Most people who work out regularly have a preference. Fitness expert Eugene Pallisco says they tend to hit the weights or hop on a treadmill.
These preferences are typically based on what they enjoy doing and why they are working out in the first place. For instance, people training for marathons normally will spend more time on cardiovascular exercises than on those building strength.
While each type of exercise has specific benefits, if you want to achieve optimal results when working out, it’s best to find a good balance between cardio and strength training.
Which One First?
Whether you start with cardio and move on to strength training or do the opposite should depend on your fitness goals.
If you want to reduce fat in your body, starting with resistance training is a good idea, and then moving on to cardio workouts. In this example, you could start by lifting weights and finish your routine by walking or running.
Consider the reverse if your goal is to improve your cholesterol. Start with a cardio workout and then finish by lifting weights.
Do Them at the Same Time
While there are clear benefits to separating your cardio and strength training, you can also do plenty of exercises to combine the two. This way, you can optimize your workouts and get more out of them. It’s easiest to approach this from a cardio perspective and then choose the type of workout you do based on your goals.
First, there are low-intensity workouts. This is done at a slower and steady pace, which helps to burn fat. High-intensity “bursts” help to spike your heart rate, which not only burns fat but also helps you to increase your lean muscle.
Finally, there is the increasingly popular HIIT or high-intensity interval training. This exercise combines cardio with strength training elements by using medicine balls and free weights.
Choose Your Equipment Carefully
Another great way to optimize your cardio and strength training is by ensuring that you are choosing the cardio equipment that you use carefully.
For instance, exercise bikes help build mechanics in the lower body. Many studies have shown that cycling is far superior to treadmills in building strength by moving multiple joints at once. It can help you keep joints limber, which proves helpful for other strength exercises such as the leg press.
If you prefer a treadmill, that’s fine, Eugene Pallisco says. However, try doing so on a power incline to incorporate strength training into treadmill work.
When you walk uphill, you’re forcing your body to activate different groups of muscles that it usually wouldn’t use when walking. This helps to increase your metabolic cost, which is essential for building and maintaining muscle.
What’s great about power incline walking on a treadmill is its low impact, too, which helps to prevent injury.
About Eugene Pallisco
Fitness expert and licensed trainer Eugene Pallisco works in Dallas, Texas. Since he began working with motivational fitness mentors in high school, Eugene has devoted a significant amount of time to sculpting and molding his training philosophy, which is centered on improving others. Before starting his private training firm in the fitness industry, he gained more expertise by working one-on-one with gym patrons after beginning as a group fitness teacher.