The new year brings resolutions to hit the gym and get into shape. However, for many this is not as easy as it may seem. Should you go to the treadmills first to warm up? Or do you start with the weighted exercises and end with a walk?
There are endless debates to these questions, and yet there is still no right answer. The best solution is to figure out your goals and get into a routine that works for you.
One of the biggest reasons people preach doing cardio after lifting is because of the energy it requires, which takes away from your ability to push yourself in the rest of your workout. Maximizing your energy is a big reason why personal trainers and social media accounts will often suggest lifting weights before cardio.
Sophomore kinesiology student and certified trainer, Abby Levin, explained that scientifically you burn more fat doing cardio after you lift. This is because your body is burning your source of carbohydrates when you work out, but once you pass a certain threshold you start burning fat instead.
“When you’re weightlifting you’re burning energy constantly which makes it easier to pass that threshold when you start cardio afterwards,” Levin said.
This means that if burning fat and toning up is your primary goal, then doing cardio after weights makes the most sense.
Junior public policy major, Rebecca Navarro has been lifting for over two years. She always sticks to the cardio post weights routine.
“You’re too fatigued to lift if you’re doing cardio before,” Navarro said.
Acefitness.org supports these claims with a history of studies that have shown how doing cardio does reduce strength.
If you’re looking to build endurance and stamina, consider doing cardio before picking up any weights.
Sophomore communication major Lauren Becker, who has been lifting for over two years, says she used to do cardio after lifting but decided to switch it up lately.
“I’ve been doing it before and I’ve already noticed improvement in my overall endurance,” Becker said.
She was curious to see if it would have an impact on her workouts, and was losing motivation to finish her lifts with cardio. She finds it a lot easier to get the cardio out of the way before starting her weighted exercises.
The biggest takeaway is that there truly is no right answer. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do at the gym. At the end of the day, it is your fitness journey. t’s up to you to find a routine that works the best for you.