Should you do treadmill before or after workout?

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Written By Samarjit Sinha

Working out for 10 years | Has a home gym | CPD (UK) Certificate holder in Fitness

Should you do treadmill before or after workout?

Doing cardio of any sort like running or treadmill before or after workouts depends on your goals. The choice between cardio and weight training order can significantly impact your fitness goals. For those like me, aiming to pack on muscle and strength, prioritizing heavyweight training before hopping on the treadmill is the way to go.

Scientific evidence backs this approach, indicating that cardio before strength training might hamper your muscle gains. However, if weight loss is your primary goal, beginning with cardio can be more effective. Let’s explore the science and find the ideal workout sequence for your fitness aspirations.


How do I know this?


Scroll to check the scientific data to understand what really happens when you mix cardio with strength training!

should you do treadmill before or after workout

Key Takeaways

  • For muscle gain and strength, start with weightlifting before cardio.
  • Scientific data supports doing cardio after strength training for better muscle improvement.
  • Weightlifting increases metabolism and aids in weight loss.
  • Incorporating both cardio and weights offers the best of both worlds.
  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is effective for fat loss.

Scenario 1: Do treadmill runs after strength training to build muscle

If you’re looking to build strength, do cardio after weight training. Low-intensity cardio is best for pairing with weight lifting because it helps the body get all of the energy it needs.

Studies like this done in the year 2015 tells us if your goal is to improve strength then doing cardio before strength training will hamper it.

Running Technique Long Distance Easily!

I will also say, if you are weight training, cardio is best done afterward because it has a different focus than lifting.

It’s more about burning calories and cardiovascular exercise rather than crushing the iron and lift them to humble them.

So running should get less focus.

Honestly, I would not even worry much about running on a treadmill for than 10 minutes after a strength session. Scartch that, I would just walk for 10 minutes to cool down myself.

As a skinny guy, I would want to preserve all the calories in my body. Oh! My precious calories….

Running before working out will limit the number of reps that can be used to build muscle, while running after exercising allows for proper technique in order to avoid injury during the lifts.

The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (JSCR) published a study that found that cardio before weight lifting limits the number of reps in terms of strength.

Will treadmill build stamina?

In conclusion, if you are looking to build your physical strength, it is best to do cardio after an intense weightlifting session.

Scenario 2: Do treadmill running First for weight loss goals

The cardio workout done on treadmill consume so much energy that there will be nothing left to do those 90% 1 RM squats.

But does weightlifting helps with weight loss if your goal is that?

Well, this 2020 study tells us that a strength+endurance+low calorie diet is the best way to reduce body fat. The researches also feel this combination of workout does burn calories, but with less awareness of that.

Duh! clearly, running takes out a lot of energy out of you too quickly. But 1 Rep Max squats of 5 reps of 5 sets may not seem much, they drain you out of calories, but you are not just as aware as a treadmill run.

This might have motivated the test subjects to stay on the program for longer as well.

This means that weight lifting should come first if your main goal is losing weight, as it will help increase metabolism and decrease overall body mass.

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If your goal is to gain muscle, you should also incorporate weights into your workout.

This allows for a better chance at gaining lean muscle growth, strength gains and fat loss.

But you can train with treadmills only and lose weight as well!

This 2012 study suggests that aerobic training could be the optimal style of workout to lose fat mass.

If you only do treadmill runs, then your workouts will be shorter as well.

So if your main goal is lose your fat mass first then you should do the cardio AKA treadmill runs.

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Scenario 3: You are training for a marathon to beat Milind Soman, training for cardio vascular health

A proper workout routine includes cardio, strength training, and flexibility. If you’re trying to improve your cardiovascular fitness while also building muscle mass, you should start with cardio before weightlifting.

For a stronger body overall, fitness trainers suggest that both be in your workout routine.

But if you just want to shed some fat and not train crazy for marathon – then for fat loss an HIIT training is an optimal method.

As per Harvard with HIIT you can do a 30 min workout under 15-20 minutes and it will train your heart well.

Should you do treadmill before or after workout? 1

The above training from ACE Fitness seems interesting!

What should I do after a treadmill workout?

If you are gassed out, you should just rest.

Walk at low pace to cool yourself down and do your weight training or do more runs.

But the best option is to do some sort of HIIT instead of just treadmill running.

Interval training takes less time than steady-state exercise, and it’s beneficial for weight loss.

Intervals are a good way to keep the heart rate elevated while still achieving aerobic work capacity.

The best way to use a treadmill is for a moderate-intensity workouts like light jogging or low-intensity walking.

Base your time and speed of the treadmill workout on your current fitness level so that you don’t risk injury by running too fast at an unfamiliar place.

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The following routine is from 8fit! This looks great!

  • 3-minute warmup (brisk walk)
  • 5-minute run at 5 MPH with a 5% incline
  • 1-minute walk at 3.5 MPH with a 4% incline
  • 5-minute run at 6 MPH with a 3% incline
  • 1-minute walk at 3.5 MPH with a 2% incline
  • 5-minute run at 7 MPH with a 2% incline
  • 1-minute walk at 3.5 MPH with a 1% incline
  • 3-minute sprint (8-9 MPH) with no incline
  • 5-minute cooldown (light jogging)

How to Adjust Treadmill Belt

How long should I run on treadmill before A strength workout?

