Should cardio come before strength training?

Deciding whether to do cardio or strength training first is probably one of the most heated debate points in the fitness world.

Many will say that cardio is best for warming up the body for exercise, while others will advise this energy for a good weight training session. So what’s really best to do first? We are here to weigh the pros and cons for you:


Cardio first vs weights

First of all, combining both forms of training into one routine is never a bad idea. We call this cross training. Second, remember that there are different forms of cardio. There are high-intensity versions like HIIT or AMRAP routines, and low-intensity, steady-state exercises, like jogging or cycling.

As is obvious, low intensity exercises won’t take your breath away as much as high intensity exercises. This makes low-intensity cardio ideal for warming up before weights.

It has been proven that a few minutes of running, cycling, rowing, jumping rope, etc. facilitate strength routines by warming up the body first and getting the muscles and core pumping. In addition, these exercises are aerobic, that is, they work with the body’s oxygen stores to produce energy.

If you’re looking to incorporate an intense HIIT routine for your cardio, it’s best to stick with it after your strength training routine. This is because you can use up your energy reserves in your cardio routine if you do it first, leaving you with less energy to push the weights later.

This can be attributed to short bursts of energy fueled by anaerobic processes, i.e. food energy stored in your muscle cells being converted into ATP – adenosine triphosphate – which is known as the body’s energy currency. .

Bodybuilding is also fueled by ATP in the same process. Therefore, doing a HIIT routine before lifting weights may not really be ideal.

If you’re looking to lose weight, cardio before weights can be a good idea, as you’ll have to give it your all in these routines. The strength training to follow helps speed up the process by also strengthening your muscles.

Likewise, you can also follow this regimen if your fitness goal is to improve your stamina or stamina. Lifting weights is still essential for maintaining muscle mass, but you would only need to do it at a lighter intensity.

Keep in mind: if your goal is to build strength and you choose to start your routine with light cardio, keep the duration between ten and 15 minutes. Spend time on the treadmill or the bike. This will ensure that your body is sufficiently warmed up without expending too much energy and without getting tired too soon.


Whether you choose to do your cardio before or after your strength training routine, be sure to follow proper warm-up and cool-down protocols before and after training. Cross-training is a fun way to get stronger, more toned, and build better endurance. Moreover, there are many routines that you can follow. Stay safe and train regularly.


Q. What do you do first?

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Richard V. Johnson