Is it best to split your cardio and weight training when doing them on the same day? Should I wake up an hour earlier to run, then do the gym in the afternoon? I'd try and go to bed an hour earlier to make up for it, but let's be honest .. that doesn't always translate to an hour of sleep. Changing my sleep schedule around throws my body off, and that extra hour of sleep in the morning is dearly missed. So the question comes down to: is better sleep > splitting cardio and weights. With the cliche goal of gain/retain muscle and burn fat. I've felt I kinda plateaued and looking to tweak anything minor to help myself improve.

My typical week looks like this:

Monday - Weight training
Tuesday - Weight training + running (4.5 miles)
Wednesday - Weight training
Thursday - running (4.5 miles)
Friday - Break
Saturday - Break
Sunday - sprints (45 minutes)

  • 1
    possible duplicate of Mixing weight training and cardio/strength
    – Baarn
    Commented Jan 2, 2013 at 15:18
  • I think that in it's current form the question will not receive answer that differ greatly from the one I think is a duplicate. If you want specific advice on your schedule, please make this more clear (in the title and the question). In that case some additional information on your workout and your person might help.
    – Baarn
    Commented Jan 2, 2013 at 15:21
  • Thanks. I didn't actually see this article when posting.
    – xhermit
    Commented Jan 2, 2013 at 15:44

2 Answers 2


In general, in order to maximize the quality of your weight training, your body should be as fresh and rested as possible. Therefore, you should either run immediately afterwards, or run on your rest days between your strength training. I've tried running in the morning and weight training in the afternoon, but it didn't work out for me, because I never felt being 100% fit in the afternoon when I have been running in the morning.

In case your weight training includes leg exercises as well, make sure that your legs get enough rest. Carefully choose your running speed depending on your goals. For instance, if you are doing cardio only for burning calories, you should aim for a slow pace because then your running does not interfere that much with you leg strength training.

Your current week looks kind of awkward to me, as you're weight training Mo, Tue, and Wed, (with no rest days in between) and aren't weight training at all during the rest of the week. Even if you are doing split workouts, this is probably sub-optimal. You should rather spread your workouts evenly over the week.

Note that you don't necessarily need cardio, if your goal is losing fat and gaining/maintaining muscle (unless you want to increase your running performance). If you want to do cardio in addition to your weight training, I would recommend 3x full body weight training (incl legs) and 2x cardio (low intensity!) per week: Weight training on Mo, We, Fri, and cardio either immediately afterwards, or on two of the four remaining days. Another possibility would be to do split weight training (upper/lower body) 4x a week, and do cardio on the days before your leg work.

  • Yeah my workout schedule is a bit awkward and I think it was a result of getting extremely jaded about the gym and just getting it all done so I can enjoy Friday and Saturday and forget about routine. As far as improving my running, I'll probably keep the same distance and just improve my speed. I do it mostly for heart health, cross-training and overall reducing stress. Plus I feel much tighter and leaner when doing my cardio.
    – xhermit
    Commented Jan 2, 2013 at 15:11
  • Your statements "I'll probably keep the same distance and just improve my speed." and "I do it mostly for heart health, cross-training and overall reducing stress." are a bit contradicting in my opinion. For the latter one it would suffice to do some low intensity running. But if you want to "improve speed", you would have to do some higher intensity runs like interval runs, for example, which would interfere more with your leg strength training. Commented Jan 2, 2013 at 15:31
  • This answer is confirmed by this Gravity Transformation video. Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 5:03

I agree with zero-divisor on your Workout week out of balance. Unless you doing Super Heavy Lifts.. That is a lot of time off... Have you thought about reversing Cardio & Weight training. Hitting the Gym in the morning & doing the Cardio exercices afternoon/night. My Schedule looks like this:

  • Monday:(Back& BI & Core) in morning & Indoor Cardio at night(45 mins ).
  • Tuesday:(Chest& Tri &Legs) in morning & Indoor Cardio at night(45
  • Wednesday :Short Run(2-3 mile) & Yoga at night.

  • Thursday:(Back& BI & Core) in morning & Indoor Cardio at night(45

  • Friday:(Chest& Tri &Legs) in morning & Indoor Cardio at night(45 mins)(optional). Saturday:long run (4-6 miles) Sunday: Break

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