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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Which Do I Do First, Lift Or Cardio? The Fittest Answer

Once again, the age old gym question has come to my front steps. “Should I lift or do cardio first?” The debate seems to be never ending especially among the gym rats and bodybuilders. So let me hop on the debate train and give you my two cents. 
Woman what should I do first lift or cardio? | www.TheFittestblogger.com

Over and over again, you will hear different sides arguing about which one is best. Some say cardio first. Some say lift first. I say, that’s all bullsh*t.

It should be obvious that there will never be a one way that is better than all others. But there are methods that you can do in order to get desired results.

The Argument for Lifting First

I have seen many instances where you will see a client or individual lifting in the gym, before they head over to the treadmills or the beloved Stairmaster. 

The thought process is that you can build strong muscles and effectively still burn excess calorie/fat with the assistance of cardio. Since you’re essentially pushing your body to its max.

But there is actually no current research that supports strength training before cardio will increase the amount of fat being burned during cardio.

However, doing strength training first is not likely to deplete your glycogen (energy your body needs) level as much as cardio. Since you spend a lot more time resting between sets versus constant exertion from cardio.

The Argument for Cardio First

Cardio is a necessary evil. It increases our endurance levels and also extremely important if not more important than strength training when it comes to preventing all sorts of cardiovascular diseases.

You will often see or hear trainers telling clients to do some cardio each workout.

So vice versa of the lift first fanatics, there will be individuals who like to do cardio first. You’ll see them on elliptical or doing Zumba before hitting the weight racks.

These individuals believe they have warmed up and ready for the next phase of their workout. They just burned hundreds of calories and now all they have to do is sculpt their beautiful body by lifting a few weights. 

The Truth

No matter what load of crap your friend, trainer, Jen Selter, or any other public figure tells you, it will all be bullsh*t. There is no “best way” when it comes to how you structure your workout. But there is the recommended way that prevents catabolism.

What is catabolism? A catabolic state is when your body runs out of energy (aka Glycogen) and uses muscle tissue as a source of energy.

Even worse, if you work out on an empty stomach then you are guaranteed to lose muscle mass which is taboo in the fitness and especially bodybuilding world. 

Always grab a snack or something to eat before entering the gym or getting on the field. Grab some fruit or small snacks beforehand. This is mandatory!

The Fittest Way Around This Problem

How do we prevent catabolism? There are a few ways.

Figuring out your intensity levels is step one and will help you best reduce your chances of entering the catabolic state.

For example, if your primary goal is to increase your aerobic endurance and run for longer distances then feel free to do cardio first. Followed by light to moderate intensity lifting. Meaning no HIIT workouts after. 

If the primary goal is to increase muscular strength though high intensity lifts, then you should perform strength training first. Followed by light to moderate intensity cardio. If you plan on doing 10 wind sprints followed by a 20 minute jog, then you my friend are an imbecile and have not understood a word of this post.

And always make sure to refuel the body with necessary nutrients in order to get glycogen levels up.

The safest and best way to prevent catabolism is to split your days. Either do cardio in the morning, then lift later in the evening or vice versa. This way your body will replenish itself through the day giving you the energy you will need to have a beneficial workout.

But at the end of the day, it’s all about how your body responds to your style of working out. Do the method that is proven to show results with your body. Because every human body is different. Happy Lifting. - #theFittest

Did I miss anything or do you disagree with my answer, then comment below. If you agree, then SHARE with a friend or two.

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