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Cardio After Weights?


Hey guys, I've just been doing some research lately on the concept of doing cardio directly after weights workout. The theory goes that if you do a short and intense weights workout similar to HIT and then perform 30 mins of light steady state cardio, your glycogen levels are already running low and therefore your body should turn to using fat for fuel during the cardio session.

And if you manage to complete the wights workout and cardio within 90 mins then apparently within that time frame catabolism shouldn't be a worry. What are your thoughts on this guys, as I'm tempted to trial doing cardio after weights but I'm hesitant at the same time.



I actually prefer to do my cardio after weights, instead of on off days. Many people do that too. I don't think there's a problem. Cardio is great for your heart and helps you stay lean.

You don't have to worry about length of the workout (unless you only have a certain amount of time). If you're worried about catabolism, just have a protein only shake during your workout.


Cheers forbes I'll give it a shot!


Cardio after weights probably isn't optimal (compared to morning before breakfast), but I'm not exactly a morning person :stuck_out_tongue:

So I do it after weights too.


But I've heard morning cardio can be catabolic or maybe I'm just paranoid.


you're not paranoid, it can be catabolic - to an extent. alot of DC'ers (along with many other people) use it to make fat gain minimal while in a mass gaining stage. if your trying to get lean the fat you'll lose far outweighs the minimal muscle you'll lose.


That is what I have advocated for years (other than morning cardio sprints on an empty stomach). Your body tends to burn gllycogen first regardless of exercise type and then switch to fat stores. Weights tend to use glygogen and cardio (other than sprints) uses fat. It only makes sense.

But if your chemistry and diet is right I don't think it makes alot of difference.


I do cardio after weight training because of depleted glycogen stores, but the main reason is that lifting is more important so I'm going to use maximal effort weight training and cardio can have whatever is left in me.


Steady state cardio after lifting has been shown to not interfere with the protein synthesis pathways associated with building muscle, whereas cardio immediately pre weight training does.

Steady state cardio at any intensity will utilize both carbohydrate and fat stores for energy. The relative balance changes depending on intensity. Lower intensities, you predominantly use fat. Higher intensities, carbohydrate. As you increase above 80% of your maximal fitness, relative use of fat decreases sharply while carbohydrate use continues to increase.


For Goodfellow and Pro-Bulk, you can do morning cardio after taking a shake too.


Thanks for the replies guys, well my weights routine is only like 45 mins and I think I may add some cardio after it to minimize fat as I am in the mass gaining phase or at least trying to gain and this could be a good way to ensure I don't get too fat, I'm not fussed on abs though.


does that have any negative effects on fat burning though? aside from the extra calories


There's an article about this 'up front'. :wink:

Best choice: Cardio AM, weights PM.


"The metabolic response to dietary restriction involves a series of hormonal and metabolic adaptations leading to protein conservation. An increase in the serum level of growth hormone (GH) during fasting has been well substantiated. GH has potent protein anabolic actions, as evidenced by a significant decrease in lean body mass and muscle mass in chronic GH deficiency, and vice versa in patients with acromegaly. The present review outlines current knowledge about the role of GH in the metabolic response to fasting, with particular reference to the effects on protein metabolism. Physiological bursts of GH secretion seem to be of seminal importance for the regulation of protein conservation during fasting. Apart from the possible direct effects of GH on protein dynamics, a number of additional anabolic agents, such as insulin, insulin-like growth factor-I, and free fatty acids (FFAs), are activated. Taken together the effects of GH on protein metabolism seem to include both stimulation of protein synthesis and inhibition of breakdown, depending on the nature of GH administration, which tissues are being studied, and on the physiological conditions of the subjects."

Fasting is actually quite good for you and prepares your body for anabolism, along with strong fat loss.

Cardio AM, in other words.


there's a study in which says exactly the opposite; increases fat oxidation and decreases catabolism of muscle cells.


I just do it when I can fit in into my schedule. Fasted morning, pre lifting, post lifting, etc... whenever I can.


I can't stand more than 5 minutes of any sort of cardio first thing in the morning. I do it when I can get it in...usually ends up after lifting. 20 minutes on the jump rope.


Agreed. There are studies countering studies showing the previous study to be to studious, do it when you can, as busy as most folks are these days getting it done is more important than when. However I suggest not doing cardio before a workout, don't use up that energy so you can still lift heavy ass weight.


id like too hear from someone who has an appreciable amount of muscle on this