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Fit Fridays with Tracy: Cardio? Only after weights


Having a great session in the gym depends on much more than doing the right exercises. You must also do them in the right order. Each move you make affects those that follow and ultimately your results. Do your strength training before your cardio exercise. If you exhaust yourself on the treadmill first, you are surely going to struggle knocking out your reps in the weight room. Your form suffers when you’re tired. The last place you ever want to be struggling is under a heavy barbell. Besides, the strength training is what really builds the muscle and burns the most calories over the long term.

When you weight-train, you typically use glycogen as fuel. By doing weight-training first, you can burn the majority of your glycogen stores. If you desire a ripped appearance, your body needs to use your stored fat as fuel for exercise. In order to do this, you must burn off your glycogen stores first. Knocking out your cardio after you crush the weights will burn even more fat!

Working out is always good for you. The good news is that cardiovascular exercise will improve everything from your heart health to your mood to your chance of avoiding many cancers. Lifting weights helps with everything from bone density to metabolism and more.

So remember, both cardio and lifting have their place in your exercise routine.  You just need to make sure they are done in the right order.

Tracy Springs is a fitness instructor at LA Fitness. Feel free to contact her at [email protected] with any questions or to set up a fitness appointment at the LA Fitness Waukegan, Ill.,  facility.