January 24, 2017
One question we receive over and over again is – should I start my workouts with weights or cardio? While the answer to this question can be complex, today’s post will offer some basic guidelines on how you can structure your individual workout sessions. Make sure you have your MYZONE heart rate chest strap on hand to count all those MEPs you’ll be getting!
It is recommended that a comprehensive training program include both aerobic exercise and resistance training. For many of us, this means that we’ll need to get in some resistance training and some cardio within a ~1-hour workout session. So how do we structure that workout?
First, we encourage you to pick an exercise session structure that you will adhere to. If doing some resistance training before your cardio-focused group fitness class works best for you, do it! If you enjoy getting in a run before you focus on weights, go for it! For most of us with health and basic aesthetic goals (we want to be healthy and look in-shape), the order of cardio and weights matters less than simply doing our workouts and staying consistent with them.
That said, when we are selecting the ordering of cardio and resistance training within a workout, we should consider our training goals.
A simple rule to follow is to start your workout with the component of your fitness that you are most focused on or would like to improve the most. For instance, if you’re training for an endurance event, begin your workout with the endurance-focused exercise. This is because it is possible that the fatigue you experience after the first portion of your workout will impact your performance in the second half.
Now that we understand how we might order our workouts, let’s explore how we can organize and schedule our workouts to maximize our results, gain MEPs with MYZONE’s heart rate chest strap, and avoid excess fatigue and/or overtraining.
This may decrease the muscular fatigue you would otherwise experience. An example is to perform upper-body resistance training, followed by lower-body cardio.
Some research has indicated that performing high-intensity cardio and resistance training within the same workout may compromise muscular strength and power. To avoid this, we recommend that you pair high-intensity cardio with lower-intensity resistance training, and higher-intensity resistance training with lower-intensity cardio.
Here’s how this might look when using your MYZONE belt:
A 2014 article in the ACSM Health & Fitness Journal states that concurrent training (cardio and resistance training within the same session) can be performed 3-4 times per week on nonconsecutive days (Kang & Ratamess, 2014). Notice that this mirrors the recommendation to allow each muscle group 48 hours of recovery between resistance training sessions. The article also suggests that we rest for 5-10 minutes between the resistance training and cardio portions of our workout.
With careful planning, it is possible to improve our cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness by training both within a single exercise session. If you’d like more guidance on how to structure your workouts, be sure to reach out to a personal trainer. Also, make sure you’re wearing your MYZONE heart rate chest strap to keep track of the MEPs you earn!
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Keep moving forward!
Kang, J., & Ratamess, N. (2014). Which comes first? Resistance before aerobic exercise or vice versa?. ACSM’S Health & Fitness Journal, 18(1), 9-14.