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‘Is It Better to Do Cardio Before or After Lifting Weights?’ — Ask Coach Rick Scarpulla

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I’ve read articles stating cardio should be done before weights but some people swear it should be done after. Which is correct? — Telly, 24, Nevada

In my opinion, too many people take a candy ass approach to training and that is why we have gyms full of men who lift like girls. No offense girls. It’s amazing how many men can’t even do a pull-up or a set of 25 real push-ups. The same goes for cardio routines. Too many people are concerned with which treadmill has the TV on it or which cardio machine has a hottie running on the next one over. Just concentrate on working out.

I am a firm believer in switching everything up when it comes to training. Therefore I recommend doing either. Sometimes start your workout with cardio and other times leave it until the end.

Make sure to incorporate different types of cardio. Many people walk in and head right over to the treadmill and do the same thing day in and day out. The human body is geared to adapt to situations or tasks, so after a short period of doing the same thing over and over, you aren’t really getting the maximum benefit. The same way you should always switch around your weight routine, you should switch your cardio around.

People often ask me what the best type of cardio is and my response is always the same “do something you haven’t done in a while.” That is the best way to continually keep the body guessing. Try a different cardio workout each time you are in the gym. Try not to repeat your cardio or weight routine for several weeks and never do the same set, exercise and reps over and over. Always keep it fresh.

Now turn off Ellen, get off the stepper and do some deadlifts you pansy.

Rick Scarpulla, the creator of The Ultimate Athlete Training Program, is a highly sought-after and renowned strength, speed and conditioning coach who works in developing top high school, college and professional athletes and programs throughout North America. You can follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

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