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Study Answers The Question: Should I Do Cardio Or Left Weights First For Maximum Benefit?

March 13, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
This study by Finnish researchers was set up to determine whether it mattered what order a person does cardio or strength exercises. Are the exercises more effective at increasing performance or muscle mass one way or the other? Participants were men 18 to 40 years old who did two to three supervised cardio and resistance training sessions a week, regularly reversing the order over 24 weeks. The researchers found differences in recovery times for the differently-sequenced routines, but ultimately found that the order of the different routines “does not lead to differences in the adaptations of overall fitness and body composition”. No matter which exercise was performed first, physical performance and muscle size increased during the study “to about a similar extent”.
Moritz Schumann et al., "The order effect of combined endurance and strength loadings on force and hormone responses: effects of prolonged training. ", European Journal of Applied Physiology, March 13, 2014, © American College of Sports Medicine
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