An hour of exercise indulgence is completely essential with our current lifestyles. Cardio vs Weight Training: Which one should come first? This question is a little difficult to answer, and it is crucial that we are pretty clear about it even before we get going with our workout routine.Making a choice between cardio and weight training, depends upon your clarity of fitness goals.
Everybody is different and every body reacts to same training in different ways.
So in order to get better results, you need to take a look at the factors described below:
1. Perfect Your Fitness Goal
Its about perfecting your primary fitness goal. Be it to lose weight, or to build muscle or to improve workout performance or maybe even to increase endurance. But clarity of your goal is an important point of consideration. With identification of the primary fitness goal, comes the next step of achieving this goal. Lets look some of the important fitness goals below:
- Lose Weight
If your primary goal withstands to be losing the inches and weight, the cardio workouts needed by your body shall be much more than the one, gaining muscle. Cardio Workout Plans burn substantial amount of calories. But, may lead to a flabby body.
Fat acquires more space than muscle of same mass. So, after you have lost desired pounds and inches, go for strength training, to tone and sculpt your body.
- Gain Muscle
Too much cardio can actually make it difficult for you to gain muscle by slowing recovery and burning up calories that your body needs for the process of building muscle. Also, exerting muscles beyond their comfort level is essential to make them grow.
- Building Endurance
While doing any cardio, your heart rate elevates, as it needs to pump more oxygenated blood to muscles. Thus, along with a pair of stronger lungs, you get a stronger heart too.
Almost 90% of the researches concentrated on mitigation of diseases through exercise, involve cardiovascular performance as a key factor in doing so. Hence, aerobic exercise should be the focal point of any fitness program.
2. Know Your Body Type
Before starting anything first, you should be well aware of your body type, whether you are a slim body type, muscular body type, or some other. Also, you need to understand how your body reacts both to exercise and to food intake.
3. Know Your Sport Requirement
For people involved in cardio-oriented sports, a little extra work on cardio fitness, breathing exercises and HIIT (high intensity interval training) may be advised depending on your body type and based on your sports’ requirement.
If your sport is strength oriented, then strength training is to be the word to go by i.e. a little extra on weight training workouts with considerably lesser cardio.
Why Not Both?
Weight Training before cardio training actually enhances the burning of fat during the workout, and there is increase in overall resting energy expenditure followed by a weight training. Thus, burning of fat is elevated when the workouts are intensive and resistance training is a part.
A Recent Research indicated that both aerobic and resistance training could be the best mode of exercise for fat loss. The only potential danger is that it can lead to over-training. But it can be avoided by mixing more intense workouts with intervals of easier workouts.
Strength training helps fat loss and is likely to help you reach great fitness quickly than just simple cardio training. It doesn’t affect your athletic ability as well. Instead, it improves it.
“As for the expert advice on this matter, cardio and weight training should ideally be done on two separate days.”
This should include cardio on one day and weight training on the other day. It breaks the monotony of the gym, making it a push forward every time. Changing the order of exercises and routine always keep the body surprised and active. This is a mantra many celebrities like Jason Statham and Roger Federer swear by.
Once the routine and the doubt is clear regarding what comes first, the hen or the chicken, it is very important to balance your exercise with the right amount of nutrition available and calories burnt. For those of you who like to run, running does improve fitness but as with every program, some time in the gym first working on your strength can really enhance your results.
I hope you enjoyed the article and found the fitness tip to be helpful. Do share your feedback with me in the comments below.
- 11 Awesome Cardio Based Bodyweight Exercises
- 3 Types of Weight Training & The Science Behind Them
- 5 Ways to Gain Muscles Naturally
Reference  Davis WJ, Wood DT, Andrews RG, Elkind LM, Davis WB. Concurrent training enhances athletes’ strength, muscle endurance, and other measures. J Strength Cond Res. 2008;22(5):1487-502. ^Back to Top^
Last updated: April 26, 2014
Next Scheduled Update: June 28, 2014
Hi Pallavi, Very nice article, interesting and worth reading.
Moreover, I concur with you regarding doing cardio and weight training on alternative days.
To add more, I would say first step one should consider is the body fat, if the BMI and body fat are under control then cardio would help to stay healthy and fit, and weight training to eliminate excessive body fat.
I do recommend yoga session on and off, they do help to keep the body weight stagnant, and healthy.