The strength vs. cardio debate

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Should you do cardio or weight first?

  • Where the mind goes...

  • The healthy habits of Milan Carter

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What Comes First: Cardio or Weights?

Some people like to argue whether cardio or weights are better for your health. It’s not a debate because both have benefits, and you should do the exercises you enjoy and that help you achieve your goals.

But, if you do both, it’s fair to wonder whether you need to prioritize one form of exercise over the other. A recent review of 19 studies analyzing “training order” found that strength is more likely to be decreased if it comes second in a workout.

When you perform resistance training followed by cardio, you don’t see much of a dropoff in endurance or aerobic capacity compared to starting with cardio first. But, if you do cardio before weights, there is a noticeable dropoff in strength.

And, there was a catch. It appears that cardio-before-resistance didn’t have too much impact on strength in programs that were less than 8 weeks. Whereas anything longer than 8 weeks, the cardio-first approach led to a bigger reduction in strength.

Bottom line: you’ll likely see the best results by prioritizing your goals and starting your workouts with your biggest focus.

Note form Arnold: We always believe in being transparent. You’re going to start seeing ads here. You might ask why. First, the bigger this village gets, the more it costs. Second, I want my team to make money from it. We’ll never sell out and advertise any bogus magic pills, but we wanted you to know that you will start to see some advertising from companies who feel like organic partnerships and can add value to your life.

What’s Better Than Coffee?

If you read our daily emails, you might think we are the most coffee-friendly newsletter in the world. Arnold starts every day with a cup of coffee (before feeding the animals), and we have yet to find another drink that does everything from boosting your workouts to being associated with longevity. And that’s why we love Four Sigmatic’s Think Coffee. It’s everything you want from coffee — high-quality Arabica beans, the smell, the taste — but with the added benefits of sustained energy and mental focus without the jitters. Research suggests that lion’s mane, one of the mushrooms in Four Sigmatic Think Coffee, can help boost in cognition in as little as 7 days. We love taking care of the village, and that means extra savings. If you’re looking to pump up your coffee, click here to save $45 off the Four Sigmatic Think starter kit. That means you’ll be paying less than $1 per cup for sustained energy and mental focus. We think you’ll love it.

Where The Mind Goes…

Have you ever started a new workout or diet plan and not felt confident you would do a good job? Your outlook on the situation might have a much bigger impact than you believe.

New research provides evidence that where the mind goes, the body follows. Scientists were interested in what happens when people think they are struggling with healthy behaviors.

In the study, adults were given step counters and asked to track their movement. One group had a watch that inflated step counts, and the other wildly underestimated step counts.

The participants with the underestimated step count experienced lower self-esteem and mood, higher heart rate and blood pressure, and worse eating habits. The crazy part? Even though the counter was purposely broken, in reality, they walked just as much as the other group. Despite that, those with the inflated step count had happier moods, started eating better, and had an improved sense of well-being and confidence — even though they didn’t actually walk more.

It’s why learning to be confident — and building your resilience — is a superpower that can improve your health. Remember, even though the “low step count” participants walked just as much as the high-step count group, their belief changed their motivation and self-perception, which then negatively impacted their health.

If you’re trying to be healthier, stop worrying about being perfect. Don’t obsess about numbers. Instead, focus on small habits that will make you better. Or, focus on a simple mindset shift: forget aiming for 100 percent weeks, instead try to avoid zero percent weeks. It’s a mantra that will help you become more confident, and that alone can help you establish the habits that will become the foundation of better health.

The Healthy Habits of Milan Carter

It’s FUBAR week, and I’m sharing the routines and habits of my FUBAR co-stars (make sure to add the show to your list). Today, I’m featuring Milan Carter, who plays a computer wiz CIA agent.

What's one action/item you've recently added to your daily routine that keeps you healthy?

“A juicer! I don’t like to eat veggies that much, so I drink them instead.”

What's one thing you do every single day to strengthen your mental health?

“I walk for a mile in silence every day. Clears my mind and allows room for new thoughts, solutions, and daily gratitude.”

Do you have a health routine? If so, what is it, and how often and when do you do it?

“I want to be a ninja. So calisthenics and Push/Pull/Legs twice a week.”

In training for this role, did you learn any workout or strength/agility techniques you're going to continue to do forever?

“Having a newborn while filming taught me you don’t need hours in the gym every day. Sometimes 20 to 30 minutes is more than enough to get a good pump.”

Read about what Arnold did when Milan played chess against him.