Strength and endurance training are considered important in promoting neuromuscular and cardiovascular health. The common question, amongst fitness enthusiasts is whether to have weight training before or after cardiovascular exercise? What is the right order to achieve maximum physical performance
Strength training involves weight training or resistance exercises using one’s own body weight or the use of high-resistance machines that are limited to a few repetitions (generally less than 20) before exhaustion. Aerobic exercise involves low or high-intensity exercise performed for extended periods (e.g., 10–40 minutes) depending upon the individual’s aerobic capacity or delivery of oxygen to the active muscles. The physiological adaptations and variable in program designs depend upon the type, duration and intensity of the exercise.
Firstly, some studies have observed that concurrent training, which is a combination of resistance and endurance both, may result in lower strength gains due to the phenomenon named “interference effect” as compared to strength training alone. (Bell et al., 2000; Leveritt et al., 2003; McCarthy et al., 2002). On the other hand, coming to endurance adaptations, certain studies review that the magnitude of cardiorespiratory adaptation remains the same, whether endurance training is combined with weight training or even if performed alone.
Although, in a study by Chtara et al, 2005, it was reviewed that if strength training is performed prior to cardiovascular, exercises, then it lowers the endurance performance as compared to the inverse order due to fatigue from resistance training. On the contrary, no influence on aerobic performance is observed because of intra-session exercise in a study conducted by Cadore et al, 2012. Therefore, there is no clarity about what should be the right sequence of physical training.
To conclude, there is a great difference between exercise programs for strength vs. aerobic fitness gain and depending upon the individual’s health and physique goal the choice of physical activity, exercise intensity, frequency and duration needs should be practised. Also, controversial results have been observed regarding what should be performed before the other. But what is clear is that both are beneficial for health, physique, weight loss and should be part of the exercise program.
Journal of Human Kinetics volume 44/2014, 171-181 DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2014-0123 171 Section III – Sports Training
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2007, 21(3), 973–978 2007 National Strength & Conditioning Association