No I am not calling you a small environmentally conscious clown car 🙂
The debate, which to do first, cardio or weight training . It has been long standing one , going way back to the pre historic days , where cavemen & women would lift boulders first and some would run through the tar pits first with their pet mammoths . But in all seriousness ,it is often debated but to understand which to do first ,You need to understand your bodies reactions to exercise. Simply put your body is like a smart car.
Your body’s energy systems
Immediate energy, ATP- Phosphagen- This is the start of the car , energy used for immediate actions like getting out of your chair , doing a bicep curl or clicking on a FB page ( for example My FB page )
Intermediate , glyclolitic system This is the intermediate energy system used for shorter bouts of activity lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes
Long term energy, Aerobic. -This is where your body uses fat for energy, but it is not an immediate source of energy. This is the system that comes into play when you’re walking jogging, swimming etc
Similar to a smart car, Your body uses these systems in succession, when the energy runs out for one, it moves right to the next, concluding with your aerobic energy system. And in some cases once your body burns through the fat for energy it starts to cannibalize your own muscle for energy ( don’t worry its takes at least 2 hours plus of activity for that to happen , mainly happens with marathon runners or other super long distance type athletes).
So now that you get a picture of how your body uses energy, lets delve into the cardio or weights first debate. To start, we look to the Rule of Specificity, meaning focusing on your purpose for training first. So if you’re a runner , then yes you’re going to do that first because that is where you want to focus your energy, if your an athlete you’re going to do sport specific activities first whether that means sport specific weight lifting, drills or cardio.
By doing cardio first , your body is using the immediate and intermediate energy first exhausting those systems first before tapping into your fat for energy , so if you’re doing a half hour of cardio all by itself , you’re only going to be using fat for energy for about 10 to 15 minutes. But by doing weights after, your body will tap into its energy stores of glucose stored in your liver, and NOT use fat for fuel , Bummer! But if you do a 10 minute warm up , strenuous weight training session , followed by cardio , your body will go through the immediate and intermediate source of energy during weight training, then use Fat for energy the bulk of the time during cardio !
So in closing, is it better or worse to do one or the other first? All depends on your training goals, but if weight loss is your goal … WEIGHTS FIRST!