Many of you say that you go to the gym twice in a day, but does the order of your workout matter? New studies, according to The New York Times, may answer the age-old debate held by many hardcore fitness fanatics — whether or not doing cardio before or after your strength training routine is bad for your muscle development.
Many athletes and serious exercisers try to avoid doing both in the same session because they think that cardio inhibits the muscles' ability to grow and become stronger. Two studies looked to figure out if this long-held belief was true. In one, researchers had healthy young men pedal on a stationary bike for 45 minutes using one leg, followed by strenuous leg strength training exercises six hours later (they compared the differences in the men's legs, since only one leg had done both cardio and resistance training). In another study, researchers had older men exercise on a stationary bike and then strength train in two different ways — once by riding the bike for 40 minutes and then doing eight difficult leg exercises the next day, and another by doing four of the leg exercises followed immediately by 20 minutes on the bike. The muscle biopsy results of both studies found that there was no difference in muscle makeup in participants, no matter when or how they combined their cardio and strength training. And although the researchers say they only looked at immediate results, they think that long-term observation would also show no differences.
These new studies may put an end to the belief that the order of your workout routine matters, but many people swear by their own experiences of how their bodies react to their training regimens. Tell us, do you believe that doing cardio before strength training is good, bad, or makes no difference for you?