View Full Version : what should I do first cardio or resistance

May 25th, 2007, 06:36 AM
Hi ya all

I am a bit confused as to which one I should do first. My instructor said to do the resistance training first then to do cardio, but the looking on the internet is says that if I want to burn fat I should do cardio first.

Anyone who can advise me which way round is best or does it really matter?
(I am trying to lose weight)

May 25th, 2007, 08:03 AM
Cardio will help you lose weight more quickly, but doing the resistance helps you burn more fat when you do the cardio. The best thing to do is alternate during the week. And start w/ small intervals if you're not used to working out.
Good luck!

May 26th, 2007, 12:45 PM
All exercise burns calories, and having a deficit in your daily calories will make you lose wieght. If you burn 200 calories doing cardio, or 200 i n resistance, they still both count as 200 calories, however, you burn calories more quickly doing cardio; meaning, while it might only take a 20 minute run to burn 200 calories, it may take an hour of strength training to do the same. It just depends on where you want to go. The best way to lose wieght is do watch your calorie intake, ensuring you eat enough, but not too much, and burning about 300 calories a day through exercise.

May 26th, 2007, 08:50 PM
Hi Lotus, I am a personal trainer, I used to do different things with people who had different goals. As a general rule most trainers have their clients do cardio last. From personal experience, I have found that those that want to loose weight do better with the cardio first. If you want to focus on muscle you lift weights first., after about a 10-15 minute warm up...People who want to focus on fat loss, alot of the time get too tired to finish cardio if they do weights first......If you can split your work out into 2 parts....do your cardio in the morning....do your weights in the evening. Your body has time to regain its energy and you will get better results....everyone has a different opinion on this, 95% of weight loss is what we put in our mouths....Keep a log book, calories should be no lower than 1200 a day or you slow your metabolism down. Try to drink a gallon of water a day. I used to have clients fill up a gallon milk jug and have them drink it all before the day was over. I hope that helps....Buffy

music man
May 27th, 2007, 07:53 PM
Hi all,

Starting week 2 of abstinence this week, and decided to add exercise to my program. (I'm so out of shape).

Buffy - Thanks for sharing those tips... Wow great, we have our own personal trainer!

I remember reading that one of the big benefits to resistance/strength training is that the increased muscle mass means you will burn more calories when you are idle, so it shouldn't be overlooked by those whose goals are primarily weight loss.

I have also been hearing a lot of buzz about interval training (http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/conditioning/a/aa030802a.htm), which is supposed to have advantages over traditional aerobic exercise.


May 27th, 2007, 09:51 PM
Very good point Music Man.....we should all be doing some weight training. Whether you do it before or after cardio, just as long as we do it. Just get started, use good form so you don't hurt yourself....there are some good books out there that will teach you what you need to know....Muscle and Fitness Mag is good. I wish we could all work out together....wouldn't it be fun!.....Buffy

May 27th, 2007, 10:20 PM
thank you buffy for the lesson

May 27th, 2007, 10:21 PM
I can speak from experience that when I walked every single morning three miles for a year I was never fatter. I started lifting weights and lost 30 pounds. Muscle mass is the key. I truly believe cardio is more of brain/mood enhancer than a weight loss tool. Lift those weights until you burn!!!

May 28th, 2007, 12:52 AM
Yep Lushy, weight lifting is key for weight loss-AND cardio is key for mood support. SO----we need to do BOTH! Walking and aerobic classes are easy for me, BUT, I don't drop weight till I add weight training. So I have to push myself for the resistance training-it is so worth it when I do on a regular basis!

May 28th, 2007, 07:28 AM
Me too Lushy and amethyst, I used to do step classes and and aerobic classes all the time and lost a bit of weight, but didn't get the results I wanted. When I started weight training I changed the shape of my body. Wider shoulders, tummy got flat,etc...., I didn't know who's legs I had because they didn't look like mine anymore.....I started running too. Walking is great, but if you can run and get your heart rate up, and do it consistently enough times that while you are running your heart rate feels like it is beating normally....then you are going to get that lean runners look. Then add the weights and you can contour you body. Thats when I decided I wanted to be a trainer. Another control issue I think...haha I didn't drink the few years that I worked...alcohol messes with muscle building...Hubby made me quit...he thought I was going to run off with someone in the gym, not true....I was angry and quit everything. I am back working out now and starting to get motivated thanks to all of you guys....Love ya Buffy

May 28th, 2007, 07:41 AM
Hi Buffy,

Great advice, one Q - I have always been taught to warm up with a bit of cardio e.g. 5-15 mins on bike or treadmill before doing weights to warm up my muscles. Is that still the right thing to do?


May 28th, 2007, 08:40 AM
They say you can do it 2 ways Otie. Some like to warm up with lighter weights. I like to get on the treadmill or another machine and do the warm up usually 15 min to get the heart rate up a bit, walk, jog, and then do the weights. I then use some light weights for one set, then work my way up to heavy. Split your work outs into 3 days with a day in between....just so you don't work the same muscles while they are sore....lots of different ways to do it...but if you do shoulders, chest, tricepts on one day, back and bicepts on another and do a leg day....you hit it all in 3 days of weight lifting.....do abs everytime....if anything is still sore...don't work it until next time....while the muscle is healing it is getting bigger, so you don't want to tear the muscle fibers again. They recommend eating about 20-30 grams of protien within 90 min after you work out. You probably know all that so sorry if I am rambling on....I just really like this stuff.

