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Conditioning or Strength First?

Hi everyone, I wanted to question my fellow fitness buffs on what you all think should be first conditioning or strength. I have my own belief on this subject and please have some good info to back up your belief.thanks

Are you talking about priorities or order in the workout?

(Assuming a general priority stance.) I guess it all depends on what you’re training towards. For organized combat the obvious answer is to have your conditioning set in long before you work on your power output.

For powerlifting, there’s no need for you to run three miles in under twenty minutes, especially if it takes away from your time under the bar.

Strength takes a lot longer to fade and it’s a hell of a lot harder to build in general, so at an overall environment, I’d prioritize that. You can train to run a 5k much quicker than you can train to squat seven plates.

(Assuming in a singular training session.) I’d probably go with strength first, conditioning after. Not that I have any studies to pull up or even any real researched knowledge about it, but it seems more reasonable to me.

If you did your conditioning first, it could detract from your strength to some extent, especially if you fatigue the hell out of yourself and not just a light session. Strength has it’s limit, arousal might give you a couple of lbs either way, but you’re not going to fight through a weight that you just can’t make.

Conditioning is never really about pushing a physical limit, at least not for me. It’s just fighting a feeling of not wanting to do it any more. You won’t up and add 50 lbs to your squat max if you just tell yourself you can do it, but if you just will yourself to keep moving, you can run or box for another five minutes without your body failing on you. (Unless you’re close to passing out, but for the most part I wouldn’t expect that to be an issue.)

In the book, “Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights”, which is a good, recent, evidence-based source, the author says that you should put whichever one you are more focused on first in the workout. The first exercise you do “sets the switch” for the workout; it primes your body for more of the same type of exercise.

[quote]Big Kahuna wrote:
(Assuming a general priority stance.) I guess it all depends on what you’re training towards. For organized combat the obvious answer is to have your conditioning set in long before you work on your power output.

For powerlifting, there’s no need for you to run three miles in under twenty minutes, especially if it takes away from your time under the bar.

Strength takes a lot longer to fade and it’s a hell of a lot harder to build in general, so at an overall environment, I’d prioritize that. You can train to run a 5k much quicker than you can train to squat seven plates.

(Assuming in a singular training session.) I’d probably go with strength first, conditioning after. Not that I have any studies to pull up or even any real researched knowledge about it, but it seems more reasonable to me.

If you did your conditioning first, it could detract from your strength to some extent, especially if you fatigue the hell out of yourself and not just a light session. Strength has it’s limit, arousal might give you a couple of lbs either way, but you’re not going to fight through a weight that you just can’t make.

Conditioning is never really about pushing a physical limit, at least not for me. It’s just fighting a feeling of not wanting to do it any more. You won’t up and add 50 lbs to your squat max if you just tell yourself you can do it, but if you just will yourself to keep moving, you can run or box for another five minutes without your body failing on you. (Unless you’re close to passing out, but for the most part I wouldn’t expect that to be an issue.)[/quote]
Smart Response thanks!

At small Mike agreed the body responds to specificity (S.a.i.d) I love all these answers and enjoy great and intelligent discussion. I am referring mostly to priority and perdization though friends and not exercise order although i enjoy talking about that too! Keep em coming guys!

[quote]Big Kahuna wrote:
(Assuming a general priority stance.) I guess it all depends on what you’re training towards. For organized combat the obvious answer is to have your conditioning set in long before you work on your power output.

For powerlifting, there’s no need for you to run three miles in under twenty minutes, especially if it takes away from your time under the bar.

Strength takes a lot longer to fade and it’s a hell of a lot harder to build in general, so at an overall environment, I’d prioritize that. You can train to run a 5k much quicker than you can train to squat seven plates.

(Assuming in a singular training session.) I’d probably go with strength first, conditioning after. Not that I have any studies to pull up or even any real researched knowledge about it, but it seems more reasonable to me.

If you did your conditioning first, it could detract from your strength to some extent, especially if you fatigue the hell out of yourself and not just a light session. Strength has it’s limit, arousal might give you a couple of lbs either way, but you’re not going to fight through a weight that you just can’t make.

Conditioning is never really about pushing a physical limit, at least not for me. It’s just fighting a feeling of not wanting to do it any more. You won’t up and add 50 lbs to your squat max if you just tell yourself you can do it, but if you just will yourself to keep moving, you can run or box for another five minutes without your body failing on you. (Unless you’re close to passing out, but for the most part I wouldn’t expect that to be an issue.)[/quote]

Good post, but I have to disagree with the last part. Sure you are not gonna put 50 lbs on your squat max just by telling yourself you can, however you are not gonna shave a minute off your 3 k time by just telling yourself you can either. Both require serious work and effort. To be honest, the hardest workouts Ive experienced have been cardiovascular workouts.

I think your point of prioritizing according to your needs is the best answer the OP is gonna get. Maximum strenght/muscle mass and endurance dont really go hand in hand and one tends to suffer if you push the other really high.

