Fitness, Health and Exercise Facts From LaRue: Cardio Before Weights or Weights Before Cardio?

Welcome everyone!  Spring is in the air!  Here’s my latest Fitness, Health and Exercise Facts blog to help you get in shape.  Enjoy!

Fitness, Health and Exercise Facts
Cardio Before Weights or Weights Before Cardio?
Presented by LEC Fitness, LLC

I’m often asked “Should I perform my cardio exercise first or my weight training first?” As a matter of fact, I recently answered this question for the readers of an online publication. When asked, I usually give the same answer – “it depends.”  Ok, so perhaps not exactly the definitive answer that people want to hear, but honestly, it’s the best one that I can give!  Here’s why.
When trying to decide the order of exercise between these two, the answer really depends on your training goals, or can even be as simple as the type of challenge you’d like to give yourself on a given day.  For instance, is your training goal focused on increasing your strength, improving your cardiovascular conditioning, or perhaps reducing body fat?  Conventional exercise wisdom says that aerobic exercise (e.g. walking, running, biking or swimming) is perhaps the best way to reduce body fat and improve your cardiovascular condition. So, if that’s your focus, then performing your aerobic exercise while you are fresh (i.e. first) probably makes sense. Likewise, if developing strength is a primary goal, then, at least in most of your training sessions, performing your resistance training first makes sense. That way, you are not pre-fatiguing your body with your aerobic training, and can devote your best efforts towards your resistance training.
With this being said, there may still be instances where you may want to switch things up by performing your secondary exercise FIRST. By doing this, you can add an element of intensity to your primary exercise. So, for example performing your strength training after a cardio workout will make the strength training session more intense and challenging.  However, a Word of Caution if you decide to occasionally train this way – remember that since you will be pre-fatiguing your muscles by performing the secondary exercise first, you may not be able to push as hard with your primary exercise, so be careful and don’t be afraid to cut-back on the intensity of your primary exercise in that particular workout.

This Fitness, Health and Exercise Facts blog is brought to you courtesy of LEC Fitness, LLC http://www.lecfitness.com

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Fitness, Health and Exercise Facts: Overload

Hi everyone! Here’s our latest Fit Fact on the importance of OVERLOAD to your exercise program. Enjoy!

FITNESS, HEALTH AND EXERCISE FACTS

Presented by LEC Fitness, LLC

Have you ever reached a point in your workouts where you seemed to be stalled – seem to no longer be making progress in your fitness?  Or, you simply find yourself bored with your exercise routine?  If so, or if you want to avoid this before it happens, please READ ON.

My mantra to help you avoid these stall points or boredom in your workouts is “Overload to Avoid Plateau.”  The Overload Principle is a simple principle that allows your body to make fitness advances by working at an exercise-intensity greater than what is accustomed to.  In Plain English this translates to, for example, increasing the amount of weight that you normally lift.  But, this principle does not only apply to strength training, aside from strength, this principle can also be applied to other fitness components such as flexibility and even your cardiovascular fitness.   Here’s how this might work for you.

If you think back to when you first started exercising, certain exercises were probably more difficult than others.  For example, if you walk for your health, you may have started out walking a mile.  You may have found yourself huffing and puffing along as you walked your mile.  If you stuck with it, as you continued your walking routine throughout the days, weeks, months you may have found walking that same mile easier and easier.  Here is where – if you want to continue to challenge your cardiovascular system to improve – you may want to overload your cardiovascular workout to keep your fitness gains moving forward.  You can overload in a number of ways:  increase the distance you walk, decrease the time that you walk that same mile (i.e. walk faster), or a more advanced method such as wearing a weighted vest or carrying some external weight while walking that same mile.  The same principle applies to your strength training:  lift more weight, increase the number of repetitions you perform with the same weight, or decrease the amount of rest you take between exercises.  All of these are examples of overload, and of how you can continue to challenge yourself to make advances in your fitness.

By safely incorporating the overload principle into your workouts you will not only find yourself avoiding the dreaded plateau, but also keeping your workouts interesting and challenging!

One word of caution:  Overloading is not something that should be undertaken without planning because, if done improperly, it can lead to injury.  Generally speaking, you should NOT increase more than one exercise factor at a time (e.g. time, distance weight).  As a certified personal trainer I strongly recommend that you meet with a certified trainer or other fitness professional to help you plan your program so that you can make safe and effective changes to your exercise program.

This Fitness, Health and Exercise Facts blog is brought to you courtesy of LEC Fitness, LLC http://www.lecfitness.com

Yours in Health and Fitness

Sportsmetrics™ Injury Prevention Testing by LEC Fitness, LLC

Hey everyone!  As we slowly but surely creep towards Spring and Summer, our young athletes are preparing to return to outdoor sports and activities. As you parents, coaches and athletes begin your preparation for these warm-weather activities, conditioning and sports performance training should be an important part of that preparation!  Getting stronger, AND remaining injury-free should be two of your primary goals before your sport begins.

My company, LEC Fitness is a licensed Clinical Site and certified Provider of the award-winning Sportsmetrics™ Sports Performance and Injury Prevention Program. This program was researched and designed specifically to help athletes avoid the risks of a potentially devastating injury – non-contact ACL injury – a risk that can be lessened through proper training.

Here is a short video clip of us conducting the test on one of our athletes, and the resultant test that you will receive.  This test result helps us plan our “next steps” in the training process, and helps us identify potential problems in the athlete’s body mechanics that could lead to injury.

Yours in Health and Fitness
Sportsmetrics™ ACL Injury Prevention Testing by LEC Fitness