Cardio Before Strength Training, or Vice Versa?

Combining cardio with resistance training is believed to offer numerous health and fitness benefits, but does the order of your workout play a role?

Since prolonged aerobic performance can potentially "weaken" exercise muscles, thereby impairing ability to lift weights in a resistance session, researchers theorized putting cardio before weight lifting would result in less favorable anabolic effects.

The research team at the Department of Biology of Physical Activity at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland studied some 200 healthy men and women as well as endurance athletes from 2011 to 2013, with initial findings on the physically active men published in journals Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise and the European Journal of Applied Physiology.

Participants were between 18 and 40 years old and performed either supervised cardio immediately followed by strength training, or vice versa, 2-3 times per week for 24 weeks.

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