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Home / Tips and Tricks / Cardio before or after weight lifting: Which is better for weight loss?

Cardio before or after weight lifting: Which is better for weight loss?



  what comes first cardio or weights

Cardio and strength training are both good forms of exercise – but which one should you do first?


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Love it or hate it — cardio and weight training are the foundation of most exercise programs . And if you exercise at the gym [1945995] regularly, you are likely to prefer if you like to hit the cardio or weight room first. For me, the order usually depends on what I'm in the mood for, but I first lose to cardio because I'm a history of endorphins. But is there a real case to do one above the other first? And what does science have to say?

As with many controversial topics in wellness and fitness, it all comes to fruition. Many people share their workouts at the gym between fitness training and strength training, and the order that you do the exercises can affect your results. Science is actually unclear if one is better than the other to do first – it depends on whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle or improve overall health. So it can help you first evaluate your goals and then decide which order may be best for you.

Continue reading to find out why you might want to do cardio or weights first, and how to tell which one best fits your goals. Oh and don't forget to properly warm no matter what exercise you choose.

Read more: Try one of these 6 workouts if you hate exercising

What are your goals?

When deciding whether to do cardio or weights first during training, it's a good idea to start with your goals. Do you want to lose weight or gain muscle tone? You may want to improve your endurance or build bigger muscles.

A common misconception is that cardio is the most important exercise for losing weight but both cardio and strength training are important for this.

The case for doing cardio first

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Cardio is well documented to be effective in burning calories. If you lift weights for 30 minutes compared to doing any other cardiac activity at the same time, cardio will burn more calories. With that in mind, you may want to start your cardio workout with a steady intensity to get into the heart rate zone you need to burn fat. You can then switch to weightlifting, which creates a "post-burn", which helps burn calories after exercising.

You do not even need to train your body hard to reap the benefits of a fitness workout. "Lower-intensity cardiovascular exercise (in the fat burning zone / aerobic exercise zone) helps you lose weight. [But] it has to be kept for a longer period of time," says Mollie Millington, a personal trainer based in London.

Lifting weights first, especially if you lift heavy that uses your whole body, will tire you out before you get to the heart of your workout. This means you can reduce your workout and not reap the calorific combustible benefit with heart – especially if you want to burn as many calories as you can at a certain time. That said, try both starting with cardio and starting with weight lifting to get a sense of what works best for you. Doing exercises with light weights can help get your heart rate up and get your body ready for running, cycling or other cardiac activity.

Finally, if you like running, biking or swimming and want to improve your speed or overall stamina, then choosing cardio is smart first because you get into these workouts. This way, you start with the most important exercise for your long-term goals and will make progress faster.

Case for making weights first

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If your main goal is to improve your strength, be able to lift heavy things or build more muscle, it is best to lift weights. Do not wear out your body by doing cardio first. The less tired you are, the more repetitions you will be able to do with the right form – and good form is crucial to performing strength training exercises safely and effectively.

Making weights first can also be helpful for fat loss when combined with cardio, according to Millington. "In theory, by doing weights first you would put your body in aerobic position [so] when you start running, you will already be in aerobic / fat burning mode. So you can keep [that aerobic state] longer while you run and thus use fat as an energy source, "Millington said. As I said above, this is best when lifting lighter weights that do not tire your entire body.

Finally, although the science is fairly unclear about whether one is doing cardio or weights first, one thing is very clear is that it is good to do both. Studies show that doing a combination of the two is best for general health, increasing muscle and reducing body fat.

If you want to do both fitness and weight training with 100% effort, you can try doing them on separate days so that the body can recover from time to time. If you prefer to do both at once, see what feels and works best for you.

"I'm a firm believer in doing what you love. Exercise can be fun," Millington said. "If you are in the track during your warm-up on the treadmill and have fun, do not stop doing weights. Continue walking until you are ready to change into weights. Or if you prefer weights to run, start with a shorter run and then" treat "yourself with weights," Millington said.


The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider about any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objective.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider about any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objective.


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