Which should you do first? Cardio or strength training? Before anything else, you need to determine your goals. Is it for weight loss? Muscular endurance? Strength? More physical power? Often, it is a combination of losing weight plus one of the other reasons. We want to be more « cut », we want to define the silhouette, we want to lose inches etc. Cardio people will find it more difficult to start-up with resistance and resistance people will not want to do cardio first. h But what is the best sequence?
How to determine the best sequence?
Always keep in mind that at the beginning of each workout, the body is rested and this is where your performance will be at its best. The duration and intensity of your 1st training will influence the degree of perceived fatigue. If you do cardio for 45 minutes then you decide to do follow with resistance, you performance might be less when pushing and lifting. On the other hand, if you start your workout with resistance, you might get your muscles so fatigue that following with cardio you might not do it to the same intensity level. And if your workout focuses on specific body part, that will have an impact on the second portion of your workout. For example, if you do cardio that incorporates lots of squats and burpees, it will be difficult to follow-up with a strength training session focused on the legs. If you do the opposite, you do a strength training session focused on your legs followed by a cardio session that includes a lot of jumps or steps, it will prove to be more difficult. You also have to take in account your ability to recover, because the quality of the second workout will depend on it. If it is possible to do either workout earlier in the day and then, do the second one at the end of the day, your body will not be as tired. But this is not the case for most people.
You must determine your goals. In doing so, it will guide you towards the best approach. Weather you want to improve your cardio or to increase your muscle mass, you still have to take into account other factors. Remember that when you are tired, you may not keep a good form while doing your movements and that increases your risk of injury. Once you have determined your goals, see the grid below to help you choose the sequence that best meets your needs.
Should I do my Cardio Before?
It is known that cardiovascular workouts are an excellent choice for losing weight. Several people will still add strength training to their program. Most specialists agree that the energy expenditure is potentially greater when doing cardio. On the other hand, some trainers believe that the body burns more fat when a workout begins with strength training. So, which one first is someone wants to lose weight?
A one hour workout with 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of resistance will burn between 200 to 400 calories for the cardio and 100 to 200 calories for strength training part. And this will vary, depending on the intensity of the exercise, the level of fatigue, the current physical condition and the type of training. The motivation also plays an important part. Therefore, with numbers to prove it, cardio is, without doubt, the best way to burn calories and to burn fat.
It is important to remember that the accumulated fatigue during the first portion of the workout may limit the performance for the second part. Thus, when you start with strength training, your muscles may be more tired and this may reduce the intensity during the cardio portion. And this is the reason why it is better to start with cardio. Your body is fresh, and your intensity level will be higher. As a result, you will burn more calories.
What Should I do?
One solution is to alternate a cardio session with a strength training session every other day. This will allow muscle repair and you will benefit from both type of training. Or, like many people get yourself a program where everything has been thought out for you in order to give you the best possible combination according to your goals being losing weight or gain muscle mass or both! I invite you to take a look at the Beachbody programs.Using any Beachbody program along with a healthy diet and Shakeology, will allow you to keep fit and to get amazing results. Take a look at the survey.
Source: Les mythes et réalités sur la musculation, Martin Lussier et Pierre-Mary Toussaint, Les Éditions de l’Homme.
The Fit Test to measure your progress
With the Fit Test, a participant without any fitness knowledge, will be able to measure his or her progress without having to consult a professional. Several BeachBody programs have a Fit Test. Among others, Insanity and P90X.
When you decided to do a program like Insanity, you most likely saw several before and after pictures and that got you started. And you expect to have similar results. Remember that you are all different and that your results will vary depending on your body shape, your metabolism, and especially your diet. Do not neglect this aspect.
Often, the participants will complain of not seeing major changes on the scale. Yet, they probably made amazing progress. And that is why everybody should do the Fit Test. It is there to testify that you are working hard and that you are getting better. I know this for a fact! The first time you will take the Fit Test, you will not know what to expect, even if you have watched the DVD before. As long as you don’t do it, you won’t have any idea of the type of effort you have to give. Once done, you will know the movements, you will get your first results, and if you’re anything like me, you will want to beat them! Do not neglect the Fit Test.
You can download it here: Insanity Calendar – Fit Tes
Tomorrow, I will start another round of Insanity. From one round to the next, I can see my progress because I did my Fit Test. When you measure your results, you can compare and when you can compare, you can see how far you have come. From one round to the other, it is always more difficult to get better and to go further. But if I know what I have already done, I can challenge myself with my previous best results. Without the Fit Test, I would not be able to set my new goals. If this is the first Fit Test for you, you’ll know exactly where you start and where you are going. And to be honest, there is no better way to know where you want to go if you know where you start. Do your Fit Test!