If in one gym session, I want to run (30-40 mins) and lift weights, is it better to run first or do the weights first. I have done a bunch of googling and keep reading conflicting answers so wanted to get some thoughts from folks on this forum.
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You need to answer that question yourself, the way to get to it is, what is your goal? (this question to your question is taken from the great Dan John: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/figuring_out_your_life_and_lifting_goals)
Are you more focused on cardio? or strength? What are you trying to achieve? Based on your response, you can determine which to do first - the first thing to do is what is most important to achieving your goals....where you focus your most energy.
Yes, it is a question that can be complicated.
On one side, if you are practising for a running event, you should probably focus on the running first and do some complementary weight lifting.
On the other side, if you practise for general well being and have a limited time available for training, you could start with the weights and skip the running. My own experiments with measuring training effect with pulse meters shows me that you get a good cardio effect when you lift weights, especially when you do exercises that involve large muscle groups (deadlift, squats, etc).
Because I'm pretty busy, I usually do weights both before and after cardio. The point of this is that the cardio functions as a rest period between sets, so I'm not just sitting around. I also feel like weights help warm me up for cardio and get to the target heart rate a bit faster.