May 28th, 2007, 08:53 AM
One quick thing....Girls.....we don't need to worry about getting all big and muscley...we don't have the hormones. The women in the "pumpin' iron" type magazines are cheating.....! Unless you have extra testosterone, don't worry. Start light, but aim to lift heavy...keep a log book, take it with you to the gym, write reps, weight, sets, add little by little and you will become awsome!

May 28th, 2007, 08:56 AM
I am still going to have to stick with my "calorie deficit approach". I can do wieght training all I want, but the thing is....it is all about how many calories you burn vs. how many you take in during the day. I am a runner, so for me, I burn almost three times the amount of calories during one of my runs than I would doing wieght training for the same amount of time. And while muscle does burn calories ( actually it just burns a few more than fat, and you would need many extra pounds of it to even make a small increase in your body's main calorie burn, which most of us women would not be able to aquire) it is all about how much you are taking in vs. how much you are putting out. Now thats not to say all cardio will burn more than fat. A liesurly(sp) walk will not burn the same calories as a wieght training workout if you are really pushing yourself, but a run will...so it also depends on the intensity of your exercise. You can do the elliptical at many different speeds, one might burn 300 calories and hour, and another 900, that is because of the intensity of the exercise. If you make a deficit of 500 calories a day, and you are taking in the right amount of water, you will lose wieght (fat) A pound of fat is 3500 calories, if you add a 300 calorie workout, and reduce your calories to 200 below what you need to maintain your wieght---you will lose a pound of fat a week, which is actually a decent amount, if any of you have seen what a pound of fat looks like. You can go to many different web sites and find out what your ideal amount of calories is to maintain your wieght, then go down by 500 with exercise and change of food. I can eat about 2300 calories a day to maintain my wieght, so when I want to lose wieght, I change that to around 1800, depending on how much i exercise and so on, and you can taylor your plan to your schedule. On a day you will not exercise, eat 1800 calories, on a day you will eat 1900 or 2000, like I said this one is for me, so won;t be necessarily anyone else's calorie intake recommendation.

May 28th, 2007, 08:56 AM
I have heard that for the first 20 minutes or so your body burns more glycogen (muscle sugar) than fat. This gradually reverts and, after 20 minutes, you are burning mostly fat. So, if you start with the weights, you start by burning the glycogen - then when you get to the cardio, you are burning pure fat. This theory could have changed - I am not a professional, so I am only going by what I read.

I find the the one that works is the one that you will do. If you find it easier or more enjoyable to start with cardio and move on to weights, then that's what you should do because that's what you will do.

May 28th, 2007, 09:42 AM
I agree with you Java, it's all about the math!

May 28th, 2007, 04:58 PM
Just to say thanks for all this wonderful info! - My problem at the moment is regulating my food intake now I'm exercising more and not drinking. Having been used to a liquid diet for many years I now have to watch what I eat carefully - at the moment it's not going so well as I grab a packet of crisps too easily! At the moment I'm trying to work at least every other day - but as a rotation - gym/cycling/running - I'm aiming to train to run a half marathon if the hips will cope so the schedule will change, but for the moment I really like the variety.

Happy excercising everyone, and thanks again for this useful information - I'm saving it now!

May 28th, 2007, 10:56 PM
wow, this is such a complex and interesting thread. the hardest thing for me is boredom. I HATE going to the gym. some crowded place that smell like stale pee. ick!
but some people live for it and I guess that's the point, to find something you'll stick with. For me it's jiu jitsu because it's fun and interesting for me. Java you refered to these calorie counting websites....any link/s in particular you would share? Thanks!

May 29th, 2007, 12:17 AM
i did weight training and cardio for years and lost some weight but honestly it wasn't til i started doing an hour of bootcamp 4 times a week that the toning, weight loss and definition came on. i think because of the resistance training and intense cardio non stop for an hour. so i'm a big fan of zen bootcamp.

May 29th, 2007, 12:27 AM
Zen bootcamp, barbie? Please explain.

thank you.

May 29th, 2007, 09:49 PM
well, most bootcamps i found were run by military trainers. not for me. i found one that was more wholistic, run by a zen master. so we did circuit training non stop, beach training, cardio drills, even play tag, dodge ball, so fun, drills. so the body keeps engaged, different intervals, working with the bands so the muscles are getting worked out and resistant training. i just have a great time, fun, and keep the heart rate pumping, oh yeah and throw in that stair way too. gotta have that. and do that for an hour. sonkicamp.com is what i found but i'm sure there are plenty around

May 30th, 2007, 04:05 AM
You can go to Prevention.com or msn health or runnersworld.com

Daily Calorie Calculator (http://www.prevention.com/dailycaloriecalc/0,,s1-4-121-48-6382-1,00.html?cm_re=HP-_-Topic%20Box4-_-%20How%20Many%20Calories%20Should%20I%20Eat%20to%2 0Lose%20Weight?&cm_re=HP-_-Topic%20Box4-_-%20How%20Many%20Calories%20Do%20I%20Need%20Each%20 Day?)

that is the link i copied and pasted, it is from prevention.com if it doesnt work just go to prevention.com and type in daily calorie intake calculator and it will be the first option.

May 30th, 2007, 08:38 AM
Thanks Java!

May 30th, 2007, 08:53 AM
...and delayed thanks to Buffy for great info... :thanks:


June 1st, 2007, 06:34 AM
Thanks all for your help.

Buffy I spoke to another instructor and they said that if I want to burn fat I should go straight to cardio from warm up!!!!!

I have noticed a slight difference in weight, but I will definately be alternating my work out. Maybe I might see a better result.

June 1st, 2007, 12:00 PM
I rest my case....hahahah