As per Nike, you should run for 10 minutes max as a warm-up before a weightlifting session.

Laura Wheatley, a graduate student in Exercise and Sport Sciences at the University of Utah says that you should start with 20–30 minutes of treadmill workout which includes running and walking.

I also think you should do some walking in between your running routine to ease things out.

Should you do treadmill before or after workout? 2

What is the best time to walk for weight loss?

Is it better to use the treadmill in the morning or at night?

Exercise is important for weight loss, but you should also consider how to schedule your workouts.

Walking before breakfast allows your body to be in a calorie deficit mode and this can help with the overall performance of the exercise.

Afternoon exercise has been found to have better performance results than morning exercises.

Seniors walking on treadmills
Image Source: Verywellfit

Is walking on a treadmill good for seniors?

Walking on a treadmill is good for seniors. Regular walking increases memory, cardiovascular health, reduces arthritis pain, strengthens the immune system, and aids weight loss.

Seniors should walk for 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week as per CDC.

On average, public health guidelines promote at least 150 minutes/week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for seniors.

And for seniors, I would say that it’s best to stick with brisk walking on the treadmill or outside because it will get your heart rate up and help you stay active while maintaining balance and coordination over time.

For weight training for seniors, they should consult with their doctors first.

Should you do treadmill before or after workout? 3 

Is it better to run before or after a treadmill?

If you are using a treadmill then you do not need to run outside at all. Unless you want to feel what the outside world looks like.

It is a commonly held belief that it is best to run before or after an exercise session.

This is because running on the treadmill will give you a more cardio focused workout.


Is it good to walk on treadmill after workout?

It is good to walk on the treadmill after a workout to do some low-impact cardio. After a strength day, with the low amount of energy left in your body, you can do some treadmill run to get some cardio workout.

Does treadmill reduce belly fat?

Treadmill running or doing HIIT workouts on a treadmill requires a lot of calories. If you do these workouts at home or at the gym and keep watching your diet, then you will lose belly fat.

What is a good speed for a beginner on a treadmill?

5-8 km per hour is a good speed for beginners. Once you can pull that speed off easily, then you can consider an incline or increasing speed.

Does treadmill burn thigh fat?

A treadmill or any other gym machine can not target body parts for fat reduction. But doing repeated running workouts will slim you down and that will burn some thigh fat as well.

Is 30 minutes treadmill enough?

Most of the doctors recommend 150 minutes of walk/workout per week. So 30 minutes of moderate speed walking or running on the treadmill is enough for general fitness.

How much weight can I lose on a treadmill in a month?

Weight loss and weight gain depend on a lot of things but I have seen people lose 2-5 kgs a month with treadmill workouts.
Provided you do eat healthy low-calorie food, you might even can lose more weight.
And if you are going to the gym and your primary goal is losing body fat then you can take advice from a personal trainer.

At what speed should I run on the treadmill to lose weight?

A moderate speed of 8 km per hour is enough for most of us in India to lose weight. You can also vary in speed, incline, and throw in other workouts to expend more calories. You can also add some heavy lifting, exercise bike to your cardiovascular training.
Combining different types of endurance training will improve blood flow and will give more health benefits.


Aligning the order of cardio and strength training with your fitness goals is important. Starting with weightlifting before cardio is recommended for muscle gain and increased strength. Incorporating both cardio and weights, including High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), offers a well-rounded regimen. A 10-minute treadmill warm-up before strength training is ideal. Seniors can benefit from brisk treadmill walking for balance. However, seniors should consult with a medical professional for safe and effective weight training. The text does not mention any negative aspects.

I would do runs as a cooldown after my main weight lifting sessions.

Since I would mostly do weightlifting workout/strength training exercises, thus my energy source will get lower at the end of my workout. 

My training goals are focused on improving strength.

And yet all my workout sessions contain some workouts with cardio. Moderate-intensity cardio is good for overall health.

And if your goal is weight loss, then you should run first and do strength sessions later. You might also want to do high-intensity cardio as well.

Ref: Short Youtube version here

About The Skinny Author


Working Out for 10 years | Owns a home gym |Certificate course done on Improving Aerobic Fitness, Diet | CPD (UK) Accredited Certification on Fitness

Yo Friends, this is Samarjit! A skinny guy who is building his tiny home gym.

I have successfully gained 10 kgs in 10 months going to commercial gyms. And I have been working out on and off for about 10+ years now.

I have gone swimming, done martial arts, Olympic lifts and body-building-type workouts!

I canceled the gym subscription as I was more into making my home gym for workouts. And getting ready, then getting my cycle and ride to the commercial gym seemed a drag after 10 hours in the office.

Thus, I needed a home that I could access at any moment!
And I started building my home gym!

I had to research a lot to build my home gym and decided to share effective, budget-friendly home gym machines, and nutrition to buy as per your goals here in

If you have question then contact me here

Ps: The author is highly experienced with making small workout routines, understanding and guiding people to get gym equipment, and setting up the home gym as per their Fitness goals.

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