Should you be doing your cardio at the start of your workout or at the end?
This is a topic that comes up quite often with clients and other trainers and I want to give you my thoughts on this. I believe that you should do your steady state cardio AFTER your weight training, not before.
To burn body fat your body needs to use your stored fat as the primary fuel source for exercise. In order to do this, you must deplete your glycogen stores first. Glycogen is stored glucose, when you take in carbohydrates your body either uses them or stores them.
When you weight-train, your body typically use glycogen as fuel. By doing your weight training session first, you can burn the majority of your glycogen stores. This means your body is more likely to use its stored fat as a means of fueling your steady state cardio.
This method is NOT referring to high intensity interval training (HIIT), this refers to cardiovascular activities which are at a low intensity for a sustained period of time. Usually more than 30 minutes.
The hormonal benefits of weight training can`t be ignored. By training at a high intensity during your weights session, there will be a peak of testosterone and growth hormone post workout. Both these hormones are anabolic, as well as two key hormones in burning body fat.
If you was to do your weight session after your cardio, I thoroughly believe you would not be able to train hard enough to elicit the appropriate hormonal response.
Give it a try!