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Cardio and Weightlifting in Same Workout


Ive read that both cardio and weightlifting should not be done in the same workout. Is this a myth or is this correct? Can someone please clear things up?

Also by doing these in the same workout, is it neglectful to muscle building?


I would vote that you should split the two up. Some people will do both in the same workout (note that if you do this, weights come first) but I feel that creating any extra time between the time you stop lifting and start eating will impair muscle gain. The longer you workout the the more your testosterone to cortisol ratio decreases. As cortisol increases, the propensity your body has to store fat increases.

So I would suggest splitting up the two.


I recently started doing cardio. I do it straight after my lifting for no more than 20 minutes. Afterwards I quickly go and do some lightish weight on some exercises for the muscles I worked to get the blood pumping back there. Then I down a protein shake.

I don't know if that works well yet, I've been doing it all of 2 days.


It depends on what your goals are.


If the goals are size and strength, with a focus on size, what is your advice?


If you have some fat to lose, then add some cardio.
1) A lot of weight - separate, long sessions on non-training days.
2) A little fat - 20 minutes after workout.

If you're thin, I don't think it makes sense do waste precious calories on cario.


I think a moderate amount of cardio each week is not going to hinder size or strength gains unless the person is already under eating. I think a heart with a higher stroke volume can also help in resistance training.


x2 on it depending on goals.

I presently am running 1-3 miles (depending on the day) after lifting, and 5 or so miles on my off days (and one day of nothing at all). I'm running a handful of 5/8ks this summer, so that will probably stop come Septemeber and I'll move to bulking w/o all the cardio.


where did you read that? it's seems common to include cardio (in some form eg HIIT or 70% treadmill x 10 minutes) post strength.

some workouts are so hard though that i have to split things up. as has been mentioned, you have to give us more information regarding your goals before we could advise further.


well right now im looking to get stronger as im going to start a basic 5x5 program but it will also put on mass as well. Bottom line, i dont want cardio to be detrimental to either strength or mass building.

I will be doing the cardio to both slim down on some extra fat and increase endurance.


You have an IDEA of what you want, but not a GOAL. The goal of a marathon is not 'to run far', It's 'to run 22.5 miles on July 22nd starting at 8am'.

Pick a real goal and give yourself a deadline. Then build a program around that goal and set yourself some checkpoints. Your choice of goals will also define whether you're trying to get bigger, get stronger, or get leaner.


Take some 'before' pics, too. I didn't, and now I kinda regret it. It would be nice to see just how much of a change I've made. Could be a good motivational factor for when you start wondering, as we all do sometimes, "why the hell am I doing all this again?"


I find cardio useful.

Optimally it should be split from weights because quite frankly if you're not out of breath by the end of your heavy sets you probably arent working hard enough. I know after a few sets of 10 bulgarian splits my heart rate is through the roof and I'am out of breath and if that isnt a "cardio" workout I dont know what is.

Also I know that if I run some sprints over the field for 20-30mins when I get home my appetite is huge and when your trying to put on mass a good appetite is important for getting the calories down.

If your leaning down cardio at the end of the workout will extend the period your heart rate is up and the more your heart rate is elevated the more calories you burn.
If you need to include cardio in your program to lean down then do it when you can as long as its not excessive timing isnt that important

Finally regardless of what your goals everyone should be able to run if necessary (assuming no injuries of course)


You're right, that ISN'T cardio...i.e ISN'T an aerobic energy system i.e. oxidative system. Just because you're breathing heavily and your heart rate is high doesn't mean you've activated your oxidative or aerobic systems...in fact, when you're winded, you've gone into a mostly anaerobic/phosphagenic mode. If you want to do cardio but are concerned with size and strength, do light, lower intensity cardio after you lift. If you're worried about muscle and strength loss, down some BCAA's toward the end of your lifting. Another option is doing light SSFC in the morning...again, down some BCAA's upon waking if you're worried about muscle loss, but keep in mind, LOWER intensity cardio SHOULD NOT tap into your muscle for an energy source, especially if you aren't breaching an hour in duration. These are both times when fat should be mobilized and able to be utilized as an energy source permitting your intensity and duration doesn't get too extreme.


How about cardio as a warm-up then do my weightlifting routine, which is a 5x5 routine by the way.


No, warm up using lighter weights performing the actual lift you're about to complete. The idea is to just get blood into your muscles. Cardio after weights unless it's SSFC (steady state fasted cardio) in the morning, of which try and have at least 2 hours to refuel in between before you lift.


oh ok


My mistake really, but I guess thats why we are here to learn. This is where I get a little confused though I think its probably my definition of what cardio is could be wrong. If I had said cardio work to improve lung capacity, heart efficiency and ability to recover oxygen debt then would I be wrong to say interval training and sets of split squats with little rest would lead to improvements in my heart and lungs?

I've always thought of cardio as raising the heart rate above resting levels regardless where the heart rate ends up or how long it stays there i.e. 70% or less for the aerobic system or above for the anaerobic system. Maybe I need to be clearer when I talk about "cardio" in future.


Yeah, I suppose words like cardio could be interpreted differently by different people. To be quite honest, you probably were correct if following a strict definition of cardio, but through my own personaly experience, when I see people use the word cardio, more often than not, they're talking about aerobic training.

Technically, I concede however, that intervals and sprints could also be categorized as cardio and often are, but are more anaerobic/ phosphagenic by nature, similar to weight training and don't technically bestow the same benefits as chronic aerobic training over the long term. I definately couldn't argue that intervals and sprints don't improve lung capacity though because they clearly do.


If I remember correctly, the OP is only 14 years old. Just remember that at this point, you have such low testosterone levels that you probably won't gain very fast. Don't be discouraged and keep at it and sooner or later once you hit a point you will just jump up in strength and mass. Of course you could be at that point now, it's possibly. But really unlikely.