Weights or Cardio

Which should you do first?


DEFENSE Weights should be first because you’re fresh and can put in the most effort. Plus, you don’t really have to push yourself too hard when doing cardio.

PROSECUTION Do cardio first to optimize anabolic hormones while burning just as many fat calories.


Research has shown that people tend to put in more effort on exercises done first in a workout.

Tiring yourself out with cardio before you train with weights doesn’t make sense if your goal is to build muscle.

According to research, when “trained subjects” do cardio and weight training in the same workout, testosterone and IGFBP-3 (this makes IGF-1 more available to muscles) are elevated when cardio is done before weight training.

If cardio is done first, protein timing can be optimized immediately after weight training, thus taking advantage of the known anabolic window created by weight training.


Doing cardio first elevates testosterone and IGFBP-3, which leads to an anabolic state immediately after training. This anabolic state can be further taken advantage of by taking in protein immediately after weight training.


When combining cardio and weights in the same session, do cardio first, keep the time at or less than 30 minutes, and include intervals. Post-workout, consume at least 20 grams of high-quality whey protein and as many carbs as your diet will allow. - FLEX



Subscribe to Flexonline

Give a Gift
Customer Service