Jump to content
Health Discovery Network
AmyLynn

Cardio first? or strength training?

Recommended Posts

Please settle a debate between my BF and I. I say do cardio first and then weights/strength training. He says do weights first, then cardio. I'm doing an hour of cardio and then strength training and abs. Does it really matter which you do first? I told him books and articles are written both ways... it just depends on the Author. There are as many theories as there are books written. Any pros out there? What's your opinion?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just had my FirStep orientation at the Y, and they said to do "some" cardio first as a warm-up, then to do the circuit. I have no idea if they're right or not, but that's what they told me.


flex_really_tiny.jpg FLEX since 8/21/07 | MO Platoon member #11 | See my slideshow

 

weight.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read so much about this- DIFFERENT advice everywhere. I tend to do cardio first-knowing if I do weights first, I won't probably feel like doing the cardio. Not sure why-it's just me. I figure whatever it takes for you to actually GET IT DONE- it doesn't really matter.... Call me crazy:bcb_grin


Bridget

SW 230

CW 151.8:bcb_march

GW 130

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I both I do cardio first. It's most important to me so it gets priority. However I now have days that I only lift and days I only run.

 

If you are a runner then you do cardio first. If a lifter then you do weights first. Makes sense to me.


SW: 4/2/7- 339lbs

CW: 10/1/9- 194lbs--145 lbs LOST Slideshow

Running Log

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My trainer wants weights first, then cardio. I do a 5-10 min warmup on ellip, then my weight training, then 45 cardio.


Be careful of your thoughts, for your thought become your words.

Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions.

Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits.

Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character.

Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.

Author unknown

 

http://laurdee.blogspot.com

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last night I did a Zumba class, then weights for an hour, then 20 minutes on the elliptical. By the time I was done I was whipped. I really pushed myself because it was the last night before I start my week over and I wanted to get in that last 28th AP.

I really like doing cardio first, but I'll tweak things differently throughout the week to see which works best for me. This morning was weigh in for me and I was down 3 pounds this week, so I was happy. I did cardio 6 times this week, and weights 3 times. I need to work more on abs and stretching.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the jury is really out as to whether the order matters. What I CAN tell you is that, if you do high intensity cardio FIRST, you will pre-exhaust your larger muscles (e.g. your LEGS). This makes it harder to really maximize your strength training afterward. In other words, you WON'T be able to do as much weight (or reps) as you could if you lifted BEFORE doing your high-intensity cardio.

 

So, if you want to maximize your strength training, then do an easy cardio warmup for 5-10 minutes, do your weight training, then finish out with your high intensity cardio.

 

One thing you should keep in mind: Weight training, if you push yourself hard during your sets, is essentially an interval training session for your cardiovascular system. You elevate your heart rate during your sets (for about 30 seconds) then rest between.

 

Research has shown that fat oxidation following an intense bout of weight training remains elevated for the next 24 hours. Here's the kicker: the rate of fat oxidation (which we want) is 22% HIGHER than for the control group, which did 30 minutes of steady-state cardio (instead of the weight training). (This study is cited in the book "The New Rules of Lifting for Women," by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove)

 

My point is that you reap fat-burning benefits from weight training for the NEXT 24 HOURS. With cardio, you are only burning the fat DURING YOUR TRAINING SESSION.

 

In other words, whatever benefit you get from a specific order (weight-training first vs. cardio first) is FAR OUTWEIGHED by the benefit of JUST DOING IT.

 

Does this mean you should give up cardio entirely? No. It just means that if you REALLY want to rev up your metabolism to get the fat off, you need weight training IN ADDITION to whatever cardio you are doing. (And you thought weight training was only about building lean tissue....)

 

- Jennifer

 

PS If you REALLY want to kick your fat loss into high gear, incorporate some high intensity interval training into your cardio sessions (e.g. 1 minute at 85% HR max (or higher) followed by a two minute easy "rest intervel". Rinse and repeat for 4-6 intervals. If you do this following a weight session, trust me, you'll be WIPED.


ACE-certified Personal Trainer

& WW Lifetime Member

 

weight.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Jennifer! :salut:bcb_bigsm

 

(((((((((((I'm all about fat oxidation!))))))))))))))))))))


May you be happy. May you be well. May you be free from suffering.

