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Thread: Cardio Before or After Your Workout

  1. #1
    Trauma RN's Avatar
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    Cardio Before or After Your Workout

    I was wondering if anyone had any idea on this? I was always doing it after my workout, and was wondering if it really matters?
    Thanks,

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    Back In Black's Avatar
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    You wanna focus on cardio - before.

    You wanna focus on lifting - after.

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    If it has to be with your workout I'd go with after

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    after has worked the best for me. I still do a 10-15 minute warm up before lifting, then 20-30 minutes low intensity cardio after.

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    ok great thank you guys so much....

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    After for me.
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    Can you elaborate on your response please.
    I squeeze cardio whenever I can, sometimes before weights with one exception. I cannot do leg workout after an hour spin class. My calves, feet cramp, but other body parts, no problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by Back In Black View Post
    You wanna focus on cardio - before.

    You wanna focus on lifting - after.


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    Quote Originally Posted by GirlyGymRat View Post
    Can you elaborate on your response please.
    I squeeze cardio whenever I can, sometimes before weights with one exception. I cannot do leg workout after an hour spin class. My calves, feet cramp, but other body parts, no problem.
    Well, if you want to get stronger and gain LBM then it's best to do cardio after so you are fresher and stronger for your lifting. If you do cardio first you will expend important energy and be weaker in your lifting programme. If cardio fitness is more important to you then the same rule applies the other way round.
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    DontTaseMeBro is offline Member
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    for what its worth, I do it on days when I don't lift. If I do it before lifting, I either lack energy to lift or the workout ends up being 2 1/2 hours. If I'm trying to bulk, I keep it really low intensity for 30 minutes twice a week. If I'm cutting, I try to get 45min to 1 hour 4 times a week with a couple of sessions including a lot of high-intensity intervals.

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    CrookedBones is offline Junior Member
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    I do 20 to 60 minutes after my workout. Weights first! for best muscle growth, since you need your glycogen stores to be explosive. Cardio is primarily for fat control and endurance, which is at its peak after an intense weight training, dipping into fat storage for energy to continue after the glycogen is nearly gone.

    Also, if I get in a good weight session, I wind up performing better on the cardio, with my muscles unable to give up the resistance they just endured.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrookedBones View Post
    I do 20 to 60 minutes after my workout. Weights first! for best muscle growth, since you need your glycogen stores to be explosive. Cardio is primarily for fat control and endurance, which is at its peak after an intense weight training, dipping into fat storage for energy to continue after the glycogen is nearly gone.

    Also, if I get in a good weight session, I wind up performing better on the cardio, with my muscles unable to give up the resistance they just endured.
    60 minutes is way too long for post workout cardio. 30 minutes max.

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    None before.
    None after.
    It's a nightmare.


    Trauma if that's you in the avi you look great. Nice work!
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelkel View Post
    None before.
    None after.
    It's a nightmare.


    Trauma if that's you in the avi you look great. Nice work!
    Blimey, can't believe you ventured into a thread with the 'C' word in the title.

    Did you used to do any when you show prepped?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Back In Black View Post
    Blimey, can't believe you ventured into a thread with the 'C' word in the title.

    Did you used to do any when you show prepped?
    It was a mistake but since I was here.....

    Nope, never really had to. Back then I just changed my diet a little. I usually grew into my shows, which is not the norm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelkel View Post
    None before.
    None after.
    It's a nightmare.


    Trauma if that's you in the avi you look great. Nice work!
    you have no experience in cardio, only experienced members in cardio are allowed to participate in these topics.

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    kelkel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bass View Post
    you have no experience in cardio, only experienced members in cardio are allowed to participate in these topics.
    You're correct. Apologies.
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    Other than a 5-10 min warmup DON'T do cardio before weights. You carb up before weights so that your glycogen stores are filled, and this is what will fuel an intense weight lifting workout. After around 45 mins to an hour of pounding the iron your glycogen stores should be nearly depleted and this is the appropriate environment to burn fat. Note: if glycogen stores are not somewhat depleted then a cardio session will hardly yield any fatloss (well other than maybe HIIT cardio). So hit the weights 1st then do your low intensity steady state cardio (LISS)...which will be 60-70% of your maximum heart rate...this is your optimal range to burn fat. 20-30 mins should do the trick. As Kel touched on, if you can't separate cardio from weights (as in, you don't have enough time to do fasted cardio in the morn) then do cardio AFTER weights.

  18. #18
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    Thank you all so much for the help. I have been doing it after.
    AND yes that is me in the pic..

