Many of us are swamped with 40-hour work weeks or full-time studies and simply do not have the luxury of alternating between cardio and weightlifting during the week. But rather than cutting one out completely, it's much more beneficial to work out a way in which we can do both on a given day.
When devising a routine for yourself, the order in which you perform your workouts can be just as important as the workouts themselves. The optimal sequence depends on what your overall physical goals are.
Are you a fat burner that heads directly to the treadmill or the elliptical to melt the pounds away? It’s no secret that cardiovascular exercise like running will burn fat, but it’s a lesser known fact that lifting beforehand can enhance the fat-burning process.
Lifting weights increases testosterone production and metabolism, while decreasing the release of the stress hormone cortisol, according to coach and trainer at BuiltLean in NYC. These favorable hormonal changes will lead to an increased calorie-burn during and after your run.
However, if your goal is to pack on muscle through weight training, then you’ll want to save the cardio for after your weight training. According to Fabio Comana, director of Continuing Education for the National Academy of Sports Medicine, running before weightlifting will “induce fatigue that may compromise technique and possibly increase risk of injury.”
Inversely, if you’re a runner looking to build your cardiovascular endurance for marathons, it's recommended that you run and then lift.
So if you’re a runner or a weightlifter, do your thing first. But if you’re looking to burn fat, make sure to hit the weights first!