I suggest that strength training be done when strength is available. After cardiorespiratory training the muscular strength has been degraded. However, after a strength training session, you can still raise and lower your heart rate just as effectively as if you were doing it before. The pace will be a bit slower but with the same results, is that really a bad thing? However, if cardio IS your goal, then cardio should be done first. Its all about what you want to enhance the most getting the priority in your workouts.
I agree with Karin’s answer. There is really no one answer to this question. A lot depends upon your goal(s) in training. For example, if you are working on maximum strength development, then strength training first (after conducting a proper warm-up of course) is the best way to achieve this goal. As Karin correctly identifies, if my goal is muscular endurance instead, then performing my cardio workout first should not really present a problem in my training since I am not using maximum resistance in my resistance training, and I actually want to encourage my muscles to adapt to having to work while being somewhat fatigued.
That being said, I’m a firm believer in mixing it up! So, oftentimes, despite my own or my clients training goal, I will sometimes conduct cardio first and resistance second or vice versa. I think this helps me present a different challenge to the body and in truth mimics more closely what might occur in the real world (i.e. my client doesn’t always get to choose to perform a strength movement when they’re fully rested…).
I hope this helps.
I agree with Jason, strength before cardio, regardless of your form of strength training or reason for training.
I look at it like this, the energy that you need to perform strength activities is different from the energy you need to do a continuous activity, such as cardio. That being said, it doesn’t mean you won’t be tired after either activity.
However, the likelihood that you’ll be able to get through your cardio after strength training is higher than if you were to do it the other way around. That’s how I train and how I teach others to train.
Exception? If your workouts are at two separate times of the day. In that case, it doesn’t matter which you do first because you’ll have sufficient time to replenish and recover.
I prefer to start off with a five minute warm up to get the heart rate up this can include jump rope, jumping jacks, running in place, burpees etc., then a two to five minute stretch (ideally stretching the muscles you will be using during the workout) this is also a way to get focused on the workout ahead. If your doing two to three resistance days every week with split sets (alternating lower body to upper body), then a cardio day in between, you can do just resistance on resistance days. When I say resistance I mean training with resistance devises (bands, weights, kettle bells). If your doing two to three workouts a week with no cardio days in between, then I would suggest breaking the workout into two parts, 1/2 hour resistance training, 1/2 hour cardio training, in that order. In most cases cardio training is easier than resistance training when it comes to form, and form is the most important aspect of the workout to prevent injury. If you spend the first half of your workout on a treadmill and get your heart rate up to 55% – 85% of your max, and keep it up for at least twenty minutes this will fatigue your muscles, making good form during the resistance training harder to maintain. Therefore I like to start with resistance when you have your full energy available, so form stays in tact, then finish with cardio.
And in response to the last blog. Strength training is the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles. Basically, strength training and resistance training are often used interchangeably.
Can I play the devil’s advocate? There is a huge difference between strength training and resistance training. People who training for strength want to be able to lift their maximal loads. My Granny can do a bit a resistance training with 3 pound weights. Doesn’t mean she is strength training.
If you were truly strength training, like an Olympic power lifter who is truly strength training, then I would say. Strength train today and give it rest on the cardio.