Cardio before or after workout for fat loss

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  1. Cardio before or after workout for fat loss

    Hi bro,
    I'm 5' 9 192 and I have 10 pounds to lose and
    I want to know if for weight loss you're doing cardio before workout of after or before and after?

    Do you recommend to do it on an empty stomach?

    How long do your trainning session last without the cardio while cutting?

    And if somebody know a good abs routines, I'll appreciate , I have some problem with lower abs.


  2. Well...

    If you are weight lifting...then I do not recommend fasted cardio.

  3. Fasted cardio only is good, but if you cannot do it then, wait until after your WO. As already said, NEVER lift on an empty stomach.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys

  4. Agreed with Cauliflower Ear - always AFTER a workout.

  5. I try to keep weight training to 45 min. But never longer than 60.

  6. I have found that cardio gives me the best results after the WO. We play several games of racquetball. I always seems to be a bit lighter the next morning. Oh and I eat about 1.5 hours before I WO.

    If I could wake myself up early enough in the mornings I would try the fasted Cardio.

    I have also attempted to play Racquetball before the WO... NOT FUN. Hard to get that push on the 3rd sets. Felt very weak on those days. Needless to say, I am not doing that anymore.


  7. If you are forced to do cardio and weight training close together, do your weight training FIRST, then your cardio as others suggested.


    1. If you do cardio first (especially high intensity), you will be fatigued and low on glycogen, rendering your workout pretty pathetic (assuming you pushed yourself during cardio...and if you didn't, then what was the point. )

    2. After your workout, glycogen levels are low, so your high intensity cardio would likely utilize the rest of it and get into fat stores quickly for energy.

    I saw mention above of "fasted cardio." I don't believe it's ever really effective - at least not to the point that you should TRY to do fasted cardio on purpose.

    Here's a good article on the Myth of Fasted Cardio...

  8. i'd do 45 mins. cardio in the morning on an empty stomach
    and again in the evening for 30 mins.
    and for abs try decline crunches,hanging leg raises and frog kicks a.k.a seated knee raises with or without light weights

  9. Lately I have been doing cardio post-workout (20-25mins).. workouts are a bit long, but it means I get it all done in the one hit and frees up your mind/time to do other things during the day. I go as hard as I can after workouts.. (which only ends up being moderate pace after lifting) and it seems to be working well so far

  10. After workout (assuming you lift first). Your glycogen stores will be drained out and you'll be in a better position to burn fat from cardio.

  11. I do cardio very early in the morning (5:45 AM) and cram down some creatine, BCAA's, and about 90 calories to give me enough fuel to get started. I burn between 600-800 calories in an hour (I bust my arse), so the 90 calories is just a drop in the bucket. If I don't cram down SOME nutrients I get pretty light headed by the end of the work out that early in the morning. That being said, I believe AFTER weight training is your best bet. I try not to do cardio on the same days I weight train unless there's a 3 hour gap though. I just can't put the same effort into it otherwise. I don't believe in doing cardio half-arsed. I train cardio just as hard as I lift, full speed ahead.

  12. exposive cardio after weight lifting FTW.. W

  13. i dont do cardio right after I lift- your muscles WANT to be fed- i drink my whey eat my simple carbs to refuel muscle glycogen, wait an hour eat again and then do cardio- of course it all depends on what you want- if you are not concerned about muscle mass cardio right after a workout is great- or if you on anabolics you can do it
    Test e/dbol/epi/winnie

  14. Fasted cardio in the AM is best, but not if you workout in the AM. Best to use yohimbine (or alpha yohimbine) and a stim if you're targeting love handles and other hard to get fat spots. Can add BCAA to help prevent muscle wasting as well. Start with HIIT 10-15min, then LISS 20 minutes.

    Cardio after workout is second best. BCAA is good here too. Don't worry about replacing muscle glycogen, you'll be fine getting a shake an hour later. NEVER do full cardio session (warm-up only) before lifting, nothing good happens there.

    If you workout at night, you can do fasted AM cardio first thing and then another cardio session post workout.

    Lower abs are tough, lots of hanging leg raises with holding DB weights between your feet. Do them slow and controlled and it should be quite difficult.

  15. Quote Originally Posted by schwellington View Post
    i dont do cardio right after I lift- your muscles WANT to be fed- i drink my whey eat my simple carbs to refuel muscle glycogen, wait an hour eat again and then do cardio- of course it all depends on what you want- if you are not concerned about muscle mass cardio right after a workout is great- or if you on anabolics you can do it
    However, the increased blood-glucose will blunt lipolysis.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys

  16. post workout. fasted cardio would be best and then coming back later to the gym after a few meals to get your regular workout in, but this doesn't work with most people's schedules

  17. I do my cardio first thing in the morning usally HIIT for about 15 minutes then go on with my day i also do 10 minutes light-moderate intensity pre workout as a warmup this helped me lean up a bit in the past and am doing it now and liking results.

  18. honestly i always do 10 minutes before i work out then i do another 30 minutes after i workout.

