Physique Global

Cardio or weight training. Which should you do first?

So, you decide to double dip and do cardio and lifting on the same day.

Now, you’re wondering, “Which one should I do first?”

If you’ve already done some research on this topic, you’ve heard the unexciting
advice of “do whichever order you prefer” or “first do the one that fits your goal the most.”

In fairness, that’s true.

Nothing beats planning your routines with
preferences and goals in mind.

But, if we look past such simple answers and dive into the science, the enzymes, and the physiology, then we will find that, ultimately, you want to lift FIRST and then cardio.

Here’s a few reasons why.

Let’s first look at glycogen, the stored form of the quickly metabolized energy source glucose. Cardio and lifting needs it, and if either of them have too little, performance suffers.

Cardio, though, is slow and steady, which is better suited with the slow and steady breakdown of fat for energy.

If you do a cardio session right before lifting, there can be residual muscle fatigue, compromising muscle force production.

Your heart will be taxed as well, which can affect energy transportation. You might also be mentally fatigued, which can dampen focus and motivation. Simply, you just won’t perform good.

That’s not to say that lifting first won’t impact your cardio.It’s just that cardio doesn’t demand as much as lifting, especially steady state cardio.

Plus, by the time you go from your lifting to cardio, the type 1 fibers needed for cardio should be recovered enough to last you a while.

Now, with the suggested evidence, does that
mean you should always lift first and then hit the treads.