Should I Do Cardio Before or After Weights?

Many people, both beginners and advanced wonder how they should be breaking up their workouts. Is it better to do cardio before or after weights? Is one way safer? Will one way make me get stronger quicker or trim fat faster than another way?

These are all questions we’ll tackle today!

cardio before weights

First, before we get into the whys, I’ll just go ahead and give y’all the answer you came here for and hopefully you’ll stick around for the rest of my post:

Do cardio after weight lifting

There are a multitude of reasons for waiting to get your cardio done until you’ve finished all your lifting, but the main reasons are biggies: safety and energy level, and the two go hand in hand.


Doing cardio before you lift weights is a bad idea because you sap your body of the energy it so desperately needs to get you through your sets safely and effectively. By depleting both your mind and body beforehand by running or hitting the elliptical, you put yourself at a much greater risk for losing focus while hitting the weights. And with lost focus comes lost form greatly enhancing your chances of falling prey to an injury.


Secondly, even if there were some magic lifting fairy who could grant us all the ability to lift to our heart’s content without worrying about overdoing it and getting hurt, by doing cardio before lifting weights you’re sacrificing your potential gains! And that’s what we’re all here for, right?

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m not exactly psyched up to bust out some squats after a long run no matter good they’ll make my butt look. Even if I was prepared mentally after a run, obviously I won’t be able to squat to maximum potential if I’ve pre-exhausted my legs before I even get started.

This would apply to whatever body part you’re working that day of course, I just seem to be a bit pre-occupied with my posterior chain today.

And though in the past you may have found you felt like you had a harder (and more effective) workout when you did cardio first, the results show that there is no increase in fat loss or muscle gain from this method.

Here’s a helpful video on cardio pre or post weights:

Wrapping it all up

So, I hope today’s post wasn’t too scatterbrained. The answer to the question of cardio before or after weights should always be AFTER. Because 1) it’s safer both mentally and physically and 2) you don’t want to risk strength gains because you just had to get your run out of the way first.