In a perfect world, we would all have the time and flexibility in our schedule to workout twice a day. One session would be dedicated to cardio and the other would be dedicated to hitting the weights. Sadly, most of us don’t have this much time in our schedules, but that is A-Okay.
We are not saying that you HAVE to do cardio and weights every time you workout, it all depends on what your goals are.
If your goal is to gain strength then you should hit the weights first. By working on your strength first, you have more energy, more glycogen, more mental capacity, and more power to get through your strength training workout. Think about it, if you did your cardio first some of your energy, glycogen, mental capacity, and some power would be depleted… meaning you will most likely be lifting lighter weights, possibly performing fewer repetitions or sets and taking longer breaks to recover.
Now due to myths, many of you might think that cardio is more important when it comes to losing weight. This is just not true. When you are trying to lose weight, you are typically eating in a deficiency. This makes strength training very important in order to conserve as much lean mass as possible while losing weight. You don’t want your body to start using its muscle for fuel. In order to keep your metabolism high, you need to lose fat tissue and preserve muscle mass because… muscle burns more calories than fat. In this case, focusing on your strength training before cardio is essential.
Speed or Endurance
Think of the scenario with gaining strength, well this time the case is the opposite. If your goal is cardio specific then you want to focus on the cardio first, like if you are trying to get faster or training for an endurance race. This also does not mean to skip out on strength training altogether. It is important to also make sure you get some strength training in too to help reduce injury, increase your speed, and strengthen within your muscles and joints.
Improving Overall Wellness
There is no right or wrong answer here. If you are looking to improve your overall health and wellness, then just get to sweating. Whether you do the cardio first or the strength training first all comes down to what you like to do more. Think of what will motivate you to get it done? Will doing your favorite exercises first give you more motivation or saving the best for last? Whatever it might be, just make sure you enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it then your healthy habits won’t stick.
Now that you have a healthy active lifestyle that sticks, maybe you need a bit more help forming healthy diet choices. If so, check out our article – How to Make Lasting Changes in Your Diet.