Is It Better To Do Cardio Before Weights Or After?
If your main goal is to build muscle I would recommend doing cardio AFTER weights. I like to add in cardio when I need to lean down and burn fat. Your body’s preferred energy source for intense exercise is glycogen (stored energy in your muscles). Psychologically, if you go into weight training feeling drained, it will be more challenging to lift heavy. I usually start with a short five minute warm up and then lift heavy using every ounce of energy I have. If I am close to a competition and need some extra fat burning, I will add in a half hour of cardio at the very end.
I have also seen good gains through combining cardio and strength training.
If you don’t have a lot of time you can combine the two, keeping your heart rate up the entire time. I have seen this work really well with fitness girls needing to lean down quick. By combining the two you are still breaking down the muscle and keeping your heart rate elevated to burn fat.
If you are just trying to keep your heart healthy, cardio would be good anytime. In my opinion and based on experience, if you are trying to lean down and burn off fat, cardio is always best first thing in the morning. This is because most of your glycogen has been burned off while you were sleeping. Then I would recommend doing your weight training later in the day.
If your goal is to gain as much lean muscle mass as possible:
Do your cardio after your workout, or on separate days, or at a different time during the day. You want to be 100% for your strength training routine and keep your energy high and focused.
Overall, do what suits you best, or focus on whatever goal is most important to you. My personal preference is to do cardio after weights. My advice is to not get too hung up on this whole issue. The most important thing would be to do whatever you feel most comfortable with and what works into your daily schedule.
1986 – 1st -NPC Mr. Southern Cal ( Lightweight)
1989 – 1st -NPC Cal. Novice and Overall ( Lightweight)
1992 – 1st – NPC Mr. Orange County ( Lightweight)
1993 – 1st – NPC Mr. California ( Lightweight)
1994 – 2nd – NPC Mr. North American ( Lightweight)
1995 – 2nd – NPC Excalibur ( Middleweight)
1998 – 7th – NPC USA ( Middleweight)
1999 – 1st – Mr. Los Angeles ( Light Heavyweight)
2008 – 2nd – NPC Excalibur ( Masters Middleweight)
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