By Chelsea Garcia, MEd, Certified Exercise Physiologist
You might be a cardio fanatic, someone who loves HIIT, a gym rat, or maybe you like to change it up to keep your routine fresh. No matter what you do for exercise are you doing it in the right order to optimize your fitness routine and prevent injury? Weight training should not be entered into lightly, no pun intended.
An article from the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences or AAAS published a review on a study completed to address which order of exercise is preferable. Should we be doing our cardio or our strength training first? The study lasted 24 weeks and there were two groups, the subjects who did cardio first and the subjects who did strength training first. The anabolic responses, the muscle’s metabolic response to training with cardio first seemed to be less favorable.
In the cardio first group, it took those subjects two days for their serum testosterone levels to return to normal. However, this was no longer a factor after the 24-week training period. It seems that once your body is trained and more adapted to this order it no longer affects those specific hormone levels.
Fatigue can be described as a temporary reduction in muscular strength. Although, fatigue can occur when performing more than one type of exercise within a short period of time, fatigue can also occur at the central (nervous system) and or peripheral (muscles) level. Central Nervous System (CNS) fatigue occurs normally after both aerobic and strength training type exercises. It has been shown to be greater when exercise is longer in duration and when the cardiovascular system is overburdened. This is why CNS fatigue is usually greater after aerobic based exercises; but it can also occur at the neuromuscular level when the amount of motor units able to recruit while performing Strength Training exercises becomes limited.
To help avoid injury caused by this type of fatigue during strength training one should lift heavy weights with a lower number of repetitions/sets. Rest during sets, and work a completely different muscle group while you’re waiting to let the other muscle group rest. Make sure to avoid rep failure or not being able to complete a set because the weight is too heavy or you’re trying to complete too many reps. To avoid overtraining, schedule your aerobic and strength training on completely different days.
These are practical tips to help prevent unnecessary fatigue and possible related injuries at the central and peripheral levels. If you are weight training by whim or guessing what exercises will best achieve your goals, we encourage you to call us for a free consultation.
At PHASE IV we provide a scientific rational for each progressive strength training program. We utilize periodization science, a comprehensive sequential approach to building strength and preventing injury. The Forster Structure Program© is literally the back bone of the PHASE IV Strength Training program. This prescription exercise program builds core strength and the functional joint stability necessary for you to adapt to weight training safely, without injury.
Every PHASE IV program is focused on specific goals (i.e. building lean muscle, increasing bone density, optimizing athletic performance etc.) and measurable results. An individual structural exam and health/injury history provides more necessary information to construct your personal Strength Training program.
If your doctor recommended diet and exercise, or you are interested in getting stronger and preventing injury, take all the guess work out of your program and let us help you make all of your workouts 100% effective toward your goals. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 310-582-8212 to set up a FREE Consultation to discuss further.