A healthy workout routine consists of strength training, cardio, and a good amount of rest days spread throughout the week. But many of us the big question still remains: Which should I do first, cardio or strength? Natalia Carey, certified trainer and sports nutritionist for DIAKADI Fitness tells PopSugar, “Strength training should always come first – always!” Read on to know Carey tell you how doing strength training first is beneficial to reach your fitness goal.
If you want to lose weight, then you need to definitely start off with strength training. Carey explains that the strength training causes an “afterburn” effect where your resting metabolism is heightened and aids in your muscle recovery. The result of this is an increased calorie burn, long after the workout is over. This she says is an ideal state to be in when you go in for your cardio session.
Owner of HitchFit and personal trainer, Diana Chalox is in agreement with Carey. She says, “When you strength train, your body utilizes glycogen (stored carbohydrates) for fuel. So if you strength train first and then do lower-intensity cardio immediately after, which uses fat for fuel, you create an environment in your body is conducive to fat metabolism. This means that when its time for you to do cardio, your body will be primed to burn fat at a higher rate than if you had started with the other way round.
Your chances of an injury are higher when you strength train; especially when you are tired after a cardio session. This is the biggest reason Carey advises her clients to train before cardio. “You want to make sure you have the energy to perform the exercises correctly,” she says. “Poor form can result in an injury that will get you off track with your training goals.”
While a cardio session does leave you feeling energized, it still puts your body through motions and depletes energy stores to give you a rush, The fatigue that sets in later may cause your form and focus to be affected in ways that may go unnoticed by you. So, it is best to hit up those lunges and kettlebell swings while your muscles are still fresh. But don’t forget to stretch before jumping headfirst into your strength training workout.