It is a question every gym buff, fitness enthusiast, and trainer hears, Should I do cardio before or after weight training?
It is a question every gym buff, fitness enthusiast, and trainer hears, should I do cardio before or after weight training? There are endless debates on this question and varieties of answers to further confuse someone looking for a bit of advice. In reality it just comes down to asking yourself what kind of results you are personally looking for. Everyone has different goals and exercise needs, so finding what works best for you and sticking with that will give you the results you want.
While we do not live in a perfect world with copious amounts of hours to get everything done, squeezing in time for a workout can be difficult and sometimes downright daunting. Without the hours we need it is common for us to mix weights and cardio into a single workout. However, researchers say the ideal way to achieve the most benefits from exercise is to separate a session of cardio and a session of weight lifting into two different days altogether. Another suggested option is to separate these workouts by six hour breaks allowing the body to recover and refuel. Now, we know this is not an option for most people, so it is important to decide what kind of results you are seeking.
Sportsmedicine.com breaks down goals with appropriate workout routines. Those looking for cardiovascular health are recommended to start with cardio, this way they have more energy that will allow for a longer duration of cardio to help increase their endurance. Want more muscle, do cardio after, for the same reason, to have more energy to focus on the exercise that will give you the results sought. Also, if you exhaust yourself with cardio before weights there is an increased risk of injury due to fatigue so workout smart and stay safe.
However, while it is important to realize what you want from your workout it is just as crucial to understand how the body works. Understanding the way the body uses its fuel allows you to utilize it the best way possible. According to bodybuilding.com, and a study conducted by the University of Tokyo, the first 15 minutes of cardio performed after an intense weight training session resulted in more fat burning than 15 minutes of cardio without any weight lifting prior. This is because the body uses glycogen to provide energy when doing physical activity, once that glycogen is depleted the body moves on to its fat storage. If fat loss is a priority then weight training should be done first, that way the cardio session will be all about burning fat.
In the long run all exercise, no matter what order it is performed in, is beneficial to your health. Cardio improves heart health, mood, and is accredited to helping prevent some cancers, weight training increases strength, boost metabolism and increases bone density. Get out there and get moving, make fitness goals and map out a routine that will get you the results you want.