There are a few fitness theories that you hear argued about it in every gym. My favorite fitness myth is that women shouldn’t do weights because we’ll bulk out. (“I don’t wanna look like those scary super-tan chicks competing in those contests that only air at 2:30 am Saturday morning on ESPN! What do you mean they use steroids to get that way?? I’m sure their voices are naturally husky. Next thing I know you’ll be telling me that magazine covers are airbrushed and celebrities really have cellulite and stretch marks. I’d better stay on the safe side and avoid lifting. And reality.”)
One fitness theory that has always intrigued me, however, is the issue of timing. Which do you do first – cardio or weights? I’ve heard arguments on both sides that, given my limited knowledge of how my body actually works, kinda make sense to me. Now I know that for most people it’s just more important to do something. Any workout is better than sitting on the couch, right? But we are not most people. I already get my workout in every day and I’d like it to be the most efficient it possibly can. So if doing my cardio after my weights will give me a great EPOC (excess post exercise oxygen consumption – how hard your body has to work to return to its normal state after a workout. More is better.) then I’m all for it!
Without changing the time, duration or intensity of my cardio & weight sessions I am going to mix up the order I do them in. Right now, I have 3 cardio-only days, 2 weights-only days and 1 mixed day (it was supposed to be a weight-only day but I can’t give up my ULTRA turbokick! That’s the only class I’ve ever burned more than 1000 calories in an hour. That would be like walking away from $1000 bill on the street. Wait, do they make $1000 bills? Never mind.) So now I’m going to move my 12/8 sprint sessions (yeahhhhh, baby!) from my cardio days to right AFTER my weight circuits on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday.
According to this article it is much better to do your weights first. In fact, the author even threatens to smack you upside the head if you do it the other way around. Who says gyms aren’t exciting? Danger! Intrigue! Law suits!! This article says that doing cardio after weights will make me look like Cameron Diaz and get me ready for bikini season. To which I say “Yay, for Cameron Diaz!” and an emphatic “Heck no!” for bikini season (let’s just say 4 babies have not been kind to my stomach).
I’m going to give it a month and see if there is any difference in my weight, body fat % and/or inches. I’ll let you know;)