To optimize fat loss while maintaining or building muscle, it's important to consider both your overall exercise routine and how you structure each workout session. Here's a general guideline:
Strength Training Before Cardio: Doing strength training first, especially when your energy levels are highest, allows you to put maximum effort into your lifting session. This is crucial for muscle building and maintenance. When you lift weights, your body primarily uses glycogen (stored carbohydrates) for energy. If you do cardio first, you might deplete this energy source, and your strength training performance could suffer as a result.
Cardio After Strength Training: By doing cardio after weight lifting, you'll likely burn more fat. Once the glycogen stores are depleted during strength training, your body will switch to burning fat during your cardio session. Also, since you've already worked out your muscles, the cardio session won’t require as much from them, allowing for a more focused and efficient fat-burning session.
However, it's essential to tailor your workout routine to your personal goals, fitness level, and preferences. Some people might find a different order works better for them. Additionally, nutrition and overall lifestyle choices play a significant role in fat loss and muscle gain.
It's always a good idea to consult with a fitness professional or a personal trainer to design a workout plan that suits your specific needs and goals.