Should I Do Cardio or Weights First?
When you start to get more serious about your workouts you will find more challenges and questions on your way. One of these common questions is that should you do cardio before weight lifting or after?
I am sure there are tons of info and different answers to this question on the internet. But thought to give you a simple explanation on how things work so you can decide for yourself what is better for you according to your goals.
I personally prefer lifting weights before doing cardio and here is why:
To be Mentally and Physically ready for Weight Lifting:
Glycogen is the stored form of glucose which is an energy source for your body. When you need energy your body metabolizes glucose first as your energy source. Both cardio and lifting needs energy. For weight lifting you need glucose as your source of energy. However for your cardio you can use both glucose and fat as your source of energy. But your body doesn’t use fat unless the stored glucose is finished. So this makes decision making easy. If you want to have energy for your weight lifting to make the best use of it you need glucose. So don’t burn them for cardio when you can burn them for weights. Now that your glucose storage is finished you can do cardio and burn fat. If you do cardio first you will transform all the stored glucose in your body to energy and you will have less energy for your weight lifting which needs Glycogen storage to perform well.
The other reason is fatigue. You don’t want to be mentally and physically tired when you do weigh lifting. You have to have energy and be focused on your muscles when lifting. Steady state cardio is not as demanding as weight lifting. Your body can be tired and still be able to have a steady cardio for a longer time.
And again if you are thinking to lose fat, because you have used all the stored glucose for lifting, your body taps into fat to find energy for your cardio. Just make sure to do a steady and long type of cardio to burn fat. One example is walking with the same speed for at least 30 to 45 minutes. The speed should be in a way that you can hold a conversation but you can’t read a book. It should be brisk walk.