There is no hard and fast rule for executing aerobic or anaerobic workouts first, or whether they should be carried out on separate days altogether. It really boils down to elements such as individual fitness goals, the time allotted and frequency of exercising.
Do not shun from weights training, afraid of gaining too much muscles. In fact, adequate weights training can actually tone the body and accentuate the figure, more than bulking it up. It also helps in enhancing your cardio based workout performance.
Which one first?
Let your fitness goals guide you
If an individual wants to gain lean muscle mass, a big portion of the exercise routine should gear towards resistance-based training. Logically speaking, hitting the weights immediately and tapering it off with some form of aerobic based exercises should be the proper sequence to adopt, as most of the energy should be channeled towards muscle building exercises as a priority. Overall, it is advisable to segregate 70% to 80% of the workout session to weight bearing exercises if the goal is to gain muscles.
Conversely, if the goal is to enhance aerobic endurance and reduce body fat, then a big part of the exercise routine should consist of aerobic based exercises such as jogging, cycling or swimming.
A suggested program for avid runners can be to find a jogging route with a fitness corner situated in the middle or end of the journey and plan a 10 to 15 minutes worth of bodyweight workout at the designated location. By incorporating weight-based exercises, they can in fact help to enhance the functional and aerobic performance capacity of the individual.
Additionally, research has shown that popular workout programs such as HIIT can achieve efficient fat burning effects as compared to regular moderate-intensity runs.
If the preference is to segregate weights training and cardio based exercises based on the workout sessions, then populate most of the sessions with workouts that are aligned with your goals. For example, if the objective is to burn fats and enhance endurance through a four days weekly workout period, then focus the first 3 days on aerobic exercises and leave the last session for resistance based ones, vice versa.
Good Diet Plan is more important
The 70-30 golden rule in fitness goals setting is crucial to attaining and sustaining anyone’s fitness endeavors. No matter how hard a person trains (whether to build muscles or lose weight), he or she would have only covered 30% of the requirements, a big 70% boils down to what they put on their plate.
Take the example of an individual aiming to lose weight, all attempts in consistent and vigorous training will be in vain if he or she still binges on calorie dense food after each session.
Lastly, do not feel too restricted by the genre of workouts required to hit your fitness goals. The most important aspect in achieving a healthy and active lifestyle is to work on things that you enjoy the most.
Set variations to your training programs and plan them so much so that you will dedicate some sessions specifically for those programs that you look forward to.
By : Alvin Ho
B (Eng), MBA, Certified Allied Healthcare/Fitness Professional (EIMS), Master Fitness Trainer / Fitness Nutrition, Resistance & Endurance Training Specialist (NFPT)