Is it better to do cardio before or after strength training for fat loss?

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As personal trainers one of the common questions we get asked is, “Is it better to do cardio before or after strength training for fat loss?”

The answer to this question is not straightforward and depends on various factors, including your fitness goals, the type of cardio you’re doing, and your overall workout plan. In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of doing cardio before or after lifting weights for fat loss and explain why strength training is always better to do first.

Pros of Doing Cardio Before Lifting Weights

One of the main benefits of doing cardio before lifting weights is that it can help you burn more calories and fat during your workout. Cardiovascular exercise increases your heart rate and metabolic rate, which can help you burn more calories and fat during your workout.

Doing cardio before lifting weights can also help warm up your muscles and improve your flexibility, which can reduce your risk of injury during your weightlifting session.

Cons of Doing Cardio Before Lifting Weights

One potential drawback of doing cardio before lifting weights is that it can fatigue your muscles and impact your strength and energy levels during your weightlifting session. This can make it challenging to maintain proper form and lift heavy weights, which can limit your results.

Additionally, doing too much cardio before weightlifting can cause muscle fatigue, which can hinder your weightlifting performance and potentially lead to injury.

Pros of Doing Cardio After Lifting Weights

One of the main benefits of doing cardio after lifting weights is that it can help you burn more fat during your workout. Strength training increases your metabolism and causes your body to continue burning calories even after your workout is over. Doing cardio after lifting weights can take advantage of this increased metabolic rate and help you burn even more calories.

Another benefit of doing cardio after lifting weights is that it can help you recover from your weightlifting session. Light cardio such as walking, jogging, or cycling can help flush out lactic acid and promote blood flow to your muscles, which can aid in recovery.

Why Strength Training is Always Better to Do First

While both cardio and strength training can be effective for fat loss, strength training is always better to do first. This is because strength training depletes your body’s glycogen stores, which can make it easier for your body to burn fat during your cardio session.

Additionally, strength training increases your muscle mass, which can boost your metabolism and help you burn more calories and fat throughout the day. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body burns at rest, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight and lose fat.

Another reason why strength training is always better to do first is that it allows you to focus on proper form and technique. When you’re fresh and not fatigued, you’re better able to lift heavier weights and maintain proper form, which can reduce your risk of injury and help you get the most out of your workout.

Conclusion: What’s the Best Approach for Fat Loss?

When it comes to fat loss, the best approach is to focus on a combination of strength training and cardiovascular exercise. However, if you’re trying to maximize your fat loss, it’s best to do strength training first, followed by cardio.

Strength training can help you burn more fat during your cardio session, increase your muscle mass, and boost your metabolism. By focusing on strength training first, you’ll also be able to maintain proper form and lift heavier weights, which can help you achieve your fat loss goals more efficiently and effectively.

Ultimately, the best approach for fat loss is to experiment with different workout plans and find what works best for your body and fitness goals. Be sure to listen to your body and adjust your workout plan as needed to achieve the best results.

About the author 

Coach Ben

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