Weights or cardio – which should come first?

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If you are doing a cardio workout and a weight workout in the same session, do you know which one you should do first?

Common practice and generally a good idea is to do a brief warm up on a treadmill or rowing machine before working out with weights.

However there is a strong argument to do a strength workout before you do a long intensive cardio workout regardless of your goal, whether its bodybuilding or weight loss.

When you strength train you need energy which comes from glycogen (carbohydrates stored in your muscles and liver). An intensive cardio workout could deplete these stores and then when you weight train your body will use body fat and even muscle tissue for energy. This is highly inefficient at best and counterproductive if any muscle tissue gets used.

For muscle gains workout with free weights first. If you use the glycogen weight training you will use a lot more bodyfat during your aerobic workout, as aerobic exercise likes bodyfat as fuel. But you do have to reduce your glycogen stores first and weight training will do this. Sequencing it this way will maximise your fat burning.

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