A Personal Trainer Tells Us If It’s Better To Do Cardio Before Or After Strength Training To Shed Pounds Fast

woman weight training with a trainer at gym
woman weight training with a trainer at gym

Whether you’re just getting started on your fitness journey or you’ve been a devoted gym patron for years, it’s never a bad time to optimize your workout routine. Many health and fitness experts agree that a great workout will combine both strength training exercises and cardio (here are some of the best options), especially if weight loss is your goal—but have you ever considered how the order of your routine could impact your results?

As it turns out, there are several reasons you may want to consider doing your strength training before you dive into cardio, according to certified personal trainer Valerie Sinady. Sinady tells us that this is the best way to “get the most bang for your buck” in your workout; learn more about why below!

Why you should do strength training before cardio

According to Sinady, starting with strength training is your best option if you're trying to lose weight. She says this has to do with the fact that it sets your body up to burn more fat while you do cardio. 

"Since your body has used up the available carbs during your strength training workout, it will more easily use fat as the source of energy to get your through your cardio workout," she explains. "The result? Enhanced fat burning during your cardio workout with no increase in length of workout time." Incredible!

Not only does this order allow you to burn more fat during the cardio portion, but it also allows you to make the most of your strength training. "By doing strength first, your muscles are not fatigued by cardio, which allows a more intense strength training workout with better form and less risk of injury," Sinady points out. It's a win-win all around!

READ MORE: 3 Best Exercise Methods To Burn Belly Fat Faster

The importance of combining strength training and cardio

So, why should you incorporate both strength training and cardio into your workout if you're just trying to lose weight, anyway? Sinady emphasizes the fact that building muscle mass is crucial when it comes to increasing your metabolism, which is one important part of shedding pounds as quickly as possible. Strength training also offers up a number of other benefits that can help promote healthy weight loss.

"For best results you should incorporate both forms of training into your exercise routine, but for different reasons," she tells us. "Cardio to promote heart and lung health, reduce risk of hypertension, diabetes and certain cancer and strength trading to build muscle, prevent obesity and minimize bone loss." Noted!

READ MORE: 2-In-1 Exercises Trainers Swear By For A Flatter Stomach And Toned Arms By Summer

The bottom line

At the end of the day, your personal workout routine should be just that: personal. What works for someone might not work for everyone else—and that means that some people may benefit from doing cardio before their strength training. While starting with strength training is generally a good option for weight loss, the best way to figure out what will work for you is to assess your own needs with a professional trainer.