The Answer: Cardio Before Or After Weights? … Plus More Randomness

It’s a legitimate question that I have heard dozens of times. It’s a question that has caused many trainers to argue their point of views. And it’s an a question that we finally have a definitive answer for.

Last week’s podcast Dan and I highlighted some of the major nutrition and fitness news/studies and we’ve decided to continue on with that theme today.

Boy do we have some good stuff to share. Stuff that I can’t wait to get your opinion on! Stuff that hopefully helps you look at your own life and delivers ideas that you can implement or even change to improve your current state.

—> Does it matter what order you exercise in?

—> The downfall of having a larger waist

—> This sugar may help you lose weight and control blood sugar

—> Does water actually help you lose weight?

Below the podcast you can find a recap of all the stories covered, but it’s impossible for me to recap every point we make, so definitely listen in to the show when you can.

It’s fun to have the chance to record What The Fitness with Dan and I hope that you enjoy listening!

What The Fitness: Belly Fat, Sugar, And Fit Reports

Large Waist Linked To Poor Health, Even Among Those In A Healthy Body Mass Index Range


“Men and women with large waist circumferences were more likely to die younger, and were more likely to die from illnesses such as heart disease, respiratory problems, and cancer after accounting for body mass index, smoking, alcohol use and physical activity.”

This study, published by the Mayo Clinic discovered that no matter your BMI, the size of your waist matters. Here’s what the researchers found:

Women with a waist circumference of 37 in. or greater had about an 80% higher mortality risk than women with a waist circumference of less than 27 in. This translated to about a 5-year lower life expectancy after age 40.

So how can you improve your waistline? By changing what you eat. Nutrition is the #1 factor with weight. Creating healthy nutritional habits now can help you to lead a long and happy life free of diabetes, cancers, heart disease and more. Of course paired with a healthy workout regiment and you’ll be in even better shape.

Here are a few golden nuggets I’ve written over the years to help morph your eating:

Performing Cardio, Resistance Training During Same Session: Does Order Matter?


Ask a trainer this question and they will be quick with a response and an argument.

But this study shows it doesn’t matter! Over a 24 week study, participants saw the same results no matter if they did cardio and then lifted weights or if they lifted weights and then cardio.

While at the end, there were no differences, at the beginning it took the body to warm up to the idea of cardio workouts followed by anaerobic weight training. The recovery was longer and the gains started off slower. But the body adapted, like the body often does to allow progress to happen.

So here’s what I say… do what feels best. If you’re a runner or working on speed then you will likely feel better crossing off your run first. If you’re fitness goal is to increase strength then go with lifting first. Either way, you’ll improve!

Debunking Water Myths: Weight Loss, Calorie Burn & More


Beth Kitchin puts to rest the idea that drinking water helps to increase your metabolism and therefore lead to weight loss. She also clears up the old idea that drinking cold water burns more calories because the body has to warm it up.

I’ve heard it before, and I am sure you have too!

Here’s what she found… while water does help to burn calories, it’s not a significant amount. Like, at all. And the same is true for ice water.

Too bad.

But I do want to mention that while water itself doesn’t burn off calories, it can help you to feel full and leads to a decrease in overall calorie consumption if a glass is consumed right before a meal. Dr. Kitchin didn’t cover this but I think it’s a very important tool for anyone aiming to lose weight.

Just as important… make sure to drink a glass of water when you feel hunger. It might just be your body telling you that you’re thirsty. NOT HUNGRY!

Ways To Get More Water

    • Make it special by drinking sparkling water. But think that using a Soda Stream to carbonate water will safe money and is a great idea? You might want to think again.
    • Use a water bottle you like. And then keep it beside you every where you go! I just purchased my first glass bottle and love it!
    • Drink water you like. For us, that means using a Brita Filter. Knowing that the water is clean and chilled from the fridge has us coming back for more!

Sugars Found In Tequila May Protect Against Obesity


“According to researchers from Mexico, natural sugars derived from the agave plant, called agavins, greatly protected a group of mice against diet-induced obesity and type 2 diabetes, MedPage Today reported.”

Agave also happens to be the plant that is responsible for tequila <– FYI.

But back to the agavins, these are lightly sweetened sugars that are composed of long chains of fructose and act as dietary fiber that are unable to be broken down. Agavin does not affect blood sugar levels and has shown to cause an affect on the hormones to slow down the emptying of the stomach. Which in affect can lead to eating less and taking in less calories.

Pretty interesting stuff! And no, they aren’t anything agave nectar which has a high glycemic index and the opposite affect on blood sugar levels and appetite.

Agavins have been compared to stevia, which I am a huge fan of. Stevia is actually an herb which like agavins does not affect blood sugar. Stevia however is much sweeter (which is why I love it). Mark’s Daily Apple did a great write up on this special herb that I definitely recommend reading.

And to finish off the podcast, we introduced an amazing new book that has found it’s way to our bookshelf Kindle:


Dan John’s Intervention Book

While the book’s cover says it may be for athletes and coaches, anyone can benefit from the knowledge within.

One of the main points that we stress is the important of Point B goals that are specific and used to get the your Point Z goal, your ultimate DREAM goal. By doing that it takes stress away from the big picture goal and allows you to focus on something that seems much more manageable and present. Z might seem impossible now, but by working on your smaller goal and accomplishing it, you end up one step closer!

