A question that I am frequently asked and one I have seen countless times on message boards throughout the world wide web is whether someone must do cardiovascular exercise before or following a resistance training exercise? Before going any farther, I would like to clearly state it is my position that everyone should participate in a cardiovascular practice of the decision for 5 to 10 minutes before any exercise, be it a cardiovascular, resistance or endurance workout. The most significant benefit to warming up with light intensity cardio is the significant decline in risk of harm.
Back to the question of whether you should do aerobic exercise before or following a resistance workout? There’s no single best answer here and instead, you need to evaluate your personal fitness objectives. If you aim is to increase endurance, endurance or general cardiovascular health, then I suggest doing your cardio workout before weight and weight training. By doing the cardio workout (following your 5 to 10 minute warm up of course), you have the ability to take part in a more intense cardio workout, which possibly may incorporate some intervals where you really push to your lactic acid threshold or VO2 max level. It’s not as probable that you would have the ability to reach high intensity cardiovascular work once you’ve participated in a weight training session. So, in summary if your objective is to increase cardiovascular fitness levels, you need to perform cardio workouts before resistance training.
On the other hand, if your objective is weight and fat loss, a current mode of thinking from the fitness community is by doing a cardiovascular workout after a resistance exercise, you increases the rate of fat metabolism (fat burn because it’s often called ). The theory is that by engaging in an extreme resistance exercise, you’ll deplete the glycogen stores in the muscles in this workout. Endurance athletes have long know this, however generally in order for this to happen in endurance training, an athlete must continuously run for about 90 minutes to completely deplete the muscles of glycogen. And so, I remain somewhat skeptical that many ordinary people exercising are pushing themselves to the purpose of glycogen depletion during their resistance workout, especially workouts of under one hour in duration. For more advanced coaches, I do believe it is possible and therefore may be an effective way of decreasing body fat maybe for these individuals.
I tend to look at it like this, if you’re engaging in a cardiovascular and resistance exercise on the same day back-to-back, one or another will be of a lesser intensity level obviously. Again, evaluate your individual fitness goals before deciding whether to perform your cardio workouts prior to or after resistance training. If you are attempting to build muscle, you need to have as much muscle strength as possible for your resistance workouts, therefore doing cardio before weight training could be counterproductive to your muscle building objectives. If you’re seeking to get endurance or heart health, put your focus on the cardio workouts and do them . Bear in mind, irrespective of which you wind up doing first, it’s more important to properly warm up with a minimum of 5 to 10 minutes of cardio (even if it’s just a brisk walk on the treadmill) so as to prepare the body for those workouts beforehand, to get your head in the ideal space so as to bang out a productive workout, and most importantly to lower the possibility of injury. This debate will not mean a thing if you become injured 5 minutes into a workout and are sidelined for another 8 weeks rehabilitating an accident!