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Should you do cardio and strenght training on separate days?

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    Should you do cardio and strenght training on separate days?

    I like to do running 3 times a week (usually 5K) and a strenght training also 3 times a week (mostly some full body workout from darebee).
    Personally I like to mix cardio and strenght training and think about it as a cross-training of a sort.

    The question is: Would you split the sessions through the week, that means alternate running and strenght training days (which will leave you with one rest day)?
    Or would you prefer to do the running and workout in same day? For example go running first (we can think about it as a cardio but as a warm-up too) and then after running do the strengh training (Which will make it maybe more difficult in one row but leave you with a plenty of rest, so you will have more energy for the next seassion maybe, so it could be more efficient?) 🤔

    I'll be glad for any answer to this question of mine. 😁

    I would also appreciate an advice from CaptainCanuck (Sorry mate but you have always been a good advisor. 😉)

    I asked a lot of questions recently as I wanted to figure some things out for me (maybe I'm kinda annoying 🤭).
    But this would be my last for some while.

    I would like to thanks to this amazing and supportive community, which is always here to help,
    and I really appreciate that. 😁

    Personally, I don't see a reason to do cardio and strength on separate days, but I would do the cardio after the strength training. Mostly because I go after the rule to be as fresh and rested as possible for strength training.

    There's nothing wrong with asking many different questions if you want to figure things out. Maybe someone else can profit from the, too.


      I think it would help you to figure out what your training goal is. It is not that running ability and bulking muscles are inconsistent, but it can be harder to train both and to be effective at it. It would probably help you to know what it is that you are training for, and then have either running or strength as a secondary goal.

      A couple of years ago, I was working a pretty wacky schedule where I would more or less work two days on and two days off, and do 12 hour work days. It meant that it was pretty hard to do any exercise on the work days, so I structured everything on my off days. If I went to the gym I would do a 1km run, 15 minutes of boxing drills on the bag, 2 minutes of combat ropes, 3 circuits of dead lifts, chest presses, lat pulldowns and triceps presses, 5 minutes of juggling and 1 hour of swimming. I would be at the gym for about 3 hours. I wasn't really training smart, but I made gains in cardio (swimming speed and distance) and strength. This is one of the classic gym argument questions though, do cardio then be tired for strength training, or do strength training and then be tired for cardio. I am not sure if there is a real answer. What I would recommend is not measuring it by time if you do it. So you run a set amount and do a set amount of strength exercises every time that you go, so that you are not taking shortcuts because you are feeling tired.

      It also is worth mentioning that just because society works mostly off of a 7 day week, that it doesn't mean that this is necessarily the best way to train for you. If you like to run three days and do strength training three days then you could just build yourself an 8 day or 9 day training plan and try to make it work with your schedule.


        CaptainCanuck That is very interesting point of view 😁🤔.

        My goal is to get stronger and faster ( i don't want to get big abs and huge arms or be super fast, I just want to be better version of myself, look better, be in shape and perform better.)

        I would be really glad if the main topic was answered. If to separate the running and training days or not? And which one to do first? And maybe what to do in days when not training? (That's a lot of questions 😅)

        I don't really like gym so I just want to do darebee and outdoor activities. I don't want to be any activity to be major or minor to the other so that's for it.

        I hope it helps you to know something more about me.


          I asked something similar of Damer a while ago, and this was his answer. Hope this helps a bit.


            TopNotch I did read the article from top to bottom 3 times and still didn't find an answer 😩


              lofivelcro Good idea, I'll try it. Start with one of my favourite darebee workout (is one really enough, sometimes they seems short?) and end it with 5K run.


                So, if you were to run (for cardiovascular fitness) in the morning you could do strength training in the evening and still get benefits from both forms of activity provided that A. Your running was not super-intense and B. You had plenty of food and 'rest' before you got to the second session.
                From my answer TopNotch referenced for you.


                  Damer What If I must do it in one session, shoul I run first and the do the strenght training, because I unfortunatelly must do it at once due to my shorter free time window.


                    Damer Run first or run last? That is the question 😅🤔

                    I would prefer the way lofivelcro did say up here.

                    but I would do the cardio after the strength training. Mostly because I go after the rule to be as fresh and rested as possible for strength training.


                      Ralad72 well, that was the point made in my admittedly detailed and long answer. You can't. Our body gets strong because the exercise we do triggers and adaptive response. That adaptive response allocates energy resources that create cellular changes in the muscles and the way the body responds to specific metabolic demands. The body doesn't have sufficient energy reserves to work for both strength and conditioning in one session. So it prioritizes the last thing you do. If you start with running but end up with weights it will prioritize muscle building and strength. If you reverse it, it will prioritize speed and endurance.

                      This is not to say that the first part of the session doesn't count. Everything we do that works our muscles and makes our heart pump harder changes us. So, your overall fitness and your endurance should improve and you will definitely feel fitter. But if you want to have strength to do specific things (i.e. punch harder, lift heavy) then getting to that goal becomes really hard.

                      If you only have one time slot I would suggest you get creative. On one day reduce the aerobic/running component in intensity and work hard on strength and the next reverse the intensity so you run hard and fast but lift with less intensity and weight. That would be a smart way to maintain benefit from both types of workout over time.

                      I hope this helps.


                        Ralad72 Maybe I can provide a better answer by not answering it directly. One of my favourite programs that I did through Darebee was Cardio Trim Run. Over the course of a month while following it, I improved in running speed and strength. You may not want to follow a program, but maybe have a look at it to determine how the days are structured.

                        I think too that one of the biggest problems of developing a workout pattern is "paralysis by over analysis". You are the only person that is you, and all of the advice that you will receive is based off of other people's experiences with what works for them. A big part of the process is putting rubber to the road and figuring out what works for you in practice. As I said above, there is and probably always will be the debate on what works best. This is because people have experimented for themselves and swear by the results that work for them. As there are so many people on both sides of the argument, this suggests that it is more subjective and circumstantial, and that really the only person that can figure out the answer is the person themselves.

                        If you have a look at some check-in threads (mine included) you will see that this is a common problem, to figure out how to make fitness work for them in their lives. I have two small children, I live a five minute drive from work, I am on my feet for 90% of my time at work ... these are all things that I have to take into consideration when I make a fitness plan, including when to run and when to lift. These are also things that are specific to me, and so my plan might not work for everyone else (or anyone else).

                        So my best advice here is that you know what you want and more or less how to do it, so just go and start trying and see what works and what doesn't. Trust the process, but don't be afraid to make changes where needed.


                          Damer and CaptainCanuck So if I undestand both of you right, based on your answers, the probably most right answer for me is to split it between days, so I can run one day and strenght train the another but not mix it for reason to keeping it effective?

                          I just always wonder, if I can excersise let's say 6 days a week. I'm doing it, but i'm not sure if it's effective.

                          PS: The only problems with the programs I have that you must do it every day, and sometimes I want a complete rest or i simply dont have time.

                          But thanks for your answers.


                            I didn't necessarily mean to do a program, just have a look at how the days are structured. Some days have running and strength training and so might give you an idea of how to schedule both in the same day.

                            If you are mostly interested in general fitness, you should be good alternating days. Personally I would drop one day per week of running and take two rest days, but it is up to what you want to do.


                              Originally posted by Ralad72 View Post
                              PS: The only problems with the programs I have that you must do it every day, and sometimes I want a complete rest or i simply dont have time.
                              I think that's a misconception how the programs work. As often stated here in the Hive, you can take a rest day whenever you feel like it. I don't do weekends and did quite a lot of programs. There is no dogma that says you must. You can, as the programs have 'built-in' rest days. But that's it.