T Nation

6 Hours Between Weights and Cardio?

I always used to do cardio after weights but now I’m reading this stuff about waiting 6 hours between the two. Is this generally agreed upon on t-nation?


Are you saying it’s wrong or that it’s just not agreed upon.

I am saying it is not agreed upon on t-nation.

I don’t agree with it.

The researchers who performed this study also stated that daily training without a recovery period between sessions (or training twice a day) is not optimal for neuromuscular and aerobic improvements. So ideally, if you want to get stronger, you should separate your cardio and strength workouts by more than six hours.


There is such a wide and vast chasm between “optimal” and “get stronger” that it’s borderline silly.

You can get IMMENSELY strong without using optimal methods. It’s not worth stressing over. The key ingredient to success that no one likes to talk about is time. Train as optimal or sub-optimally as you want: you need to do it for a long time and THEN you get results.


I like getting different perspectives so I appreciate it. I actually go to two different gyms (not worth explaining why) one is across city and it has all the appropriate weight lifting stuff like squat rack I need. The other is very close to where I live and is good for cardio. I usually go to the one across town very early like 5 am and I can go to the one close to me after work for cardio. So I wouldn’t say it’s even a big deal for me to seperate them although I assume the average person probably wants to get it over with in one session and not have to worry about any exercise the rest of the day.

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I think if you want to be the biggest, strongest mofo in the universe, waiting 6 hours in between doing weights and cardio makes sense (maybe), if on the other hand you just want to be a lot bigger and stronger I don’t think or find from my own personal experience it matters much.

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I wouldn’t mind but I would have a long way to go to be the biggest and the baddest lol.

On the otherhand, if somebody reading is struggling because their weights and cardio are too close together, Try Splitting Them Up.


From my understanding and experience:

If you are doing conditioning and strength training in the same day and separate them by 6 hours or more, then it doesn’t matter much which order you do them in.

If you are doing conditioning and strength training in the same day and do them in the same session, do strength training first.

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Your body enters catabolic state. Leave it there. Your body enters metabolic leave it there. 6, hours isn’t enough. 12 hours maybe. You need to let your body work in whatever state its being told to be in so.it knows how to repair and build upon the state its in.

This i disagree with. Same day longer space apart. Heavy lifting and HIIT/cardio aren’t going to create the optimal results. Lift heavy on the am. Cardio before bed maybe. Or opposite. I personally lifted heavy in the am. Play hockey at some point in the day and did some cardio later in the day maybe before hockey but knowing I’d be going from catabolic to metabolic. I disnt build as much muscle this way so consider your goals in my advice. I would throw yoga class in directly after my heavy workouts and it helped with toning and avoiding tears later when playing hockey.

12 hours? wow. With covid there’s no 24 hours gyms in my city anymore (or anywhere? not sure) but usually it would be easy enough to accomplish anyway but tomorrow the main gym I go to for weight lifting they have stupid hours they are open from noon to 3 pm, a whole 3 hours. So I would have to do cardio at midnight tomorrow. Maybe I’ll just put off the cardio until Monday.

Then I’ll end up with no off days which doesn’t bother me really as long as it’s not effecting muscle growth.

I didn’t say it was optimal. But if, for whatever reason, you needed to do conditioning and cardio in the same session I’d do the strength session first.

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No: this is dumb. Stop fretting about being optimal.

I trained for a half marathon and a strongman competition during the same training block. I’d lift first thing in the morning, rest for 30 minutes, then get in a 6+ mile run. I put on 7lbs of bodyweight during that training block, hit PRs in my press and met my goals on the race day. You don’t need to be optimal.


What was your time? Generally speaking it’s difficult (natural or not) to run long distances and keep up a rigorous weightlifting routine without sacrificing volume (regarding resistance training). I used to run, stress fractures (healed now) and nerve damage in my foot has impeded my ability to do so with adequate frequency.

I was getting in around 3-4 miles per day, my time was shit though and I attribute this to focusing so heavily on lifting weights. I can get by at a decent pace up to distances of a mile, after which my time goes to shit. Any tips (for when I occasionally still manage to get a run in despite the discomfort associated with it)?

Largely replaced running with cycling now

Hmmmmm… I have an idea… Perhaps this would help me

(this is a joke paper, it’s funny though)

Ran it with the Mrs at something like 2 hours and 36 seconds. Held hands crossing the finish line. Was awesome.

I find it is the doing of difficult things that makes one bigger and stronger :slight_smile:

I had to eat like it was my job. I put away a LOT of food.

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Agreed, though the systems worked through cardio/resistance training are diametrically opposed. I have found through focusing on aerobic exercise it’s easier to recover in between sets, though I do believe it somewhat impedes strength gains as I put too much emphasis on aerobic exercise. Doesn’t matter though, I’m not competing in anything so I’ll do what I want.

Initially a set of high rep deadlifts would leave me winded for a solid four or five minutes. Now I can recover within a minute or so (switched to trap bar DL’s due to back problems, less stress on lumbar spine, interesting that the hex bar at my gym doesn’t have high handles, they’re the same height as the bar).

You guys in the USA don’t have Nando’s OR Gami chicken! Would’ve been far easier to chow down food with access to these delicacies…

That’s awesome man, I hope to find a partner one day who has fervour for exercise akin to me :slight_smile:

Taco Bell was my go to. $5 Nacho Box in particular.