One aspect of their fat loss workout that many people often get confused over is whether or not cardio should be performed before or after their weight lifting takes place, and for how long.
Most people are now starting to realize that cardio-only is not the best way to lose body fat and instead, combining cardio with the weight lifting aspect of a fitness program is what will deliver top notch results.
Gone are the days where you spend hours on cardio machines in quest on a lean body, and now, sprint training is also starting to catch on. This means those hour long cardio sessions are now reduced to measly twenty minutes, granted it is an all-intensive effort.
Now, going back to our original problem, when should this cardio be performed?
Factors To Consider
It's a good idea to consider a few factors when trying to make this decision on any weight loss program.
First, are you training for any type of endurance-related event? If so, you might want to put your cardio training first since this is when you will feel the freshest and be able to give a max effort.
If you're tiring yourself out with weight training beforehand, you likely will not make a whole lot of performance improvements when you go to do your cardio training, which is where you do want to see progress.
In this scenario, fat loss, in a way, takes a backseat to performance enhancement.
Note of course that performance gains will never be the same as they would be if you weren't dieting, but still this allows you to make the most of the situation.
Now, if you aren't focused on increasing your endurance or cardio performance, then your best bet will most definitely be to do weight training first.
Because weight training is an activity that can only use muscle glycogen stores as fuel (ATP), this means that if you deplete these stores with cardio first, you definitely will not be lifting optimally.
Since weight lifting is the form of exercise that has the most power to reshape your body so you actually look completely different when you do lose the weight and will also increase the metabolism to the greatest extent over the long run, you really want to be sure you're doing whatever you can to put
full energy into this lifting session.
This is hard to do when you've got 30 minutes of cardio to get to first.
The Ideal World
In an ideal world though, you would actually separate your cardio session from your weight lifting so you can be fresh for both and also reduce the chance of losing muscle mass as you train.
When in a calorie deficit, the body is really at risk for losing this muscle tissue, and the longer your workouts get, the greater the chances this will happen.
By having this break in between and fueling yourself between lifting sessions, you will really help to prevent this from happening.
Meals Before And After Your Session For Fat Loss
Finally, it must be stated, that even if your goal is fat loss, you still must be consuming both protein and carbohydrates (to some extent) before and after a weight lifting session and any type of sprint training.
If you are only doing a moderate paced cardio workout (and doing it separately from weight lifting), then you can likely get away with no meal, or even better, a small meal of protein (to further help prevent muscle mass loss).
So, be sure you keep these points in mind when trying to determine which area of the gym you should head to first when trying to lose weight.