1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Readers Respond: How Do You Sequence Your Workouts?

Responses: 23


Updated March 01, 2011

It can be confusing fitting in strength and cardio workouts each week and we often wonder if we should do cardio before or after strength training. There's no right answer to that question and it often depends on your goals, preferences and schedule. What about you? Do you do cardio before strength training? Why? Share the details of your workout schedule. Share Your Schedule

Cardio or weights first

Lately I have been doing a little ten minute warm up on the stationary bike and then doing about 30 minutes of weights, and then back to another twenty minutes of cardio, and perhaps a few laps in the pool. I am 68 and am open to suggestions. I weigh 205 have diabetes and want to get down to a least 185 or below. 5'6 1/2'' and shrinking, lol.
—Guest Frank

Cardio First

Having a 1-hour lunch break, I realistically have 50-minutes to workout. I do a 35-minute HIIT program on the elliptical machine followed by one of these workouts for strength training: http://imgur.com/gallery/6szz3
—Guest Kirsten

cardio always right after weights

i myself do cardio right after weights just because our body goes through 3 stages during workouts of both ttpe whether its cardio or weights and those stages are: 1).carbs burning 2).fat burning 3).muscle burning so if you do cardio before weights so in the first 15 mins of cardio you will only burn carbs and as ideal time many people cardio for 30 mins so in the second 15 mins that is 15-30 you will beging to burn fat while in case of doing cardio after weights puts benefits because during your weight training all your carbs are burned and some if the fat beging to burn depending on the intensity of workout but fats do burn so when you hit the cardio right after weights your body directly goes onto second burning phase from the 3 burning stages as mentioned above so after weight training only 15-20 mins cardio is enough because it directly puts you on burning fat instead of burning carbs first and fats later....dont do cardio more than 30 mins it will start burning your muscle
—Guest Fahad

Cardio before strength training

I've been doing 30 to 45 mins of cardio before any of my strength training for the past year and a half. Due to time restraints, I only do two body parts per session. They are as follow, back & biceps, shoulders & triceps, chest & legs. I work out the core every session between the cardio and strength training for that day. I've lost 179lbs to date. Looking to lose an additional 40lbs.
—Guest Ricardo

Cardio 1st

I am an Acpt personal trainer and i find it better to do cardio 1st because after RT i feel more drained the vice versa
—Guest rcurtis

cardio or strength training first?

I do a light warm up first then my strength and then cardio I have a very limited time in the gym 40 mins to be precise,I find after strength training my muscles are warm and I can run easier,have no idea if it should be done lie this but it works for me!
—Guest julie

Cardio After

If you are trying to burn fat and get the most out of your cardio workout then you want to do cardio after you weight train. The reason why is while you are weight training you are burning off your sugar that you have consumed from whatever meal you ate before your workout. So, when you get to doing cardio you will be burning more fat. Also for the best results you should do interval training. At the time you will not be burning much calories but your metabolism will be up so you burn more calories throughout the day.
—Guest Alex


I do 30 min cardio everyday and alternate upper body and lower body weight lifting, and then stretch.
—Guest Lisa

Cardio Before

I do 1/2 hour of HIIT on the elliptical. I start at 60 rpm for three minutes at level one then go to 75 rpm for three minutes. I raise the level by one every three minutes. After that I move right to strength training. I choose a large muscle group and two small muscle groups and I work a tri-circuit non stop for another 1/2 hour. I use 70% of my one rep max.
—Guest Instr. S.Saud Bey

Cardio before Strength Training

I do interval training. I start out cardio but then after several minutes a round of strength training is done, then it goes back and forth. I heard that is the optimal way to exercise for maximum benefit.
—Guest Rose


Weights then cardio to lose weight-you are more likely to actually be burning fat when you do cardio after because during the lifting you should have exhausted the muscles and used their fuel up already which then leaves fat as the last source of fuel
—Guest Michelle

cardio before strength training

I always do my cardio first if I'm going to do both cardio and strength training in the same workout or even in the same day, for the reasons you mentioned in your article (increased afterburn). While I am not trying to lose weight, I am always aware of not gaining weight. If I need to do a long endurance cardio session I will do weights on a separate day, after a shorter bout of cardio.
—Guest Kelcey

Cardio before strength

Yes, I usually follow this pattern for working out, but as personal trainer my clients are sometimes pressed for time so I add intervals of cardio in between strength training. This way they don't get bored, plus both strength and cardio are covered and those calories keep on burning for several hours after the workout ends. But please do not forget to stretch!
—Guest Marci

cardio first

I have tried both doing cardio first and after my strength training. I have found that if I do my resistance training first, my body feels like jello, making my runs harder to complete (and longer for the same distance). I have also found that I will burn at least 150 calories more for the same routine when I do cardio first (I wear a heart rate monitor). I burn the most amount of calories when I alternate between cardio and strength (i.e. 5 minute run, 3 sets of squats, 5 minute run, 3 sets of pullups...etc...) these are by far the hardest workouts for me, and I burn the most calories during these workouts too (I'm sure afterwards too).
—Guest sis

Cardio and Weight Training

I often do 10 mins of a moderate to intesne cardio workout prior to weight training. Often times my weight training will also include cardio depending on the pace of the weight training and shorter rest periods.
—Guest James Pedersen

Share Your Schedule

How Do You Sequence Your Workouts?

Receive a one-time notification when your response is published.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.