Now personally, there are very few occasions when you are going to get me doing cardio. Its either when a holiday is due or its my turn to do the monthly challenge video!
You see a long time ago I made the decision, for various reasons, that I was going to dedicate a large part of my life to putting on as much muscle as possible and the ability to run, ski or row as fast as I can isn’t going to help me with my goals.
Now that’s not to say I don’t appreciate the benefits of cardio and do see its role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
One question that never goes away is “if I want to do cardio, do I do it first or last?
Our view at Hustle?
Simply put – it depends.
It depends on your goals, personal preference, mindset, attitude to exercise and time availability.
To help you decide on what’s best for you we have tried to summarise our thoughts below.
||Cardio v’s Weights
|Is your main goal to improve cardiovascular (CV) fitness?
|Is improved performance in competitions e.g. park runs, half or full marathons your main goal?
|Is your main goal to get leaner and lose weight?
|Is your main goal to increase strength?
|Is your main goal to build muscle?
|Are you goals very general and not specifically focused on strength or endurance?
||Whatever you prefer! However it is often a good idea to do the one you like the least first to get it over with and when you are less tired.
Most of our clients at Hustle come to us to either improve their body composition or to learn how to lifts weights so this is what we prioritise in our sessions and here’s why….
If you do cardio first you will tire. This means you start your strength training session already slightly fatigued and so will not be able to lift as heavy, progress as quickly and your form may be poor. We want to help you get stronger and so we program our sessions to help you achieve just that.
We may include some conditioning for some of our clients at the end of their sessions (if suited to their goals) but our preference is do cardio on different days so you will be able to put in 100% effort to both weights and cardio.
This is why we keep our HIIT classes separate. HIIT meaning high intensity, so we want our clients to bring their A game to each class. We have classes in the morning and evenings meaning our clients can book onto a class on a day they are not training with weights.
If this not practically possible we would advise most of our clients to either do their cardio after their strength training session or to achieve the step target we set for them on a daily basis (sometimes we set targets around both of these factors).
What often works well is to time group personal training sessions around a class so some of our clients stay on for an extra half hour after their weight training session and do their cardio straight after. We can only admire their commitment and motivation!
Should I do weights or cardio first? By now hopefully you will see that like most questions in health and fitness it really comes back to, it depends. Perform the exercise that is most important to your goals first, when you are not fatigued. If doing your cardio first is your personal preference, do that. Just be aware that it may reduce your potential to build muscle mass, especially outside of the beginner stages.
The best exercise is always the exercise you will do consistently!
As always, if you want any help or advice please complete the contact form below or click here to get started and we would be happy to help!