It’s an age old question; should I do my cardio before or after weights? Assuming your goal is to change your body composition, that is, reduce your body fat levels whilst trying to increase lean muscle mass, you should most definitely be doing your cardio AFTER your weights for the following reasons.
Assuming your nutrition is on point, particularly your pre-workout meal, your body will be primed and in the perfect nourished state to hit the weights and stimulate the necessary muscle fibres to their maximum potential, in order to elicit repair and growth.
During your weights session, your body will utilise those energy stores accumulated from your pre-workout meal, and by the time you finish training, your body will now be in a depleted state. This is the perfect opportunity to jump onto a cardio machine, as your body will be most receptive to using stored body fat as an energy source to fuel this activity.
It is recommended you perform Low-Intensity Steady State (LISS) cardio post-workout to ensure your heart rate stays within the optimal fat burning range of 50-65% of your maximum heart rate. Optimal time is anywhere between 20 – 45 minutes. If time is an issue, you can also perHigh-Intensitynsity Interval Training (HIIT) post-workout, whereby you spend approximately 10 – 15 minutes mixing between a maximum effort sprint and an accompanying rest period on repeat.
Once you complete your workout, your body will be in a very depleted state, having used stored glycogen during both weight training and cardio. In order to replenish these stores and provide your muscles with nutrients immediately to start their repair process, it is recommended you consume a lean Whey Protein shake immediately after training.