Weights or cardio first?

dmsl977
dmsl977 Posts: 232 Member
I'm beginning a new workout program that calls for 30 minutes of cardio, plus weight training on a specific body part (i.e., shoulders, back, etc.) each day. Which should I do first for best results? I did 2 miles in the heat yesterday before I started the shoulder workout and probably didn't have my best effort. (I wasn't sure if it was just the heat or the cardio.) I'm headed to the gym after work today (yay for AC) and wasn't sure where to start.

Replies

  • emmies_123
    emmies_123 Posts: 513 Member
    The best answer probably depends on what type of cardio you are doing.

    My cardio is workout routines, so on days where I do both types I will do strength training first and then the cardio. This way I give my full effort to the strength training, and the cardio gives my limbs a chance to recover.
  • dmsl977
    dmsl977 Posts: 232 Member
    My cardio will either be zumba or elliptical, depending on what is offered at my gym that day.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,728 Member
    What does the program say?

    If you're following a program it should tell you what to do and when. And how.

    Generally a "beginner's" program that involves isolation exercises is somewhere between suboptimal and poor programming.
  • MichelleWithMoxie
    MichelleWithMoxie Posts: 1,819 Member
    It depends on which you place more focus on. I’m a runner, but I also lift a couple days a week because it’s good for me, but because running is my primary focus and my first priority, I always run first.
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,812 Member
    It depends on your goals and how you feel after cardio. For me I prioritize lifting so I do cardio on a separate day so I don't interfere with my session or recovery. But you may find it helps your sessions by warming up, try it out.

    Also are you following a program? Bro splits (working a different body part each day) is typically not very optimal.. working body parts at least twice a week will give you better results.
  • dmsl977
    dmsl977 Posts: 232 Member
    What does the program say?

    If you're following a program it should tell you what to do and when. And how.

    Generally a "beginner's" program that involves isolation exercises is somewhere between suboptimal and poor programming.

    The program says body part(s) of the day + 30 minutes of cardio. Then it lists multiple exercises for said body part, and a few cardio options.
  • BusyRaeNOTBusty
    BusyRaeNOTBusty Posts: 7,166 Member
    Which program is this?

    I'd also recommend a fully body program instead.

    As far as cardio or lifting order, it doesn't really matter.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,728 Member
    Which program is this?

    I'd also recommend a fully body program instead.

    As far as cardio or lifting order, it doesn't really matter.

    Yeah, unless your cardio is so intense that it compromises your ability to lift with proper form, and it doesn't sound like you're anywhere near there yet.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,876 Member
    For what you're describing, it's not really going to matter.
  • dmsl977
    dmsl977 Posts: 232 Member
    Which program is this?

    I'd also recommend a fully body program instead.

    As far as cardio or lifting order, it doesn't really matter.

    Lady Boss Fitness by Kaelin Poulin.
  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,442 Member
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  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,811 Member
    Generally if you need to ask the question then it's unlikely to matter beyond personal preference and convenience - it might be something as trivial as disliking lifting when sweaty from cardio. Or alternatively liking to use the cardio as a warmup....

    From the description of your workout then it's really unlikely to matter as regards any discernible differences in results.
  • kelsully
    kelsully Posts: 1,008 Member
    I think it depends on your goals.

    My goals are cardio based in that I love to run and do marathons etc. I do circuit training and strength training for injury prevention and overall health but my fitness goals are cardio goals, so I prioritize cardio first.

    If I were looking for significant strength gains or to develop a different body type that looked more cross fit than marathon runner, I would lift first. If your goals are overall weight loss and health, then it seems strength first is better....but I add...do the routine in such a way that you look forward to doing something similar in the future. Do the routine in a less than ideal order, but doing it consistently, is better than doing it perfectly only every now and thn.
  • BusyRaeNOTBusty
    BusyRaeNOTBusty Posts: 7,166 Member
    dmsl977 wrote: »
    Which program is this?

    I'd also recommend a fully body program instead.

    As far as cardio or lifting order, it doesn't really matter.

    Lady Boss Fitness by Kaelin Poulin.

    Honestly I know nothing about this routine. However, based on the fact that it has you splitting up by body parts, would indicate to me, that's it's not great.

    I'd recommend going to this thread and picking one of the beginner routines listed there:

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10332083/which-lifting-program-is-the-best-for-you/p1
  • hesn92
    hesn92 Posts: 5,967 Member
    edited June 2018
    I would do weights first before cardio or better yet do them on separate days. I do them alternating days but I do things like squats, bench press where I don’t feel like it would be safe/a great idea to do while tired from doing cardio beforehand. I also agree with the others.
  • sirenserenade
    sirenserenade Posts: 9 Member
    As someone who used to combine intense cardio with mild lifting, I'll share my own personal experience.

    My workout sessions were fasted (performed in the mornings immediately after waking), taken only with a no-calorie preworkout. I always used to start with cardio first. My logic was that I would absolutely kill my cardio session because of my preworkout pump - and it's true, I'd always walk away from the treadmill feeling proud of my efforts. HOWEVER, I also found that because I was able to go so hard during my cardio (20-30 minutes of intense HIIT), I had little left in the tank to do any sort of productive lifting afterwards. And, when it comes to lifting, if you're not challenging yourself, what's the point? Simply going through the motions at a subpar pace and strength is not enough to warrant the time spent doing it, imo.

    I've recently changed things up in the past few weeks. I figured my lack of energy was due to two factors:
    1. HIIT cardio is tiring as heck, so it's expected that I would be low-energy after a good sweat sesh.
    2. I wasn't fueling my body with any energy to do the work I was asking of it (HIIT+challenging lifts=hard work on the body)

    So now, I'm taking a protein shake before my workout (this brand has just a bit of carbs to give me some energy), and I do my weights first. I lift challenging weights, yet still I find I have a lot more energy left after my session to still do some cardio if I want (but then I'm usually pretty done after that).

    Outside of personal experience... Lifting weights boosts your metabolism for hours after your session is done, in a that aerobic exercises do not. Therefore, it makes sense to do your cardio AFTER your lifting session to take advantage of that additional burn you've just worked your metabolism into.

    Just my two cents. I think either way can work just fine, but you should ultimately listen to your body. Unless I'm working with a personal trainer who can help to tailor my program to my needs, I never take any workout program found online or in a book as 100% gospel.