Exercise Cardio vs Weights: Which One Should I Do First?

Cardio vs Weights

When should you do cardio?

This is a question I get a lot. This is a great question because it implies that my client is starting to understand their body more. Do you have more energy after cardio to do weights training or vise versa?

Cardio before or after weights?

I would say that the majority of my clients and people I come in contact with are doing the cardio before. It makes the most sense for the average gym-goer. Think about when you first get to the gym. You have the feeling of energy and you are ready to go so, of course, you start with cardio. Others that I hear from use their cardio session as their warm-up and then they do their resistance training afterward. Sometimes it is simply because you are ready to watch your Netflix show that you only watch during your cardiovascular activity.

Let’s just break down what is the most energy-efficient way to exercise.

You have to use carbs as your main energy source when you do resistance training. This is anaerobic training. The use of glucose and glycogen to supply the muscle with energy to continuously contract and because you are not going to use a large amount of oxygen during these types of exercises.

If you burn up a lot of your immediate energy, the carbohydrate source or feeling of energy, you will use up a lot of the energy that your body will require to use during weight training. When you then switch to cardio, you will still have to use carbs mainly if you do a higher intensity level of cardio but you will burn a higher percentage of fat. Even walking for 20-30 minutes after a workout can really make a difference in how much energy you end up using during your entire workout because you have already depleted your carbs and will be more likely to use a fat source of energy. It is more energy appropriate to start with a short warm-up to elevate the heart rate then move into resistance training and finish with cardiovascular training.

This is just a quick tip for those deciding whether to start with cardio or weights. You will definitely see a difference in energy level during your weight training is you structure it like this.

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