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Cardio or Weights First? The Best Exercise Order for Optimal Results


When it comes to structuring your workout routine, one question often arises: should you start with cardio or weight lifting? The answer may not be as straightforward as you think. Recent research sheds light on the importance of exercise order and how it can influence your fitness goals. In this blog post, we'll delve into the science behind exercise sequencing and explore how it impacts both strength and cardiovascular fitness. Additionally, we'll discuss the role of nutrition, in enhancing recovery and maximizing results from your workouts.

Understanding the Research:

A comprehensive meta-analysis of 19 studies has provided valuable insights into the effects of exercise order on strength and cardiovascular performance. These studies, spanning from 8 to 24 weeks, involved participants performing both strength training and cardio exercises within the same workout sessions. Half of the participants did weights before cardio and the other half did cardio and then hit weights. The key findings suggest that when it comes to maximizing strength gains, performing resistance training before cardio is paramount. Participants who engaged in cardio before weights experienced a significant decline in strength, particularly in longer-term studies. However, intriguingly, the order of exercises did not significantly impact VO2 max, indicating that aerobic capacity may remain unaffected regardless of the exercise sequence.

Prioritizing Goals:

The implications of these findings are crucial for individuals striving to achieve specific fitness goals. Understanding your priorities and tailoring your workout regimen accordingly can lead to more efficient progress. If endurance improvement is your primary objective, starting with cardio may be the optimal approach. Conversely, if you aim to enhance strength and muscle mass, prioritizing resistance training at the beginning of your workout sessions is recommended. Importantly, for those with limited time, incorporating both cardio and strength training within the same session can still yield significant benefits. However, focusing on the prioritized exercise may lead to faster improvements in that particular aspect of fitness.

The Role of Nutrition in Recovery:

In addition to exercise order, proper nutrition plays a critical role in supporting workout performance and facilitating recovery. Rock Solid® Nutrition's EAA Pump offers a targeted solution for enhancing pre-workout performance or post-workout recovery. Essential amino acids (EAAs) are vital for muscle repair and growth, making them an essential component of any recovery regimen. EAA pump combines a precise blend of EAAs with other key ingredients, such as electrolytes and amino acids that enhance blood flow, to replenish nutrients lost during exercise and promote nutrient delivery to the muscles. By incorporating EAA Pump into your pre or post-workout routine, you can increase strength & endurance, accelerate muscle recovery, reduce soreness, and improve overall performance, allowing you to maximize the benefits of your exercise regimen.

In conclusion, the order of your workout matters, but its significance varies depending on your fitness goals. Research suggests that prioritizing resistance training before cardio is optimal for maximizing muscle mass and strength gains, while the impact on cardiovascular fitness may be less pronounced. Tailoring your exercise order to align with your specific objectives can lead to more efficient progress and better outcomes. Additionally, incorporating a high-quality recovery supplement like Rock Solid® Nutrition's EAA Pump can further enhance your post-workout recovery, ensuring that you're ready to tackle your next training session with renewed energy and vigor. By combining smart exercise programming with strategic nutritional support, you make faster progress and get bigger returns for the time you invested in the gym.


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