Cardio or weights? Which one should I start with?
The answer is: it depends.
I love starting with “it depends”. I know it pisses people off because they are looking for the straight answer. But as I always mention, in fitness and nutrition for the most part, there are not straight answers and a lot of the times “it depends” in multiple factors.
So, what do I mean by it depends?
It depends on what you want to accomplish and your goals.
If you want to run a marathon and would like to add resistance training to your routine. Then I would of course advise you to focus first on your run. And then do the weight lifting portion of your training; and if you can separate the two, then even better.
If your primary focus is to build more muscle, increase bone density, etc.
Then I believe it is self-explanatory that it is more beneficial to do your resistance training first and then do your cardio portion.
Why is that? Because unless you are doing grandma walks, you are putting stress and fatigue on your body. If you are fatigued before your weightlifting session, then you are cutting yourself short. You cannot lift as heavy, it is harder to feel the muscle mind connection and you would get tired faster. All these components are important to be able to build muscle.
However, in an ideal world, it would be more optimal to split your sessions into two. But most people do not have that kind of time or get paid to look a certain way. Therefore, it is unnecessary.
What if I am just trying to be healthy and stay active?
Then, I would suggest that you pick the activity you like the least and do it first.
If you like doing cardio and do not really love weight training, then do your resistance training first and then do your cardio. Why would you do what you like the least at the beginning? Because if you do what you like first, then by the time you have to do the portion that you do not really like, fatigue will be accumulated, your brain will play tricks and most likely you will skip it. This is normal, it happens to ALL of us.
What about if I do not like cardio, but like lifting weights?
You could either do what I mentioned above, or you can split your cardio. How? If you plan to do 20 min, you could do 10 & 10. If you plan to do 30 min, you could do 10 min at the beginning and 20 min at the end of your session.
If I have to give my personal opinion, I would say that even if you are just trying to be active and stay healthy, you can benefit more from doing resistance training first and then doing your cardio. You can kill two birds with one stone. You can get the most out of your resistance training and you can still push yourself enough during your cardio portion. Once again, it is my opinion and that is why you are here for.
Do not fall in the FAD traps, you are better than that. If you would like more tips or would like to work with me, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or add me on Instagram @vangaless and DM me.
Until next time, nos vemos!
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