How to organize your training routines to get the most out of them: the cardio before or after the weights?

Some of the most frequently asked questions about how to organize the exercises in your routine are usually: what is better before or after cardio? Or what do I do first or basic exercises?


Prioritizing in the order of one or the other exercises will lead to different muscular results, but the ideal order to structure your training will also depend on other personal elements or goals. Today we tell you how to organize your training routines to get the most out of them .

Before focusing on particular goals or people performing a specific sport discipline, which could benefit from some change in the traditional order of the exercises, we will see the general characteristics that would lead to optimal training if we want to combine the Cardiovascular exercise within a routine of weights where our fundamental objective is the muscular hypertrophy .


Combine cardiovascular exercise with weights: but … before or after?


Before we focus on the correct order that we should follow in our training routine, we should know the basic differences and needs involved in performing each type of exercise , aerobic or anaerobic, to understand first hand the why of his importance.



On the one hand, weight training or anaerobic exercise is a muscle work where the high intensity of exercise during a certain period of time must be prevailed and performed from the glycogen and amino acids stored in the muscle , without oxygen and Without drawing fat as fuel.


In contrast, in the part destined to the cardio we approach an aerobic session at low or moderate rate, generally, where we use as energy the fat and part of glycogen in the presence of oxygen .


Two types of exercise very different in intensity level and energy fuel to use. But why does this happen?

The answer is very simple, when we perform a session of weights the energy we need is instant claim and this speed would not bring us the fat used as fuel , but glycogen. Hence the importance of reaching weight training with muscle glycogen stores to the top, because if this is not so we would not complete our routine of weights in an optimal and intense.


Taking an example, if we start the training routine with the cardio session we will encounter the problem that part of the glycogen, in addition to fat, will be used as fuel for aerobic work, emptying part of these muscular deposits of glycogen that We need to have a good and intense weight routine .


Conclusion : The cardio session should always be performed after the weight work , otherwise we would not arrive with an optimal amount of energy to the weight training part and we would develop an anaerobic routine without the optimum intensity and duration. A big mistake if our goal is muscle hypertrophy .


What if we chose more intense cardiovascular exercise before the weights?


As we have discussed, when we talk about cardio in fitness we usually refer to aerobic exercise at low or moderate intensity where we basically throw fat as fuel, hence cardio is usually performed when the fundamental purpose is to burn fat more instantaneously .


If we choose to do cardio at greater intensity, even reaching our anaerobic threshold and surpassing 80% of our heart rate, what we will achieve is to transform it into a purely anaerobic exercise .


Thus, if in addition to doing the cardio before the weights increase its intensity, we end up transforming it into another anaerobic work , where we will throw practically intact stored glycogen and arriving at the work of weights without any kind of reserve. This, in addition, can lead to a muscular catabolism where we can lose some muscle, precisely the opposite of what we are looking for.


We will always avoid performing the cardio session before weight training and especially if we talk about high intensity cardio that uses a large part of accumulated muscle glycogen

Order of exercises in weights: first basic or specific?


Now that we know when we should practice each type of exercise, in a next entry we will tell you what should be the order of exercises in the part of weights to complete an optimal training routine.

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