Which should I do first, cardiovascular or weights?
Does it really matter which exercise you perform first at the gym, cardio or weights? Fitness experts have differing views on this topic. The majority of fitness professionals will advise you to start with resistance training and finish with cardio. The reason being; cardio will deplete your energy stores quicker, leaving muscles fatigued and little energy left to build strength.
The sequence of your training should depend on your personal goal and what you are trying to achieve. Let’s take a look at different goals to help you decided which way to structure your training session.
Goal: Burn fat
A study published in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Journal found that completing weight training first, then cardio second, helped burn more fat during the first 15-minutes of exercise. They found that once you finish with the weights and begin the cardio your muscle energy (glycogen) is depleted, so all the body has left is fat to burn as energy. Therefore, for fat burning, cardio comes first.
Goal: Improve cardio endurance
A study conducted by James Cook University – QLD concluded that fatigue from weight training can reduce the performance of endurance athletes for several days. The results from this study suggest that if appropriate recovery is not included in the program e.g. rest days and nutrition recovery, then endurance performance is impaired. Taking this into consideration, if your goal is to run a longer distance or cycle at a faster pace, then you should always complete cardio before weights or even consider doing them on different days.
Goal: Build strength and power
The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found exercisers who ran or cycled before lifting weights performed up to 20% fewer repetitions of the exercise as well as lifted significantly reduced weights. If your goal is to build strength and power always use weights before cardio so the largest amount of energy is used in the resistance session.
The most effective way to increase strength and bulk is to perform sport-specific resistance training with adequate energy i.e. carbohydrate and protein. Another critical part of training is to ensure you recover properly for your next training session. Musashi Bulk is a great way to take in both carbohydrates and protein post-workout. Also supplementing with Musashi Creatine Monohydrate can help enhance strength and muscle gains, resulting in greater bulk.
So, remember – think of your destination before setting out! By knowing your goal, you can get there by adapting your program and order in which you perform cardio and weights.
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