 

Check out my website! Plant-Powered.com :bcb_smile

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Jennifer! I was losing well in September when I was taking more interval cardio/weights class. In November I was almost exclusively doing high-intensity cardio (running and cycling) and lost *nothing*. I thought that the more calories I burned, the more weight I'd lose. But even though I burn less calories taking interval classes, I lose more weight when I do them. :bcb_up


Kimberley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks Jennifer! I was losing well in September when I was taking more interval cardio/weights class. In November I was almost exclusively doing high-intensity cardio (running and cycling) and lost *nothing*. I thought that the more calories I burned, the more weight I'd lose. But even though I burn less calories taking interval classes, I lose more weight when I do them. :bcb_up

 

Yes, indeed. See, you actually DO burn more calories with interval training - but much of the "burning" occurs AFTER your workout, due to your elevated metabolism.

 

That's the BEAUTY of interval training (especially combined with weight training). Less time in the gym, but a higher caloric burn over a 24-hour period.

 

So, unless you LOVE being in the gym, interval training makes you more efficient - you accomplish more in LESS time = more time for the other things in your life you'd rather be doing :-)

 

- Jennifer


ACE-certified Personal Trainer

& WW Lifetime Member

 

weight.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jennifer- I'm still trying to wrap my head around this. I've been running on the TM because I thought I was burning *more* calories. I could burn 700 calories in an hour running whereas I only burn 400-500 calories in an hour at an interval class. I figured that more calories burned meant more weight loss. But it makes more sense that the metabolic spike will last longer with resistance training as you need the energy for muscle repair. Does the same hold true with things like pilates and yoga where you're doing resistance moves (balance/strength poses, etc)?


Kimberley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But it makes more sense that the metabolic spike will last longer with resistance training as you need the energy for muscle repair. Does the same hold true with things like pilates and yoga where you're doing resistance moves (balance/strength poses, etc)?

 

 

I don't know of any scientific studies that have measured EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption) of pilates/yoga exercises vs. steady-state cardio...

 

For a good discussion of EPOC and the best way to structure workouts to maximize fat loss, read Alwyn Cosgrove's "The Hierarchy of Fat Loss," at:

http://www.alwyncosgrove.com/hierarchy-of-fat-loss.html

 

There's a lot of scientific meat there, but definitely worth the read if you want to understand this stuff. He does a great job of summarizing how different types of workouts influence EPOC, and if you want to lose fat, that's the name of the game....the more you can raise your metabolism AFTER your workout for LONGER, the more OVERALL calories you can burn in any 24 hour period.

 

Near the end of the article, he summarizes what the best use of your time is (to maximize fat oxidation), if you only have 3 hours a week to exercise, vs. 4-6 hours a week, vs. more. I think it's really helpful.

 

He closes by saying that the harder you work, the more effective you'll be. So I'm not sure that Pilates and Yoga, though difficult in their own way, would really "kick" your metabolism into high gear... That doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T do them for the other benefits - it just means you probably can't count on them for your core "fat-loss" program....just MY .02, though...

 

Enjoy,

Jennifer


ACE-certified Personal Trainer

& WW Lifetime Member

 

weight.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again Jennifer! I was just thinking that if I'm doing interval training M, W, F but doing cardio with yoga on T, TH whether the resistance work in the yoga classes would keep things pumped up in the "off" days. I couldn't do the interval classes every single day since I normally need to take a day off in between lifting weights to let my body recover!

 

I'm off to read that link.:bcb_up


Kimberley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Jennifer.... I'm going to focus more on strength / weight training for the next few weeks and see if it makes a difference. When I use the weight machines at the gym I always try to do my reps slowly... should I do them faster to increase my heart rate and get that interval effect?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jennifer: I have a question. You have giving a lot of good advice and I want to make sure I'm effective with my gym experiences. So, I just started weight lifting. I tend to do an interval workout on the elliptical for 50 minutes and then I stretch for like 10 minutes and then I start on either on my lower body or upper depending on the day. Do you think that this will be effective? Now, I just started working out for the past two weeks, so I'm still a beginner. Also, how many reps should I be doing? Thank you so much!


