Cardio or Weight Training? Find Out Which One
Many of our clients have asked us the same question
comes first the cardiovascular exercises or the weight lifting?
And it is that very answer that can make or break your New Years
resolution. Sticking to a fitness routine that allows you to utilize
your time at the gym most efficiently can maximize your results
and even minimize injuries and discouragements.
Although a fitness plan is tailored on an individual level, below
is a break down of the four basic options you can choose from to
design the appropriate fitness routine for you based on your lifestyle
and fitness goals.
In a perfect world, you should work out twice a day two to three
times a week (allowing days off in between for your body to rest
and recuperate). Do cardio early in the morning when your metabolism
is in its highest level and then weight lifting in the afternoon
or in the evening.
2. If you are limited in time due your busy schedule, and must
do both the weight training and cardiovascular exercises at each
session, maximize your workout each time you finally do make it
to the gym. Here too, it is best to go a few days a week with resting
days in between workouts. Make sure to come to the gym with a tank
full of glucose (stored Carbohydrates). The recommended and most
productive way is to start with weight lifting and end with cardiovascular
The reason for that is simple:
If you do your cardio first, you will spend b/w 15 to 20 minutes
burning your glucose reserves (and even more if youre not
fit). Your body is now ready to burn fat for energy but, by the
time you get to the weight lifting you might feel too fatigued due
to a lack of glucose and end up burning less fat. Therefore, starting
with weight lifting enables your body to use the reserve glucose
first, you will feel much stronger and lift more and by the time
you get to the cardio part of your workout your body will be ready
to burn fat for energy.
3. Another approach if you are limited with time, is to do cardio
on one day and weight lifting on the other. This routine has its
advantages and disadvantages. Spending your full workout on either
one or the other allows you more time to explore and devote to each
but does not allow enough time for your body to recuperate between
workouts possibly leading to over training.
4. For those of you that are training for endurance or performance
skills like biking, hiking, marathons etc. my suggestion would be
to start with cardio and do weight lifting in your spare time. Here
too, be careful not to over train and cause injury to your body.