Cardio before weights… or weights before cardio? Which way is best?
If you’re a FitnGlam member, you’ll know our Super Clubs offer you a world of choice. Gleaming top-of-the line cardio-focused machines abound and our spacious weights section caters to women of every fitness level. But where should you head to first? Once, this weighty debate – whether you should do cardio before weights or weights before cardio – has confounded fitness enthusiasts everywhere, but now experts have shed light on the matter.
The case for cardio first
Cardiovascular exercise is a great way to protect your heart health, burn calories and boost your endurance. Still, if you’re wanting to optimise your workout, new studies have revealed that if your goal is mostly focused on improving your endurance, rather do cardio before lifting weights. It’s a great way to rev up your heart rate and preps your body for any challenges ahead, ensuring your muscles are warmed up and ready to go.
An example of a great “recipe” if you’re wanting to up your endurance? Spend 20 to 30 minutes on one of our cardio-focused machines before making your way to the weights section. As far as cardio machines go, remember to think beyond the treadmill. Mixing things up by trying a machine you haven’t used before will challenge different muscles, contribute to improving your overall fitness and keep things interesting. If you’ve never used our elliptical or rowing machines before, let’s change that!
When weights before cardio matters
If your focus is on getting stronger and burning fat, then you’ll probably want to hit the weights section before you perform any cardio. Weight training is essential for building lean muscle mass that’ll enhance your overall strength as well as boosting your metabolism. By lifting weights first, you’ll get to capitalise on using the majority of your energy to use increasingly heavier weights or perform more sets with better form. (If you’re ever worried that you’re not performing a rep correctly and happen to spot any of our trainers on the floor, just ask. They’re always happy to help out.)
Remember, the more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolism becomes. Also, because you burn glycogen (a type of sugar that’s stored in your mostly in your muscles) when you lift weights, if you do cardio afterwards, your body will have to start burning fat if it wants more “fuel”.
If strength and weight loss is your goal, next time you visit the club, consider heading straight to the weight section or use our machines in our strength training section that target specific muscle groups. You can then finish strong on a cardio-focused machine like a treadmill or enjoy a cardio-focused class like Boxing or Cycle.
Get the best of both worlds
Don’t have the time to split up your workout? You’ll be glad to know there’s nothing wrong with a hybrid approach. High intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are a great way to get the best of both worlds. These combine a short burst of intense cardio interspersed with weightlifting exercises.
If you’re looking for a great “combined” workout that will improve your endurance, strength and burn fat fast, try one of our HIIT classes. Another great HIIT workout is our CrossFit class. They’re only 45 to 60 minutes long, but you’ll get to reap all of the rewards while maximising your time in the gym. What’s not to love about that?