SW: 239.0 (12.30.10) CW: 233.6 (01.05.12) GW: 150

Loss: 5.4 lbs thus far

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AmyLynn- I'm not Jennifer so I hope it's okay to take a stab here. From what I've read (and having done The FIRM workouts over the years), if you take lighter weights and do quicker reps, that is mostly a *cardio* workout. You won't build much muscle mass that way but will burn more calories than doing the cardio moves without weights. In order to build lean muscle, you have to take as much weight as you can handle so that your muscles are pushed to FATIGUE/FAILURE. That's when the muscles rip and it's in the repair/rebuilding process that they heal/fuse together bigger/stronger.

 

I'm not sure if it makes a big difference whether you do those reps as slow as possible (like 4 counts up and 4 counts down) or if you do single count reps. When I take weight lifting classes at the gym, it's often a blend. We'll do singles, then double-count, then some 4 or 8 counts, a few isometric holds and then pyramid back down.


Kimberley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know, I can't seem to get past the weight gain that strength training causes. I know the science behind it. I know it's water gain, not muscle mass. But I've stuck with it for periods of 2 months or more and my weight just keeps going up. I've tried eating more, eating less, drinking more, drinking less, sports drinks, more weights less reps, less weight more reps, weights first, cardio first, you name it. I do straight cardio and my weight plummets. I know all the benefits of strength training, but my body doesn't seem to. Any suggestions from anyone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest kats737

Casey, I'd only advise you that it's not all about weight. Do you just have a few to lose?

 

I know that is a hard concept, being on WW, but if you are able to honestly look at your eating habits to ensure your weight gains are only from weight training, then what is the problem? And after awhile, the water retention will taper off and you should have a weight you can go off of for calculating losses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really have any to lose, I'm at goal, but I would like to be down a few more to a personal goal.

 

Gaining weight is gaining weight. When I go to WW and I'm over my goal, they don't say "oh, you're weight training? Okay, you don't have to pay today" When I try on my clothes and they're tight from the water retention, it's still weight. Doesn't matter to me how it got there. I stuck with it this time for 8 weeks and the weight didn't taper off. I gained 7 lbs and was POP the entire time. Gave up and did straight cardio for a week, down 4 lbs. I don't worry about lower body strength because I do high resistance with my cardio whether on the elipical or treadmill, stairclimber or recumbant bike. I would like a stronger upper body, but the weight gain isn't worth it to me right now.

 

What I'm looking for is possible solutions. I know the benefits of weight training, but for whatever reason I seem to be atypical when it comes to the extended weight gain/water reataining periods and I'm wondering if anyone else has this issue and how to resolve it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks Jennifer.... I'm going to focus more on strength / weight training for the next few weeks and see if it makes a difference. When I use the weight machines at the gym I always try to do my reps slowly... should I do them faster to increase my heart rate and get that interval effect?

 

 

Sorry I've been AWOL for a few days. Basically, what Kimberly says is correct. The idea behind weight training is to exhaust your muscles within a 30-90second window. If you go slower, you'll do fewer reps in that window. If you go faster, you'll do more. Depending on whether you use "light", "medium" or "heavy" weight, you'll take longer or shorter timeframes to finish your set. (You're "finished" when you can't physically command your muscles to do another rep - with GOOD form).

 

For most beginners, to get a good baseline of strength plus endurance, aim for exhaustion with 8-15 reps. I just lift in a cadence that "feels" natural to me, usually about 1-2 seconds for the concentric (contracting) phase, and 2-4 seconds for the eccentric (lengthening) phase of each movement. There is no such thing as the perfect amount of time to do an exercise....

 

Remember, though, you always want to set a "personal best" in each strength-training workout. THat is, if you were only able to complete 8 reps at a certain weight last time, aim to complete AT LEAST 9 (at the same weight) in your next workout. If you can do all 12 reps with perfect form, then in your next workout, you should increase the weight (and try for the minimum of 8 reps).

 

This step-wise approach to strength training is called "progressive overload." The idea behind it is the scientific principle of "adaptation." That is, your body will ONLY adjust itself when challenged to do so. So you always have to present it with a new challenge - either more reps, or more weights, or different exercises.

 

I hope this helps.

