method of working out. Let's take a closer look at the best way to incorporate both cardio and weightlifting into your routine.




Cardio First or Last? It Depends

If you're looking to improve your cardiovascular fitness, then you'll want to do your cardio first. This will ensure that you have enough energy to complete a challenging cardio workout. Additionally, if you do weights first, you may not have enough energy left to do cardio effectively. However, if you're trying to build muscle, then it's best to do your weightlifting first. This is because lifting weights can exhaust your muscles, and you won't be able to lift as much weight if you're already tired from doing cardio. Essentially, you will want to prioritize whatever mode of exercise works for your primary goal.


For Fat Loss

There are a few trains of thought when it comes to workout program design with cardio and resistance training and which should go first. Cardio typically promotes burning more calories than a resistance training session, which is the primary mechanism for losing fat - burning more calories than you consume. On the other hand, when you build muscle mass, you increase your resting metabolic rate, which means you will burn more calories faster. If you have time for both workouts, I would prioritize resistance training before cardio for this very reason. If you do not have time for both, I would consider utilizing more of a circuit style of workout - a workout that is designed the have multiple resistance training exercises performed consecutively. By eliminating rest periods between exercises, the heart rate remains elevated and the body will burn more calories.


If You're Short On Time

Furthermore, if you're short on time, you may want to consider doing cardio and weightlifting on separate days. This way, you can focus on one type of workout without having to worry about rushing through it in order to get to the other. If your primary goal is to build muscle, this might actually be the best way to schedule your workout splits. Research has shown that closely scheduled cardio and resistance training sessions are not as optimal as spacing out the two. If you do decide to work out twice a day, be sure to leave enough time in between sessions for your body to recover. Otherwise, you risk overtraining and injuring yourself, and potentially killing your gains.


There is no single answer to the question of whether you should do cardio or weightlifting first. It depends on your individual goals and preferences. However, if you're looking to improve your cardiovascular fitness or build muscle, then it's best to do one type of workout before the other. And finally, if you're short on time, consider doing cardio and weightlifting on separate days so that you can fully focus on each type of workout.

1 Comment


Good Idea! circuit would work great because I do best when I do not have to think about it and can just follow something. To try in incorporate weight training even though my main focus is fat loss and toning seemed a bit challenging. I also know I should mix it up as far as what circuits so that it does not become routine. These posts remind me it is Mind over matter, keep focused on the goals!


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