  19. #19
    diabeticknowledge is offline Associate Member
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    first things first, why do you want to do cardio in the first place? are you an endurance athlete? cardiovascular training contributes to fat burning but fat burning does not equal to cardio. weightlifting is more effective, intensity determines

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    Quote Originally Posted by Back In Black

    Well, if you want to get stronger and gain LBM then it's best to do cardio after so you are fresher and stronger for your lifting. If you do cardio first you will expend important energy and be weaker in your lifting programme. If cardio fitness is more important to you then the same rule applies the other way round.
    Thank you. I wasn't sure what you meant but very clear now!

  21. #21
    Brett N is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bass View Post
    60 minutes is way too long for post workout cardio. 30 minutes max.
    Is this even if you are wanting fat loss? My post workout cardio is basically me walking at a brisk pace for 60 minutes. About 3.6 miles. If on treadmill, I will incline it a bit too. Is there a specific reason why long cardio like this is bad?

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    Absolutely after workout. You will drain to much energy and not be able to lift properly. Just will not have the strength to maximixe your weight workout. Also, if you jump right in immediately after your heart rate is already up and quicker to kick it up faster. Check your heart rate walking in gym and starting cardio, then check it right after strength training. I prefer to be around 80-85% of max. 30 minutes tops. Also, when interval training 80%-100%. I see no use for 60 minutes if doing interval which burns more fat. The old method of 65% does not do much. Look at the body of a sprinter and then a long distance runner. The sprinter is able to maintain much more muscle mass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyDoesIt View Post
    Absolutely after workout. You will drain to much energy and not be able to lift properly. Just will not have the strength to maximixe your weight workout. Also, if you jump right in immediately after your heart rate is already up and quicker to kick it up faster. Check your heart rate walking in gym and starting cardio, then check it right after strength training. I prefer to be around 80-85% of max. 30 minutes tops. Also, when interval training 80%-100%. I see no use for 60 minutes if doing interval which burns more fat. The old method of 65% does not do much. Look at the body of a sprinter and then a long distance runner. The sprinter is able to maintain much more muscle mass.
    I have to disagree with you! 95% of my cardio is performed at 65% MHR and I'm able to lose fat easily while holding on to muscle. At 80-85% MHR you're switching over from fat burning to more cardiovascular...so you're strengthening your heart but not targeting fatloss...you're also more opt to burn muscle at this higher intensity since glycogen levels are depleted (after your workout). HIIT cardio (sprinters) is a great tool for losing fat but IMO this shouldn't be performed in the carb depleted state as some muscle wastage is inevitable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M302_Imola View Post
    I have to disagree with you! 95% of my cardio is performed at 65% MHR and I'm able to lose fat easily while holding on to muscle. At 80-85% MHR you're switching over from fat burning to more cardiovascular...so you're strengthening your heart but not targeting fat loss...you're also more opt to burn muscle at this higher intensity since glycogen levels are depleted (after your workout). HIIT cardio (sprinters) is a great tool for losing fat but IMO this shouldn't be performed in the carb depleted state as some muscle wastage is inevitable.
    Well we will just disagree on this one. Take a look at MMA fighters, fast explosive exercises and they don't just jog when they run. They maintain there muscle tissue like a SPRINTER. 80% of the people on cardio equipment are overweight and still going by the old standard of 65% of max heart rate. They are not exhausting anything and they usually never change physically. At 65% i feel nothing and get nothing. Work hard in weight room and WORK on cardio. I use to do the 65% of max heart rate for years and it never did anything. Newer studies came out showing high intensity interval training worked best for cardio. Like i stated look at sprinters and look at long distance runners. Personally i wish the 65% worked for me because it's a lot easier, but it doesn't. There are all kinds of articles out there proclaiming both work. But for me i dumped the 65% method a long time ago.

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    After.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyDoesIt View Post
    Well we will just disagree on this one. Take a look at MMA fighters, fast explosive exercises and they don't just jog when they run. They maintain there muscle tissue like a SPRINTER. 80% of the people on cardio equipment are overweight and still going by the old standard of 65% of max heart rate. They are not exhausting anything and they usually never change physically. At 65% i feel nothing and get nothing. Work hard in weight room and WORK on cardio. I use to do the 65% of max heart rate for years and it never did anything. Newer studies came out showing high intensity interval training worked best for cardio. Like i stated look at sprinters and look at long distance runners. Personally i wish the 65% worked for me because it's a lot easier, but it doesn't. There are all kinds of articles out there proclaiming both work. But for me i dumped the 65% method a long time ago.
    Yep...agree to disagree! Stalemate!

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