I have to say from personal experience though, that even if I were to focus on something like bbing, I would still do a minimum amount of conditioning. The importance of a healthy heart and lungs just cant be overstated.

[quote]whatever2k wrote:

[quote]Big Kahuna wrote:
(Assuming a general priority stance.) I guess it all depends on what you’re training towards. For organized combat the obvious answer is to have your conditioning set in long before you work on your power output.

For powerlifting, there’s no need for you to run three miles in under twenty minutes, especially if it takes away from your time under the bar.

Strength takes a lot longer to fade and it’s a hell of a lot harder to build in general, so at an overall environment, I’d prioritize that. You can train to run a 5k much quicker than you can train to squat seven plates.

(Assuming in a singular training session.) I’d probably go with strength first, conditioning after. Not that I have any studies to pull up or even any real researched knowledge about it, but it seems more reasonable to me.

If you did your conditioning first, it could detract from your strength to some extent, especially if you fatigue the hell out of yourself and not just a light session. Strength has it’s limit, arousal might give you a couple of lbs either way, but you’re not going to fight through a weight that you just can’t make.

Conditioning is never really about pushing a physical limit, at least not for me. It’s just fighting a feeling of not wanting to do it any more. You won’t up and add 50 lbs to your squat max if you just tell yourself you can do it, but if you just will yourself to keep moving, you can run or box for another five minutes without your body failing on you. (Unless you’re close to passing out, but for the most part I wouldn’t expect that to be an issue.)[/quote]

Good post, but I have to disagree with the last part. Sure you are not gonna put 50 lbs on your squat max just by telling yourself you can, however you are not gonna shave a minute off your 3 k time by just telling yourself you can either. Both require serious work and effort. To be honest, the hardest workouts Ive experienced have been cardiovascular workouts.

I think your point of prioritizing according to your needs is the best answer the OP is gonna get. Maximum strenght/muscle mass and endurance dont really go hand in hand and one tends to suffer if you push the other really high.

I have to say from personal experience though, that even if I were to focus on something like bbing, I would still do a minimum amount of conditioning. The importance of a healthy heart and lungs just cant be overstated.
[/quote]

Thank you, I appreciate that. :]

I feel my phrasing may have been slightly vague in retrospect so it is only right I expand upon it, I definitely assume no grand improvements to be made on willpower alone, at least not in the short term. And obvious physical feats as the one you stated indeed require planning and preparation and not just simply the breakthrough of a mental barrier, I just feel that cardiovascular work doesn’t take you to a boundary that strength work will in that sense. Cutting down your run times by a tenth is of course far from obtainable in immediacy, but possible nonetheless given the capabilities of your body. (Variable, but let’s say hypothetically athletically competent for the sake of this post.)

Cardiovascular work largely provides a grey area for improvement that’s not as cut and dry as your nervous system’s maximum energy output. Somebody could beat their military PT (1.5 mile/2.4km run for instance) by a thirty second personal best, but assuming their body was only just beginning to break form towards the end, and they weren’t passing up blood through their lungs, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to suggest they could return some days later and cut another twenty or so seconds if their level of determination and tenacity was high enough to pull them through. I, for instance assume my body could handle twice the distance at the same speed I’m accustomed to if not more, without keeling over and rotting from the inside out five minutes later, but my mind cuts me short and so I hold back to avoid any negatives.

I echo the hardest being cardio work, maybe it’s just because I hate it and I don’t like the feeling of pushing through lethargy and pain, but c’est la vie, it’s a necessary evil. I’m glad you responded to my post, it opens the thread up to debate and may provide some more thoughts for the OP. Or maybe I’m just vain and I love the attention.

Reference Wendler’s 5/3/1. Lift Heavy, PushPull Prowler ; )

Strength. Always strength.

Your muscles need to be fully rested before you do any resistance movements near maximal exertion.

As said before it depends on the goals.

I really enjoy both strength and conditioning.

For example, squat 5x5 then sled push 400 lbs for several round trips.
Similarly, squat 5x5, then uphill sprint for several reps.
Squat 5x5, then weighted vest power walk up hills for reps

etc etc

If we’re talking about in the same workout, then strength training should come first, simply from a biological/energy systems standpoint. But if we’re talking about which quality to focus on first, then yeah, it all depends on the individual’s goals.

[quote]SwoleFIT wrote:
Strength. Always strength.

Your muscles need to be fully rested before you do any resistance movements near maximal exertion.[/quote]

Concur. Strength first. Above all else, strength first.

strength always strength. unless for sports specific reasons, always strength.

for any regular dude on the planet earth who just wants to be fit… gaining strength should always come first. then when new muscle has been build, getting lean should be much easier because you have muscles eating away at calories and bumping your metabolism.

anybody who is fat should focus first on gaining strength so losing weight is easier.
anybody who is skinny should focus first on gaining weight and not even THINK about conditioning until strength goals are met… although a little to keep your cardio up to par might be ok.

if your talking about in a single session workout… also, always strength.