Which Comes First- Cardio or Strength?

Is it Better to do Cardio After Weights?

Or is it better to do cardio first, then weights?

Or what order really is best?

This question is quite debatable with many different opinions out there. These are some common question people often ask.

In what circumstances should you strength train first?

Should I do cardio first based off of my goals?

Does it really matter which one I do first?

There is no easy answer because it varies depending on each individual and their goals, but this information will help you answer if you should do cardio or weights based on your own individual circumstance.



Benefits of cardio before strength training

An ACE-commissioned study found that placing cardio exercise after strength created a heart-rate response that was 12 beats per minute higher for the exact same workout intensity and duration.  So this study would suggest that it is better to do cardio first so you do not shift your intensity to “vigorous” when that isn’t your goal.  It is also important to do your cardio first if endurance performance is your main goal.  You want to use all of your available energy on what your main goals are first, so get your cardio in before you strength train.

Benefits of strength training before cardio

Some studies say that you should perform strength training first because strength is reduced when doing cardio first. There is also a slight increase in the use of fat used for fuel because the body’s carbohydrate stores have been used from your strength training.  If your goals are more centered on improving your strength, then you will want to focus on that first and do cardio after.  If you want to lose weight, then do strength first so you burn more fat in your workout.



There are a few circumstances where it doesn’t matter which one you do first.  If you are only doing upper body strength or if you don’t have any specific fitness goals in mind, then you can do cardio and strength training in whatever order you want.  You may want to do the one you like least first so you get it out of the way, just like eating your vegetables before your dessert. Then you can focus on what you love!

So should you do cardio before or after weights?  It is for you to answer. So take this new found knowledge and achieve your goals!


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