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Should You Do Weights and Cardio in the Same Workout?

If your goal is to get stronger, what is the optimal way to use your workout time? Get-Fit Guy has the scoop.

By
Ben Greenfield
1-minute read

I recently tweeted that if your number 1 goal is to get strong, you should separate your strength and cardio workouts by 6 or more hours.

Why?

A recent study called “The specific training effects of concurrent aerobic and strength exercises depends on recovery duration” shed some light on this question. 

So what did it find?

It turns out that if your goal is to get strong, there is some pretty significant interference that cardio can create on strength development, whether you do cardio in the same workout, or simply do cardio 6 hours before your weight training. The researchers noted that:

“Daily training without a recovery period between sessions...and, to a lesser extent, training twice a day...is not optimal for neuromuscular and aerobic improvements.”

Ideally, if you want to get stronger, you should separate your cardio and strength workouts by more than 6 hours. Of course, if whatever you’re training for requires you to do strength and cardio simultaneously (such as obstacle racing) or you simply don’t have time to do separate strength and cardio workouts, then you should just do it all in one big workout – that’s what I personally do!

What do you think? Do you do strength and cardio in the same workout? Do you have questions about whether you should? Has separating your strength and cardio workouts made a difference in your fitness results? Head over to Facebook.com/GetFitGuy and join the conversation there!

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.