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HIIT / Cardio Before Or After Lifting Weights?

Daniel Morton discusses his thoughts on whether you should do cardio before or after lifting weights.

I get asked this question every week. And even though the science behind the answer has been well established for years now I still get this question….so, here’s the answer.

Much of it comes down to common sense. If your training revolves mainly around building muscle (which it should) why would you perform cardio FIRST?! That just means you’re using up all of your energy/glycogen stores on cardio – not weights! This results in the majority of your energy (if not all) being exerted throughout the cardio part of your workout, leaving you fatigued when it comes time to perform those weighted reps.

Ultimately, this means you are going to lift significantly weaker. If you keep that type of training up, your muscular goals will be harder to achieve – especially since building muscle and burning fat goes hand in hand, you want your weight training to come first! So, let’s get down to what you should really be doing.

This we know: weights first, cardio second. In order to burn fat at both an efficient and an increased rate, do your cardio routine post-weights. Going back to glycogen, when you train with weights first, you use those glycogen stores as energy, leaving them depleted. What this now means for your body is that once you finish with the weights and begin your cardio, there are no more full glycogen stores – so all that your body has left are fat stores to burn up in order to use energy.

Here’s the breakdown: performing your weight training session first uses up glycogen stores, resulting in fat stores being used to power through cardio AFTER your weighted workout. What this means is you are burning body fat. I hope this helps answer this question for you and further enhance your results.