It’s the age-old question of fitness enthusiasts: What should I do first? Weights or cardio? We’re putting this question to rest with (finally) a definitive answer.
A well-rounded exercise routine provides a balance of cardio and weight training, with different types of each to help you reach your goals. An optimal exercise schedule for beginners alternates cardio and weight training on different days (check out our 10-week workout plan for an awesome example!), but sometimes, you’re strapped for time and you want to do both on the same day in the same session. So, which should you do first? Weights or cardio?
Do Weights Before Cardio.
The verdict is: do weight training before you jump into some cardio. Research has shown that people who do weight training after cardio often suffer in performance, having to do less reps or less weight than those who do weight training without cardio first. Put simply, cardio tires you out. If you decide to run a few miles before hitting the weight room, you’ve already used up some of your energy. In addition, if you fatigue your muscles by doing cardio prior to weight training, your form and weaken, which can lead to injury. Your motivation to push harder on the weights will lessen as well, as you just won’t have the energy necessary to really push yourself the way you could if your muscles were not already fatigued.
When you choose to do weights before doing cardio, you will likely have better form, be able to lift heavier, and accomplish the movements with greater skill. We’ve long touted the benefits of strength training, so make sure you are hitting the weights! You’ll sculpt a lean body and see real aesthetic changes when you add weight training to your routine. For those looking to slim down, cardio is also important. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s especially beneficial for beginners to do weight training and cardio on different days, but we understand that everyone has a different schedule and you need to find what will work best for you. Of course, no exercise regime is complete without the proper nutrition to go with it. Make sure you’re eating whole foods and the proper amounts to achieve the results you want.
photo Credit- Monica Nelson Fitness