We know both cardio and weight training exercise are vital to building a sculpted physique, but when you are crunched for time and need to fit both into your hour at the gym, which do you choose first?
Here is the number one rule most gym-goers always break: ALWAYS DO WEIGHT TRAINING FIRST. Following are a few reasons why.
Weight training requires the most amount of energy and stamina. Therefore it is a no-brainer that you want to do the most labor intensive task first when your energy is highest and you have the most strength.
Weight training relies heavily on your glycogen stores, or stored muscle energy. You will not be able to lift as heavy or perform as many reps if you do cardio first because it will deplete some of your stored energy. And if you are not lifting to your maximum, your muscle growth will be reduced.
Most people go to the gym to lose weight. Doing weight training first is also a great way to increase fatburning. When you do weight training first, you are burning up the stored energy in your muscles. Then when you hop on the cardio machines and start increasing your heartrate, your body needs energy and starts breaking down your fatty tissue.
If you are still not convinced, do this challenge: Pick a day you normally go to the gym and do cardio first then do weight training. Now pick another day to go to the gym and do weight training first followed by cardio. Make sure you are doing the same exercises and for the same duration for both days. You should notice more energy for your weight training program when done first, and since cardio requires much less energy, you will still be able to get through your cardio session. Try it for yourself!