Is It Better To Do Cardio Before Or After Lifting Weights To Burn Fat

So there you are at the gym and the first thing you do when you walk in is get on the treadmill and then you go about your weight training.  Or maybe it is the other way around and you go to the weights before you do your cardio.  But in reality, is it better to do cardio before or after lifting weights in order to burn fat?

Every year there is some study that point to one or the other conclusion as being “definitive.”  But is it really true that one method works more than another or is it just a way for fitness magazines to sell more issues and subscriptions?

For anyone interested in burning more fat hearing news that a specific method works best is always something that will be welcome with open arms or open ears.  The theory that gets mentioned more often is that performing some form of cardiovascular exercise before doing weights will burn fat and calories more effectively.

The theory goes like this, you begin your cardio and you have now elevated your metabolism and are beginning to burn calories so by adding weight training to your workout you are now going to burn even more calories.

In reality there is no significant advantage whether one method burns more fat or calories than the other.

What does work is a combination of the two.  Cardio workouts alone will not help you drastically in getting fit.  Lifting weights alone will help more than doing cardio alone, but in order to look lean and athletic a combination of the two is best.

Cardio done before or after lifting weights is a matter of preference

Think about the times you are about to start your workout.  You get on the treadmill or stationary bike and hit it hard for 30 minutes.  Once you are done you are huffing and puffing and drenched in sweat.  Are you ready to go another 30 minutes lifting heavy weights?  Probably not, so you either quit or want to go home or you battle it out and do a mediocre workout.

However, when you start by doing weights you will finish your workout and still have the energy to get a good cardio workout, that is unless you have been doing leg workouts, in this case I forgive you…

But don’t get me wrong I know a few people who begin their workouts with cardio and they tell me that they feel like they have a new boost in energy after a good jog or run.  For them starting with cardio before weights is easier than leaving it at the end of their routine.

Like I said it is a matter of preference.  Think of your situation and how your body responds best.  Are you the type that feels drained with cardio exercises?  Then leave them to the very end of your routine.

Are you the type that feels revitalized and with a shot of adrenaline after a good run?  Well feel free to begin your workouts this way before lifting weights.

If you are like me and feel best leaving your cardio after your weight training then do the following:

  • Warm up with a light walk or jog for 5-10 minutes
  • Do weight lifting for 30-60 minutes (no more than 60 minutes)
  • Do cardiovascular workout of any type for 20-30 minutes

This technique works best for those who are like myself.  However, if you feel best leaving the weights at the end then by all means do it that way.

Working out should not be like the riddle of the sphinx, where one answer is definitive or a do-or-die scenario.  Have fun when getting in shape.

Do not focus so much on the latest “study” that is being pitched by the media.  Simply combine the two types and do either cardio before or after lifting weights, depending on your preference and you will look fit and look athletic sooner than you think.