Strength Training or Cardio, which is best to do first!? Cat Kom will tell ya!

Ah… the age-old question: cardio or strength training, which one should you tackle first if doing them both in the same day? Although there is no “right” answer due to various studies supporting both sides, Cat Kom is here to put in her two cents on the topic.

The short answer according to Cat is <drum roll please>… strength training first, but, and it’s a big ol’ but, she also strongly suggests that before you do any lifting you get in a solid cardio warm-up to get your muscles heated up.

By starting off with your lifting and ending with your cardio, one of the scientific benefits is that if you slay your strength training sets, you are likely to deplete your body of its sugars and carbohydrates so that by the time you hit the bike, your body ends up needing to pull from your fat stores for fuel to keep your aerobic system going strong. YAY for fat burn!

Also, when it comes to weight lifting, it’s all about your form! If your legs are toast from biking or running, you might end up compromising your form for that squat or curl. Ya don’t want that my friends!

Lastly, remember that strength training can also be cardio… if done without a 3 minute break to check out your own guns. When strength exercises use multiple body parts, challenge the core muscles and strengthen the body, your heart rate elevates. So, as long as you increase your heart rate and enter into that fat burning zone, any workout can be considered cardio training! I mean think about a Studio SWEAT onDemand Spin Sculpt class. The heart rates are over 80% MHR when you’re pumping out those push-ups and loading on those lunges, making strength training a cardio workout too!

Look, every fitness professional has their own opinion, but chances are as long as you’re thinking about the length of your workout, warming up those muscles, including both strength training and cardio into your routine, and being consistent, the order won’t really matter so much! But, yeah, if you’re going the extra mile that day, and I mean that literally, then I suggest you hit the bench press first (after a good warm up) so that you don’t end up dropping the bar on your chest because your 60 minute Spin class took all you got!

In the end, whether you do strength training or cardio first is really up to you. Just continue to challenge your body on a daily basis and you’re gonna be in good shape!

Watch this video in full to learn more about best strength training and cardio exercise practices and check out more Trainer Tip Videos on!

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