What Comes First, Cardio or Weight Lifting

Mixing up your fitness routine is one of the best ways to target multiple muscles, burn fat, and improve your body’s cardiovascular system. From dumbbells, body weight, kettlebells, spinning, treadmills, or ellipticals, a common concern is over which type of exercise to perform first: cardio vs. weightlifting. Cardio after weightlifting has been the general rule for many fitness junkies, since weight lifting requires more exertion of energy from our bodies and most fat burning comes from the building of muscle, while performing cardio first may deplete our energy sources.

New research suggests that it makes no difference which routine you begin with. In a recent study, volunteers rode a stationary bicycle with only one leg initially. Once they were done they did resistance training using both legs. The results showed that both legs had grown equally stronger. A 2012 study showed that both riding a stationary bike and resistance training cause distinct muscle responses when done separately. However, when both were done together, both muscle responses were present regardless of which form of exercise was done first.

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