Exercise is an integral part of staying healthy, but with so many methods of working out and plans to choose from, it’s challenging to decide exactly how to workout. One main question that many people have when designing their workout plan is the order their exercises should be done. Mainly, whether cardio or strength training should come first. Here’s what the science says about what order to complete your workout in.
Time to format your workouts to start with strength training first — at least, that’s what the research is telling us. The main reason for starting with strength training is to protect your form for these detailed exercises and to give them your all. Though much research is still needed, one study compared the workout order and found that the best workout results come from starting with strength training exercises.
The logic behind starting with strength training and ending with cardio essentially says that you’ll want to save your highest energy output for strength training because these exercises are more effective when given all your effort in a short duration of time. Cardio requires stretched out effort over more extended periods, not short bursts. Meaning that not being able to give your total full energy to a cardio workout doesn’t hinder your results the way it does during a strength training workout.
A critical aspect of the argument for starting with strength training instead of cardio when working out highlights safety. Doing strength training exercises when already somewhat tired from doing cardio exercises can cause injury. If you start with a cardio workout and then move on to a strength training workout, your form and attention to safety are likely to be less on target than when done in the reverse order. Since you’ll already be more tired out from a cardio workout, you’d have to be extra careful and vigilant about your form to protect your joints and not cause more harm than good.
There you have it — the science says that order matters, and your workouts can yield better results in one order than another. Try starting your workouts with strength training instead of cardio next time, and maybe you’ll finally be able to start that fitstagram you’ve wanted to.