Resistance Training or Cardio: Which Should You Do First?


There’s been an ongoing debate as to whether it’s better to do cardio before resistance training in the same workout session, or to do resistance training before cardio if you’re looking to build a lean and muscular physique. This article will tell you everything you need to know (and nothing you don’t) about how different sequences of concurrent training (i.e., resistance + cardio in the same workout) affect cardiorespiratory and muscular adaptations, and also settle the debate as to which sequence is best to use for the goal of maximizing physique development.

Cardio or Strength Training

Cardio Training Before Resistance Training

A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that although both orders of training produced significant improvements in VO2 max— which is the highest rate of oxygen consumption attainable during maximal or exhaustive exercise the improvement was greater in the group that did the cardio training first, as opposed to the group that did resistance training first.

A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that the aerobic-first sequence was more effective in increasing excess post-exercise oxygen consumption(EPOC, informally called “the afterburn”), which is a measurably increased rate of oxygen intake following a bout of exercise that’s associated with an elevation in metabolism.

Resistance Training Before Cardio Training

A study published in the European Journal of Applied…

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