Weights or Cardio First?
Updated: Jul 16, 2018
If you're looking to have a lean, fit, healthy body, hopefully you know by now that only hitting the elliptical won't do it for you. You will need to incorporate strength training in to get that defined muscle tone and make you stronger as a cardio junkie as well.
The thing is.... we get pressed for time these days! So when you have to squeeze in a workout that incorporates cardio AND strength, which do you do first??
Unfortunately, there is not only one answer to this question. It is based more on what you want out of that specific workout.
Heavy Weights Shouldn't Wait
If you are looking to lift heavier weight, then doing your resistance training prior to your cardio portion is best. You're body has more energy to supply the heavy lifts and to push for more repetitions or sets. The biggest safety factor of this, is that after you have completed cardio, your body is fatigued. Therefore, resulting in possibility of losing form when lifting heavier weights.
If you're looking at working with lighter weights for a strength endurance burn, completing cardio prior to lifting shouldn't be much of a worry.
Muscle increases your metabolic rate, which in return helps burn off more fat during your workout AND after.
If your goal is to drop major pounds, then cardio first may be your best bet to start with. Always keeping in mind that aerobic work burns calories, but combining strength training WITH cardio burns more calories and fights off fat faster than just doing cardio alone.
If your goal is to increase your cardio capacity, then cardio again may be your first thing to tackle during that short workout. Just like lifting heavy weights you need the strength at the beginning to push harder, you will need the strength to push harder during your cardio workout without your muscles being fatigued yet.
Now granted, even cardio junkies need strength training to be the best of the best with their sport as well, but staying sports specific on practicing mainly with the same cardio is best, with sprinkling in some cross training days to incorporate strength.
Finding What Works Best For You
Each person has their own ideas of what they would like to get out of their workout each and every day, so tailor your workout to YOU.
For the beginners out there, working both in one session will be good for your body, although if you are still unsure, schedule your days to have strength and cardio workouts in separate workouts until you figure what works for you.
All in all.... Do what works best for you and your goals.
Now, getting into complex workouts that incorporate strength and cardio together (for you weekend warriors), that's a whole 'nother blog to come. Stay Tuned!!