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cardio and strength, which 1st?

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Posts: 6,409
4/1/13 2:15 P

Just a point to consider, cardio does not normally warm up the muscles used for a strength workout. While is does increase your heart rate since most do some version of walking or running for cardio it does not activate the muscle groups used for strength work per se. A better warm up for a strength workout is a set of bodyweight calisthenics being sure to specifically activate the muscles used for the strength training programme.

A point to remember is that the body is not designed in such a way that you can split off muscle groups. muscles are synergistic, designed to work together and the more muscles used in a specific exercise the greater the benefit.

Posts: 1,164
4/1/13 2:05 P

I'd do an interval workout after a short walk.

30 seconds work/10 seconds rest/set up for next exercise.

Jumping Lunges
Push ups
Jump Rope
Mountain Climbers

3 sets of 8 exercises in 16 minutes. Finish with some yoga or stretching. Switch up the exercises at each workout to keep your muscles guessing.

SparkPoints: (9,363)
Fitness Minutes: (4,031)
Posts: 180
4/1/13 1:55 P

My gym recommends you do cardio first because it warms up your muscles.

I personally like to start out with a half hour, go do a set in the weight room (arms one day, legs the next) and do a 15 min cardio into cooldown to stretch everything out afterwards.

SparkPoints: (65,001)
Fitness Minutes: (35,097)
Posts: 2,166
4/1/13 1:47 P

Better do one in the morning, the other in the evening, if you must do both the same day. If you don't have to do both the same day, alternate days are better.

SparkPoints: (47,428)
Fitness Minutes: (16,557)
Posts: 1,220
4/1/13 1:40 P

usually cardio then strength, but that's just a preference

Posts: 1,754
3/31/13 10:09 P

I usually do strength first but only because I am following a beachbody program. Otherwise I do the cardio first; I always need my body to warm up first.

SparkPoints: (73,318)
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Posts: 5,088
3/31/13 3:26 P

Usually I do cardio and strength on alternating days.

Posts: 6,409
3/31/13 2:55 P

There are some research studies indicating that cardio first has benefits however all involve only a small number of participants (6, 9 and 35) and two are very short and only lasted 12 weeks. None of them are longitudinal enough to have enough test subjects to qualify as anything more than preliminary studies.

I have my clients split their workout into three days strength on alternate days and cardio on none strength training days. This allows them to increase the intensity of each workout and shorten the duration meaning more time to live your life.

SparkPoints: (8,142)
Fitness Minutes: (7,021)
Posts: 41
3/31/13 1:32 P

10 minutes warm up: walk, jog, sprint
30 minutes of strength
1 hour of cardio: spinning class
20 minutes cool down: stretch, walk, jog

Posts: 6
3/30/13 12:27 P

I do cardio first because I can sneak in small amounts of strength training in at work

Posts: 705
3/30/13 12:13 P

i do strength first

SparkPoints: (993)
Fitness Minutes: (1,077)
Posts: 51
3/30/13 11:53 A

When working out and combining strength/cardio, I do the strength first. Reasoning is, glycogen aka energy, you want to lift heavy, lift with good form and not be exhausted, you'll get more benefit out of your strength training if you make it your first priority. This only applies for general fitness, if you're training for an endurance sport or race, you would make whatever cardio activity you are training for your priority. You cannot gain muscle in a deficit, it's also hard to really improve overall endurance when both activities are combined back to back, reason being is energy stores. So it's about priorities, if for only overall fitness/calorie burn, do them back to back and giver berries as hard and long as you can. But by splitting it up and working out in shorter workouts twice per day or on separate days, you'll probably see better results.

Posts: 1,839
3/30/13 10:25 A

I was doing strength then cardio but switched it recently. Sometimes I mix them together.

SparkPoints: (14,098)
Fitness Minutes: (8,389)
Posts: 845
3/30/13 8:33 A

I do cardio first... gets the heart rate up

SparkPoints: (152,717)
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Posts: 5,345
3/30/13 8:16 A


Posts: 524
3/30/13 8:15 A

But if you want any picture (I notice you don't have one) you can get one by editing your sparkpage and selecting a profile picture.

Posts: 524
3/30/13 8:12 A

I'm currently up to 5-6 days a week of working out. This is actually my second time on sparkpeople. I went from 196 to 142. So now I have to get back to where I was. I go to the gym 2 - 3 days a week currently and I mix strength and cardio on those days. On gym days I am there between 1 and two hours. I also run 3 days a week. I did the c25k and I'm on week 7 which is 25 minute runs.

The picture I did when I joined the first time. It was a weight loss avatar and you put your current weight, and your goal weight and what you wanted your avatar to look like and you got a picture. There may websites you can search on the web that do it. Someone had it on the message board a while back where to go. I don't remember what website I used anymore.

SparkPoints: (34,167)
Fitness Minutes: (13,582)
Posts: 38
3/30/13 8:04 A

Do you take a break in between? Where did you get the picture/s on your screen?

Posts: 524
3/30/13 8:00 A

I just read that article a week or so ago.

Personally I prefer cardio before strength because I *personally* feel I get more out of it.

SparkPoints: (34,167)
Fitness Minutes: (13,582)
Posts: 38
3/30/13 7:56 A

Awesome! Thanks so much. One more question... can I do the strength training for an hour this morning then the cardio later on, or do the whole session at the same time?

Posts: 60
3/30/13 7:32 A

I forgot to add I do the exercise regime every other day. emoticon

Posts: 60
3/30/13 7:30 A

I did some research on this very question 2 weeks ago. I forgot where I found it, but it read, to torch calories at a faster rate we should do strength training first and then cardio. I have been doing that ever since and it seems to work. I lost 3 lbs this week by eating 1200 calories a day and strength training for 1 hour and then 30 min. cardio.

SparkPoints: (34,167)
Fitness Minutes: (13,582)
Posts: 38
3/30/13 6:45 A

I want to get in longer workouts this weekend and do both cardio and strength training. (1/2 hour each?) Does it matter what I do first? Is 1/2 hour each enough?

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