  19. Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    Fasted cardio only is good, but if you cannot do it then, wait until after your WO. As already said, NEVER lift on an empty stomach.
    HIGH VOLUME - Supreme Stim-Free Nitric Oxide Matrix
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    ALPHAMINE - Thermogenics...Redefined

  20. Cardio for me has always been most effective first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I normally do interval running for a minimum of 30 minutes.

    Now as everyone else has basically said, If you are tight for time and have to do your weights and cardio all in on do cardio last.

    I personally dont want to sacrifice muscle what so ever so my cardio isn't too intense. Plus when I do have to do my cardio after I hit the weights I ALWAYS take in my post workout supplements to feed my mucles before the cardio.

  21. I think this is depend on us, Most people do cardio "whenever they get a chance." Sometimes during the middle of the day, sometimes before bed, sometimes directly after your weightlifting workout,sometimes directly before the weightlifting workout and sometimes first thing in the morning.

  22. Quote Originally Posted by schwellington View Post
    i dont do cardio right after I lift- your muscles WANT to be fed- i drink my whey eat my simple carbs to refuel muscle glycogen, wait an hour eat again and then do cardio- of course it all depends on what you want- if you are not concerned about muscle mass cardio right after a workout is great- or if you on anabolics you can do it
    True but if you hit the cardio immidiatley after your WO for say 30-45 min and then consume your post supps you should still be within the window of absorption.

  23. here is an interesting read on this subject

    Before or After? When to Do Cardio in Your Weights Session
    Cardio and Weights: Prioritize Your Workout
    By Paul Rogers,

    Jun 19 2010
    “Should I do aerobic training before or after a weights session?” This is a frequently asked question and one over which a wide spectrum of opinion exists even though it may seem like trivia if you're new to weight training. Yet, as with many issues in the exercise sciences, answers to complex questions can be blurred by qualifications and exceptions and tempered by the exercise goals you have set -- weight loss, muscle, strength, sporting prowess, appearance and so on.

    The following attempts to clarify the issue and provide some clear direction.

    Cardio and Aerobics
    Aerobic exercise, often called ‘cardio’ for short, is any exercise at an intensity at which oxygen can be sustainably supplied to large muscle groups over time and which places consistent demands on the heart and lung system, the cardiorespiratory system.

    Cardio is something you do at a sustained pace over a longer period of time rather than in short bursts of energy such as in interval running or lifting weights. Cardio is walking, jogging, distance running, swimming and cycling; and using treadmill, stepper, cross trainer and rowing machines in the gym. Blood glucose and stored glucose and fats are the main fuels used in aerobics.

    Training with Weights
    In contrast, lifting weights is an activity practiced in short bursts of anaerobic (without oxygen) activity. In effect, ‘anaerobic’ doesn’t mean that we stop using oxygen, it just means that the activity is of such an intensity that the muscle's requirement for oxygen is exceeded, resulting in metabolic products such as lactate and an eventual inability to continue at that intensity. Stored muscle glucose and phosphocreatine are the main fuels used in strength training.

    Now that you're clear on the essential difference between aerobics and weight training, let’s consider this in the context of doing cardio before or after a weights session. I’ll assume that a ‘session’ is one visit to a gym for the purposes of a workout. Let’s examine the scenarios I propose.

    Scenario 1 - Cardio after Weights
    You walk into the gym and do a warmup on the treadmill for 10 minutes, but you don't want to do too much cardio because you reckon you need the energy to max out your weights session. Anyway, you heard that you'll burn more fat if you do it after the weights.

    Saves energy for weight lifting. This may seem to be good logic; however, doing 40 minutes of cardio at moderate pace is not going to deplete enough energy to prevent you from lifting well. As long as you've replaced your carbohydrate glucose stores after any previous exercise session with proper eating, the body will have stored up to 500 grams, or a pound of glycogen.

    A jogging or running treadmill session of 40 minutes may use about 600 kcalories of energy, depending on your size and pace. Of this, some fuel will be fat, some will be stored glucose and some blood glucose. A reasonable estimate is that you would use around 80 to 100 grams (3 or 4 ounces) of stored glucose out of, say, 400 grams that you have available. You can see that you have plenty left in reserve for strength training.

    What's more, if you replace some of this used fuel with a sports drink or energy bar before you start the weights, you’ll only be a little depleted from when you walked in the door.

    Burn more fat. Now this one really sounds attractive, the idea being that if you deplete some carbohydrate stores, particularly blood glucose, with an initial weights session, you'll be in fat burning mode. Theoretically this makes some sense but as we saw in my article, So You Want to Burn More Fat, the fat burning zone is a mythical construct and what really matters is how much energy you expend overall.

    Score for Scenario 1: sounds good, but in reality only 2 points out of 5.

    Scenario 2 - Cardio before Weights
    You get stuck into the cardio first up for 40 minutes because you think you will be too tired to tackle it at the end of the weights program. You understand you will expend more energy with cardio when you're fresh, so you can use more energy overall in the session, which is what you're aiming for.

