Is It Best To Do Cardio After or Before My Weight Workout?
For maximum muscle, this is when you should do your cardio workout

May 31, 2011

best to do cardio focused man working out with dumbbells in the gym

When is it best to do cardio? Well, for maximum muscle, do your cardio directly after your lifting or the following day – never prior to.

Related: The Only Type of Cardio That Gets You Jacked

“Cardio fatigues muscles, leaving them too tired to do strength training to the best of your ability,” says certified strength and conditioning specialist and author of The New Rules of Lifting, Alwyn Cosgrove (R360, Buy It Here).

Related: The 5 Biggest Mistakes Made By Weightlifters

“Doing cardio with a fatigued body doesn’t matter because you’re going for heart-rate response, not speed,” he adds. If running harder is one of your goals, however, your body will be positioned to run further and faster if you wait at least a day after lifting weights.

Related: 15 Reasons Lifting Is Better Than Cardio

Yes, muscles undergo microscopic damage after a workout and need about 48 hours to repair themselves (becoming stronger and larger), but Cosgrove says the back-to-back days of stress won’t interfere with your strength gains. Reports to the contrary have been widely exaggerated, he says.