Which Comes First: Weights or Cardio?

January 6, 2012

Plenty of hard-training adults get their cardio and strength exercises taken care of in a single session. Most people like to train with weights first, thinking running or cycling after burning up their muscle glycogen will force the body to use fat as fuel. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research analyzed both sequences and came up with some interesting findings.

Scientists recruited 10 recreationally active college aged men and had them cycle on a stationary bike for 30 minutes at 75% of maximum capacity before performing 3 sets of 8 reps at 75% of their one rep max on 4 different exercises. A couple days later, they reversed the order and trained with weights first.

Blood samples showed that testosterone response to the workout out was optimized when cardio conditioning was performed first. But before you go changing up all your workout plans, consider that this may only be true when you're doing short duration, moderate intensity aerobic training. It might not work with HIIT. For an interesting comparison of High-Intensity Interval and Endurance Training, check out today's Breaking News post at Optimumnutrition.com