Workout tips: Cardio improves weight training performance


Freshman biology major Vanessa Gonzalez runs on a treadmill at the NIU Recreation Center in April.

By Rick Young

DeKALB | Exercise has two basic types: cardiovascular activity and weight lifting. The NIU Recreation Center and students shared their thoughts on when the best time is to do both during work out routines.

Eric Appiah, assistant director of fitness, wellness and marketing at the Rec, said he has been weight training for 12 years, and he does his cardio after lifting weights.

“If a person is a runner, then they do more cardio than weight training,” Appiah said. “If they want to burn fat, strength training comes before cardio.”

Senior economics major Chris Davis said he jogs and sprints after lifting weights.

“Doing a little cardio before dips into the glycogen (blood sugar), and then the blood sugar is used to lift,” Davis said. “Cardio after lifting burns the fat. If you do it the opposite way, you’ll be sluggish and won’t lift as much.”

Whether people do their cardio before or after they do their weight training, Appiah said that people need to identify their fitness goals before they go to the gym.

“When going to the gym, people need to make sure they have a plan, whether they want to burn fat or build mass.” Appiah said. “If they don’t have a set plan, they usually end up quitting.”