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TOPIC: Cardio First or Last??

 
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September 30, 2011 1:08 PM
I've been talking with a few friends from work and they are telling me I am going about my routine all wrong! I HATE cardio so I always do that first to get it out of the way then I go on to my weights and sit ups. They are telling me I should do a quick warm up on the ellyptical or treadmill first like 5 or 10 minutes then go lift and then come back and do my normal 30 to 45 minutes of cardio. Why is that?
September 30, 2011 1:50 PM
I lift first and do cardio later, if I do cardio at all that is. I'm not a big fan of cardio, and you can lose body fat without doing a ton of it, much to the chagrin of cardio junkies everywhere.

But anyway, I don't know the exact science behind it, but basically what I have been taught is that by doing cardio first, you exhaust your body of its energy supply and don't lift as heavy or intensely as you would have if you lifted before cardio. By lifting first, you are not using up all the energy needed to run on a treadmill for 30 minutes.
September 30, 2011 1:52 PM
^^^ Yeah - what she said. Something about using up something in your muscles... and needing them for lifting. (helpful... aren't I?)
September 30, 2011 2:15 PM
Glycogen. And yes, that's why you're supposed to lift first.
September 30, 2011 2:20 PM
Muscle Glycogen is Burned first (and very fast)
Blood Glucose is converted and Burned next (and usually blood sugar drops within 15 mins of lifting)
Fat is converted and Burned for the duration (slow and continuous process)

Cardio after workout helps increase blood flow for lipid transport, and extends the duration of actual fat burn.

Post workout Cardio is the right way in my opinion.
September 30, 2011 2:22 PM
I also take advantage of the body's catabolic state from sleep and do starved cardio first thing in the morning. (yes before eating)
September 30, 2011 2:26 PM
I found if I did 30 minutes of cardio right away (because I hate it too) I was to tired to do my weights...so I had to force myself to break it down to 10 minutes cardio, then weights, then 20 minutes cardio. Now I can lift heavier because I'm not tired.
  2032918
September 30, 2011 2:26 PM
I used to do it first until I read on here that it's better to save it for after your strength training routine so you won't be too exhausted and not put your all into the strength routine. It took me a couple of weeks to ween off of my original habit, but now I do strength first and cardio second.
  227773
September 30, 2011 2:30 PM
It really depends on your goals, are you trying to burn a ton of calories and maintain your strength or are you trying to build strength and maintain your cardio? whichever is a higher priority should be first while you are fresher. You might want to consider alternating days. one day only cardio, the next warmup and strength. that way you would see more balanced improvement in both areas. (remember to stretch after all workouts though)
September 30, 2011 2:34 PM
QUOTE:

I've been talking with a few friends from work and they are telling me I am going about my routine all wrong! I HATE cardio so I always do that first to get it out of the way then I go on to my weights and sit ups. They are telling me I should do a quick warm up on the ellyptical or treadmill first like 5 or 10 minutes then go lift and then come back and do my normal 30 to 45 minutes of cardio. Why is that?
Yep and it's to reserve glycogen for your lifts. If not and you glycogen stores can't support your lifting, then you catabolize muscle since it's easier for the liver to convert muscle down to amino acids for energy than it is for fat to be converted for energy. And to lose muscle means lower metabolic rate. Most don't know it, but you burn more fat at rest than from exercise.
Edited by ninerbuff On September 30, 2011 2:34 PM
  9285851
September 30, 2011 3:15 PM
I think it's better to do cardio and strength training on different days (or at different times of the day), so your body focuses entirely on each one. However, if you do both the same day, one after the other, it all comes down to what you're looking for.

If you are trying to build muscle, it's not that good to do cardio after strength training. It's better to eat something after your strength training routine instead, so your body starts recovering and you gain strength.

If you're trying to lose fat, then it's better to do cardio after strength training. That way, as other members have said above, you use your glycogen for your lifts and burn fat afterwards.

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