Shawn Arent, director of the Rutgers University Center for Health and Human Preferences, addressed a long-time concern of people trying to get the most positive effect for their workouts. When is the best time to do cardio exercise? Is it better to do it in the morning or at night? Before or after resistance training?
Arent explains that the most ideal situation would be to separate cardio and resistance training instead of doing them in the same session. Cardio is best done in the morning and resistance training in the afternoon. This is the most ideal situation and would produce the best results.
But if you need to do them both in the same workout session because of time constraints, then the opposite is true. You should do your resistance training first and your cardio exercise second. The main reason for this is because of the types of fuel each exercise uses. When you first start your workout session, you will have a lot of muscle glycogen to use. This is a fuel that burns away first. Then you will burn fat cells. By doing resistance training first, your muscles will use muscle glycogen, which will build up your muscles well as it is used more efficiently. Cardio can still have great effects running on fat. When you do cardio second, you will be relying more on fat cells than muscle glycogen, so you will burn more fat than you would if you did cardio first.
However, Arent warns that it will not make too much of a difference if you decide to do resistance after cardio. But resistance training before cardio will work your body more efficiently and get slightly better results.
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