    Fresh legs for better cardio. If you do your cardio before you lift, there’s little doubt you will do this part of your program more efficiently, which probably means at higher intensity and with a higher aerobic fitness outcome. Heavy legs and arms after weights are not conducive to a good cardio session. I’ve tried both sequences many times, and running first is my preference even without the technical considerations.

    As explained in So You Want to Burn More Fat, cardio of moderate output expends considerably more energy than an equal session of weights, so if you want to maximize energy output for weight loss and aerobic fitness, doing a solid cardio session is essential. Doing cardio first will maximize your output.

    On the other hand, with attention to fueling, refueling and fluid intake, you will still be capable of a strong weights session after your aerobic session.

    Strong arteries. It's also important to know that aerobic exercise is important even for specialist weight lifters and bodybuilders from a health perspective. Cardio helps keep the arteries elastic, which is beneficial for cardiovascular health. This is called ‘arterial compliance’ and several studies have shown that this worsens in weight trainers who do little aerobic exercise.

    Study Shows Cardio before Weights is Beneficial
    A study from the Human Performance Research Center, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, examined what happened to ten men who did resistance only, run only, resistance-run, and run-resistance sessions. (‘Resistance-run’ means weights before cardio and vice versa.)

    Here’s what they reported:

    1.EPOC, the measure of the afterburn or energy output after you stop exercising was greatest when cardio was done before weight training.
    2.Running after a weights session was physiologically more difficult than doing it before lifting weights. (This has implications for efficiency and possibly safety.)
    3.The researchers recommend “performing aerobic exercise before resistance exercise when combining them into one exercise session”.
    This was not a large study, so the results should be interpreted with caution. Nevertheless, this is in line with my own experience with this training sequence, and also that of some clients.

    Other research found that 'running economy' is also impaired after a weights session, another reason why the weights-cardio sequence is less efficient.

    Score for Scenario 2: the evidence is not quite in yet, but I’ll score it 4 our of 5 for doing cardio before a weights session.

    Cardio Killed My Muscle
    Some weight trainers are reluctant to do much cardio training because they believe it produces catabolic hormones like cortisol that break down muscle stores for fuel thus interfering with the anabolic muscle building process.

    Although this subject is worthy of a more complete article on weight training nutrition and metabolism, a brief response is that you can protect muscle from this process by ensuring adequate nutrition before, during and after a session and by keeping aerobic training to under one hour if you have muscle building goals.

    Forty or so minutes of cardio within an adequate nutritional environment is not going to hurt your muscle. In fact, in view of the discussion above, doing cardio after weights could be more damaging to muscle as 'beaten up' muscle strives to deal with the burden of aerobic activity. Your immediate post-weights activity should be dedicated to maximizing the anabolic environment. This is time for building up not breaking down. You achieve this by eating sensibly and adequately and by resting and sleeping -- and by not doing cardio after weights.

    Summing Up
    Here are my recommendations:

    1.Do most of your aerobic exercise before your weights program if you do both in the same session.
    2.Complete your weights session, cool down then immediately concentrate on recovery, repair and rebuilding rather than additional exercise.
    3.Consider separate sessions for cardio and weights on different days. This is a popular option when weight loss is not the primary goal. You could also experiment with separate sessions on the same day, but you need to get your refueling right with this approach.
    4.If weight loss is a primary goal, doing both on the same day with cardio first may offer some advantages in increased metabolism and energy expenditure.
    5.If strength, rather than hypertrophy (bigger muscles) is a goal, you probably should do cardio and weights on separate days because the heavier lifts may not go as well after doing cardio first. You need to be as fresh as possible for those 4RMs.
    6.You could mix and match upper and lower body workouts. For example, treadmill running and upper body weights one day and lower body weights and swimming another day.
    7.Don't get too hung up on this whole idea; if it suits you to reverse the order occasionally, it won't be a problem.

    Drummond MJ, Vehrs PR, Schaalje GB, Parcell AC. Aerobic and resistance exercise sequence affects excess postexercise oxygen consumption. J Strength Cond Res. 2005 May;19(2):332-7.

    Palmer CD, Sleivert GG. Running economy is impaired following a single bout of resistance exercise. J Sci Med Sport. 2001 Dec;4(4):447-59.

    Miyachi M, Kawano H, Sugawara J, Takahashi K, Hayashi K, Yamazaki K, Tabata I, Tanaka H. Unfavorable effects of resistance training on central arterial compliance: a randomized intervention study. Circulation. 2004 Nov 2;110(18):2858-63.
    Last edited by mich29; 09-12-2010 at 07:16 AM.

  24. Good study but i disagree on one point, I think it's more or less tailored to a "by the numbers" weightlifter! You know the guy who weight trains at a routine 50-70% intensity level?

    Alot of if not all the guys/gals on here weight train at the 70-100% intensity level to stimulate maximum growth.

    IMO there is no way I am going to have a good back day or leg day after doing 35-40 min of cardio regardless of what I eat or drink between sessions.

  25. fasted cardio with a caffeine pill in the morning is the best way to oxidize fat.

    -this coming from my exercise phys professor. he founded the journal of international society of sports nutrition. google JISSN if you must know.


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