Wait for Weights

21 September, 2012

Doing cardio first can help you exercise longer, and thus burn more calories, than you would if you were tired out by weight training first. And finishing your workout with weights helps boost post-workout metabolism -- the rate at which your body burns calories after you're done. The result may be an overall better calorie burn, according to a small study.

Although all types of exercise -- cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility -- help you burn calories, cardio workouts result in the greatest calorie burn. Because of this, it may be best to do your cardio exercises first while you are fresh. You're likely to spend more time on aerobic exercise and work out harder if you haven't tired yourself out by doing other kinds of exercises first. On the other hand, strength training results in the greatest boost in post-exercise calorie burning. It boosts your metabolism for a longer period of time, helping your body burn more calories after your workout is done. Ultimately, this means that doing your cardio workout first can help ensure that you achieve the maximum calorie burn from it, and ending your workout with a strength-training session helps ensure your post-exercise metabolism stays high.

SOURCES: Aerobic and resistance exercise sequence affects excess postexercise oxygen consumption. Drummond, M. J., Vehrs, P. R., Schaalje, G. B., Parcell, A. C., Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2005 May;19(2):332-337.

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