How long does everyone like to do the cardio portion for? I usually do about 20 minutes on the elliptical, which is 2 miles and I feel pretty good about that, but I never was one for cardio, then I move onto the weight machines for another half hour.
Based on the most current research I have seen and the recommendation of numerous nationally know trainers a properly structured strength workout done as circuit training reduces and can even eliminate the need for dedicated cardio. As for using cardio as a warm up for a strength workout it makes little sense to me since you are not warming up the muscles you will use in a strength training workout. Doing a series of calesthenic bodyweight exercises will engage and warm up the muscles you will be using in a strength workout.
The benefits of cardio for fitnes and weight loss have been vastly over emphasised and overrated based on the current research.
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I personally always do my cardio first.
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I tend to do both and it has worked nicely. By that I mean I do a short cardio workout first to get my heart up but not wear me out. Then I strength train before I'm really tired, and finish with cardio.
There is no definitive answer to this, but whichever you do second is going to suffer. Any good cardio program includes BOTH ST and cardio, so I think it helps to think of things in terms of your overall program.
If you work out 3 times per week with cardio and ST in the same session, it is probably a good idea to mix the order on different days, so that you get in some good quality ST workouts some days, and some good quality cardio workouts the others, while the second part of your training takes a bit of a back seat these days.
If you are doing 3 ST workouts per week (which is implied with most experts advice to rest the muscles 48-72 hours between ST sessions) along with cardio, and doing cardio only on your non-ST days, you may be better off doing ST first to get a good quality ST workout, knowing that you can focus more heavily on cardio on the cardio-only days.
I agree with the other posters - you can't target where you lose weight from.
I've read article that say both ways are best, so I guess it's really a personal thing. If I'm doing both at the same time I like to start with cardio - it gets the body warmed up and moving for strength training. If I did strength training first, I worry that my muscles would be too fatigued for a good cardio session. But typically, I do cardio on morning and weights the next morning. If I do more than that in a single day, it's usually a yoga session later in the evening.
There's no way to target fat loss to a specific area of the body. Your body decides for itself where it wants to take the fat off and when. Eventually it should start to come from those areas where you carry excess.
You'll get varying answers on whether to do cardio or strength training first. Whichever you do first is the one you'll have the most energy for, so if it's more important to you to focus on one of them, do that one first.
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