Is It Better to Do Cardio or Strength Training First?

March 07, 2017

It’s essential to add both cardio and strength training to your workout regimen if you want a fit, lean body. While it’s a great idea to do weights and cardio on different days, if you’re strapped for time, you may want to put the two into one sweat session. The big question: Should you do cardio or strength training first? A look at recent research and info from the pros shows that it’s best to tackle your strength training routine before you hit a cardio machine.

Why You Need to Start with the Weights

A recent study found in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that when athletes did cardio first, they weren’t able to complete as many weight lifting reps. However, when they started with strength training without doing cardio first, they were able to do more reps. Other studies have found very similar results. Lifting before you do cardio ensures you have the most strength and power, helping you lift heavier weights, which will increase strength and build more muscle.

What Happens if You Start with Cardio?

Starting with cardio isn’t going to hurt you. However, you’ll use up those quick-energy stores in your body when you do cardio. When you get to your strength training, you may already feel more exhausted and sluggish, which means you won’t be able to push as hard with your weight lifting. It can also lead to sloppier form as well.

The Importance of Both

Keep in mind, the most important thing is to make sure you are doing both cardio and strength training. Do what you need to do to ensure you get both into your life for the best fitness and weight loss results. While it’s okay to do either first, going for the strength training first can ensure you maximize your workout results.

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