And the last BIG take away (which I LOVE) is strength. Let’s take the focus off losing weight through running and cutting calories and turn our focus on to improving strength. By doing so, we end up with a much more balanced lifestyle and one set up for future success. Cutting calories and running like a hamster puts us at constant risks of weight gain. We’re always at war with our metabolism. Stop the war, and get “Body Peace” by strength training which naturally boosts the metabolism!

What have you heard interesting this week? 


  • so i guess i need tequila now, right? jk!! and love the cardio/weights thing. I am a creature of habit, so i do cardio first.

    • Lemon drop time! Ugh, memories of college. I’m all about habits to!

  • glad to hear about the cardio and strength training research. I always thought that the “do whatever order works for you” method is best but it’s nice to know that the order doesn’t really matter. Of course I think if you’re going to do both you might as well just make it one big strength and cardio mixed workout.

    • True! When it comes to fitness it’s always about what works best for each person when it comes down to it. I love the intensity of combining them!

  • Interesting stuff about the agave. I try to use int in place of other sugars because I heard it was healthier, but didn’t know exactly why. Good to know!

    • I am curious to try and find the sugar in the store!

  • Kim

    I agree with Lindsay – tequila shots all around!! (OK – maybe not but…)
    Interesting about the cardio/weights thing. I have always mixed mine up – some days I run and then lift other days I do a strength workout and end with a short run.
    And, that last takeaway you shared from the book – taking the focus off of weight loss and putting it on strength – has been my motto for years. I don’t want to be “skinny” just strong!

    • Cheers! How about margaritas? Haha. I tend to mix up from day to day too. Just depends what is on my agenda! Strong rocks!

  • Good stuff! I’ve always truly believed you should put them in the order that works best FOR YOU! For me, I like cardio first…if I do weights first, I feel like I’m going to fall over during my cardio ;). BUT I can totally seeing it working the opposite for someone else.

  • Karen

    Great post! I love your last comment about not focusing on weight loss through running but on strength. I’ve been running now for a year and trying to lose weight and it has only been recently that I’ve switched my focus from the weight-loss to getting stronger through running and strength training: the scales still aren’t budging as quickly as I’d like, but I’m feeling stronger and more confident about myself, which in my book is a win!

    • Thanks Karen! Strength is so much fun and you’re right a big win! It’s so cool how the ability to pick up heavy stuff makes us feel so great!

  • I always heard from the running perspective to do sprints/running first and then strength train- mainly because if you strength train your legs then do a hard run or speedwork, your legs are fatigued already and you can’t run as fast and do speedwork as effectively (this is why I’m glad we did track in the mornings, I could lift that afternoon if I wanted… a better idea than lifting that morning and then running that afternoon). I would probably always opt for cardio first but I think it depends on the person.

    As far as water goes, I definitely think we all need more water! It’s hard in the winter months because it’s not as hot but we still need to drink. I find that it’s good to drink water more in between meals, it keeps me from snacking/munching so much and with working out, we need to replace what we sweat…

    • I am always dehydrated during the winter! I hate drinking water when its cold for some reason! Can’t wait to the spring temps to come so I can drink up!

  • Amy

    I have a question about the glass of water before meals: I’ve heard different things (cannot think of any sources at the moment, sorry) about not drinking water around mealtime because it dilutes your digestive acids and food doesn’t break down as easily. Do you know whether there’s any truth to that?

    • Dan

      Hey Amy… great question. I’m no research scientist nor do I play one on TV, but I have read a lot about this. What I’ve come to understand is that as long as you’re not drinking an enormous (undefined exact amount) of water during your meal, you won’t dilute the pH level of your stomach… or at least to a degree that would make any difference.

      However, if you suffer from acid reflux maybe water might make it worse. I don’t really know enough to expound on that more, but I would imagine you’d find out pretty quick after trying it a couple times.

      Personally, I only drink 1 to 2 glasses during a meal. After all think about the last time you ate something and it caught up in your esophagus because it was so dry… you have to drink something to get it down.

      I know that’s not a definite answer to your question but I hope it helps.

      Bottom line: I wouldn’t worry about it.

      Taylor what do you think?

      • This is exactly what I’ve heard as well. I think you would have to drink quite a bit in one sitting to affect pH, and water actually helps digestion by breaking the food down a bit (softening it up).

        From what I have studied, it would take about 5 liters of water to affect stomach ph, and I doubt any of us can put that down during a meal! My goal is to get 3-4 liters in an entire day!

        Keep on hydrating! 🙂

        • Amy

          Thank you for the answers, they make a lot of sense. I’ve found that a moderate amount of water during meals helps me eat them, no liquid at all is just too dry. Sometimes I’m ravenous right before a meal so I like the concept of drinking some water so I don’t overeat, I’ll try it out and see if it works.

  • Good to know… I have heard mixed things whether you should do cardio first or last, so love that it doesn’t matter! 🙂 I tend to like to get my cardio in and then do my strengthening workouts.

    • I’m the same, or I like to combine them… a mile run then some strength moves and repeat!

  • I like to do cardio workouts and weight workouts on different days, although I do warm up with a bit of cardio and then stretching before weights.

    • I often split them up too!

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