If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably always wondered if there is more of a benefit to lifting before you run, or if the exercises should be performed in the reverse. (Sweat then strength or strength then sweat?) It’s an age old question, but finally, we have an answer.
Well, kind of.
According to a recent study from the Department of Biology of Physical Activity at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, it turns out that the order doesn’t matter all that much. Fitness experts long ago discovered that the combination of cardiovascular exercises along with resistance increases the effectiveness of both exercises, but the order that works best appears to be based on personal preference more than any physiological differences.
Here’s a behind the scenes look at the research: The Finnish study was performed on men between the ages of 18 and 40. Half of the men were supervised while doing cardio exercises and following them up with strength training. The other half of the group did the opposite. After six months, there was not much of a difference in strength and endurance gains. Recovery time varied a bit with people following the cardio portion of the study needing more time to recover, which might be one reason to save sprints for the end of your workout. But for the most part, no matter how you do it, incorporating cardio and strength work into your workouts is a real win.