 

- Jennifer


ACE-certified Personal Trainer

& WW Lifetime Member

 

weight.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't know, I can't seem to get past the weight gain that strength training causes. I know the science behind it. I know it's water gain, not muscle mass. But I've stuck with it for periods of 2 months or more and my weight just keeps going up. I've tried eating more, eating less, drinking more, drinking less, sports drinks, more weights less reps, less weight more reps, weights first, cardio first, you name it. I do straight cardio and my weight plummets. I know all the benefits of strength training, but my body doesn't seem to. Any suggestions from anyone?

 

 

Track, track, and track your food intake. Weight loss boils down to calories in - calories out = caloric deficit.

 

When you are close to goal, or AT goal, you need to be really anal about your food journal. I would bet that is where you will find your missing calories. For example, even "no calorie butter spray" has calories - and you need to count them at this level.

 

Another suggestion - WEIGH your food. It's MUCH more accurate than judging portions with dry measures (cups and spoons). I'll bet you'll find some more missing calories here.

 

www.fitday.com allows you to track your food intake more precisely than WW does, if you want to really get at your weight gain.

 

Finally, it's possible that you are just genetically inclined to gain lean tissue moreso than others. In which case, when you lift, you are improving your overall body composition - AND forestalling age-related bone loss. AND increasing your functional strength. All of these health benefits FAR OUTWEIGH (forgive the pun) the number on the scale.

 

Weight training is TOO important to your longevity and vitality as you age to NOT do it.

 

If the number on the scale is the only thing holding you back, trust me, you can get a doctor's note (and he/she will be THRILLED you're lifting) to adjust your goal weight with WW.

 

- Jennifer

 

PS I still think the answer lies in tracking your food gram by gram....


ACE-certified Personal Trainer

& WW Lifetime Member

 

weight.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, you'd be wrong. I'm glad I'm not paying you to be my trainer. I have been a WW lifetime member for 15 years and have been at or near goal for most of that time outside of pregnancy. I journal, weigh, measure and get in all of my 8HG EVERY DAY. I've weighed my food for the past 4 years down to the gram. If I thought for a second I was eating too much, I think I'd have figured that out by now and not asked the question. I don't piss like a race horse for days after I stop weight training because I'm eating too much. I don't magicially start to weigh and measure my food or change when I do straight cardio. This is the 6th or 7th time I've tried strength training and this has happened each time.

 

Maybe there's another board where people will actually answer my question instead of forming irresponsible opinions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jennifer-- You are a wonderful support for us exercisers and I appreciate the time you take to share your knowledge and experience with us. You have really helped me examine what I'm doing (and why) and made me rethink how I've approached my exercise-- mainly learning that working *smarter* is more important than working longer! You know your stuff. I would like to thank you not only on my behalf but also on behalf of the dozens (if not hundreds) of people who read everything you write and learn from it. :buddysmoo

 

Casey- Different people react different ways. When I lift weights, I lose weight. When I do cardio, I stop losing weight. Last month, I was running 35-40 miles per week, staying OP (I journal, weigh & measure everything I eat) and lost *nothing*. That being said, I agree with what Jennifer wrote. Even if your body is maintaining water due to weight training, it will either taper off in time or else your body will adjust and you'll be *smaller* even though the scale might not reflect that. Speaking personally, I'm 5'7", weigh 150lbs and wear a size *2*. If I didn't do as much weight-training as I do and only did cardio, I'd be lucky to fit into a size 6. So, I don't sweat the scale as much as I look at my body composition and whether I'm the SHAPE I want to be. The scale doesn't have all the answers!


Kimberley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jennifer~ Thanks for all the great information you pass along. I am not a personal trainer, but I have been exercising for a long time. I have read many many articles, and I agree with you.

You are one smart lady.

 

Please continue to guide us in your professional opinions. I might not post alot...but lady I am reading and learning.

 

Lesa


HW: 297/ RESTART: 207.8/ CW: 205.6 / WWG: 146

 

10/18/2011: RESTART

:bcb_mad:*RNT is not an excuse.....it is a challenge!

 

LTtransformation.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jennifer, thanks for your advice. I really like weight lifting and to know how to do it right is important to lose weight. Thanks for all your knowledge.


SW: 239.0 (12.30.10) CW: 233.6 (01.05.12) GW: 150

Loss: 5.4 lbs thus far

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.