T Nation

Best Way to Combine Cardio and Lifting?

I’m wondering how best to combine cardio and lifting. I do cardio (cycling or running) because I enjoy it and weights to get really strong. I seem to be stuck at 20% body fat for the past few months and not progressing as fast as I think I should be and am wondering if I should switch up when I do cardio.
Right now I cycle for an hour at 12pm then go straight into weights at 1pm.
My nutrition is on point…does anyone know if cardio right before weights is not ideal?

It’s definitely not ideal. Doing a major cardio workout before weights negatively affects performance during weight training, and weight training is where the real bang-for-buck results will come from in terms of changing your physique.

Not for nothing, but the overwhelming majority of time when people say this, it turns out to be untrue. Details please.

To clarify, are you a woman? I only ask because 1 - You started the thread in Powerful Women and I couldn’t tell if that was a mistake or not. And 2 - 20% bodyfat for a female should be starting to see some ab definition, so that’s not really a bad place to be and would require a very different approach than a guy at 20% would need.

What does your weight training routine look like? Days, exercises, sets, reps, PRs, etc.

2 Likes

Do you think there is a way I could do both, for example cardio at 9am and weights at 6pm? Would this make a difference? Or still not great

Ok so I think my nutrition is on point! i’m 5,5 and 117lbs. I eat 1800 calories a day - 180g carbs, 158g protein and aim for 50g fat but sometimes go a bit over on the fat. I’m vegan so it comes from lentils, beans, soy protein pieces, veg, oats and soy yogurt with some nuts and rasberries. I have three main meals a day with smaller snacks/shakes in between, totalling 5 or 6 times I eat.

Yes I am a women :slight_smile: I can some what see some ab definition, it is just it hasnt improved much since maybe december.

I train 6 days a week doing a 3 day split (and will do cardio each of these days:

Monday: Chest/delts/triceps A
Incline DB press - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
Dips - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
Bench Press - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
DB Fly - 2 set, 6-8 reps
Seated overhead press - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
Lying DB tricep extension - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
DB overhead extension - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
Side DB laterals, - 3 sets, 6-8 reps

Tuesday: Legs A
ATG Squats - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
Stiff-legged deadlifts - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
Leg extensions - 3 sets, 6-8 reps (ONE LEG)
Lying leg curls - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
BB lunge - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
BB standing calf raises - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
One leg donkey calf raises - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
Hanging ab pike - 3 sets, 15 reps
Hanging ab tuck - 3 sets, 15 reps
Russian twist - 3 sets, 30 reps
Hollow hold - 3 sets, x secs

Wednesday: Back/biceps/forearms A
Deadlifts - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
Dumbbell rows - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
Pull ups - 3 sets
Assited pull ups - 3 sets, 8 reps
Ring rows - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
Hyperextensions - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
BB curls - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
Incline curls - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
Dumbbell preacher curls - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
Dumbbell wrist curls - 3 set, 6-8 reps
Dumbbell wrist extensions - 3 set, 6-8 reps

Thursday = Off

Friday: Chest/delts/triceps B
Incline Bench press - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
Dumbbell pullovers - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
Flat dumbbell press - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
DB Fly - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
Seated BB overhead press - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
EZ bar lying tricep extension - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
Seated DB rear delt fly - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
Resistance band pushdown - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
Chin ups - 3 sets, 10-12 reps

Saturday: Legs B
Front barbell Squats - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
Stiff-legged deadlifts - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
One-Leg extensions - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
Lying leg curls - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
Split-squat - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
One leg donkey calf raises - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
BB calf raises - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
Seated calf raises - 1 set, 10-12 reps
Flutter kicks - 3 sets, x secs
Hollow hold - 3 sets, x secs
Sit ups - 3 sets, 20 reps

Sunday: Back/Biceps/Forearms B
Deadlifts - 3 sets, 8-10 reps
Bent over BB rows - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
Wide-grip chin-ups - 3 sets, 8 reps
One-arm ring rows - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
Superman - 3 sets, 12-15 reps
Seated alternating DB curls - 3 sets, 12-15 reps
Concentration curls - 3 sets, 12-15 reps
DB curls - 3 sets, 12-15 reps
Wrist curls - 1 set, 12-15 reps
Wrist extensions - 1 set, 12-15 reps

For sure that would be a better approach. Or just flipping the order and doing weight first and cardio right after (as long as it’s lower intensity cardio).

A-ha. I knew your diet wasn’t on “point”!

(Kidding, no worries.)

But yeah, for your size, you’re still taking in a good amount of calories and you’ve got plenty of wiggle room there, so simply dropping them is the simplest answer. Cut 100 or so calories, preferably from 25-30g carbs or 10-15g fat, and you should see progress pick up.

I’d change either the diet or the training order, watch for a week or two, and then implement the other change. Making too many changes at once isn’t usually a good idea because, when you’re fine-tuning, you want to small changes at a time so you always have a next go-to if needed.

1 Like

great! thanks. will give it a go.