WEIGHTS OR CARDIO FIRST?!
- IF YOUR GOAL IS TO TONE, SHAPE UP, LOSE WEIGHT &/OR INCREASE MUSCULAR STRENGTH: Strength training then cardio.
When you start with weights, by the time you get to cardio, your anaerobic energy system (the one that functions without the use of oxygen & releases a large amount of energy from stored body chemicals in a short amount of time) will already be tapped out.
Depending your fitness level, your muscles & heart can only tolerate a set amount of anaerobic training before getting tired, so if you do 1 hr. of cardio & deplete energy stores, you won’t have as much left over to build strength.
Strength training increases BMR (basal metabolic rate), revs metabolism & burns more calories post-sweat & at rest VS. steady state cardio.
Strength training first depletes muscles’ stored carbs (glycogen/sugar) & enhances fat-burning during cardio too (due to the lack of available sugar for fuel).
Doing weights first also leads to a more elevated heart rate, which means a bigger calorie burn, all while having more energy to lift heavier & increased lean muscle mass.
IF YOU WANT TO GET FASTER (ex: you’re training for a marathon) or YOUR GOAL IS TO INCREASE AEROBIC ENDURANCE OR LOSE BODY FAT: Cardio first!
Research shows that whichever muscle you train first reaps the most benefits, so it’s best to perform the exercise most important to your goals when you’re not fatigued.
When your goal is just to increase overall health & well-being & isn’t necessarily about weight loss or muscular strength, it’s important to do both strength training & cardio! In general, a workout routine should have a healthy balance of cardio, muscular conditioning & flexibility! I also love workouts that combine both cardio & lifting (HIIT/tabata classes!)
Remember, you gotta love what you do & the best workout is the one you actually do & enjoy!