You find yourself at the gym, geared up for the ultimate workout. Once at the gym, the foremost question you face is what to do first: cardio or weights?
The fitness world has been buzzing with opinions, and a cadre of experts has stepped forward to decode the optimal exercise routine for your fitness triumph.
According to Claudette Sariya, a New York City-based fitness coach, and personal trainer, the arrangement of your workout is pivotal. Sariya stresses that this structure significantly impacts the overall outcome and its alignment with your fitness aspirations.
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, coupled with two muscle-strengthening sessions. However, the challenge arises when attempting to blend both cardio and strength training into a hectic schedule.
But hold on.
Before diving into the workout, Sariya issues a crucial warning about the often-neglected warm-up. "You should always start with a light warmup to get the blood and oxygen flowing to your muscles," she advises.
For the main event, the consensus among fitness experts is clear: initiate with weight training and conclude with cardio. Danny King, a certified personal trainer at Life Time, underscores the significance of preserving glycogen, the stored sugar in muscles crucial for weightlifting performance.
"If you do cardio first, you will deplete some of that glycogen, decreasing your energy. And that will make weight lifting more challenging," explains King.
Sariya concurs, highlighting the potential consequences of pre-fatiguing muscles with intense cardio before weight training, leading to a compromised lifting experience.
However, the sequence of your workout regimen isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. It depends on your fitness goals. As King notes, "Whatever is done first will be the priority, both in total energy for the body and available time."
Elle Wermuth, a Barry's instructor, offers a refreshing perspective, highlighting the importance of doing what feels most motivating. "Any movement is beneficial for your mind and body…the more you enjoy any workout, the more you'll get out of it and actually give 100% and be present in it," she suggests.
So, the next time you stand at the crossroads of cardio and weights, remember that the key lies in understanding your goals and allowing motivation to be your guiding force.
In the quest for the perfect workout, the choice is yours. What will you prioritise in your fitness journey?
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