Strength Training or Cardio - What Goes First?
strength training kailua

Strength Training or Cardio – What Goes First?

Cardio and strength training are both a part of a well-balanced workout. But which comes first? In the fitness world, there are conflicting views on if you should do strength training before you do cardio, or after. Here at Oahu Spine & Rehab we have a lot of physical therapy patients that are runners, weight lifters, and athletes. An ideal workout routine will be made up of cardio, weight lifting, rest days and a consistent schedule.

Most certified trainers will agree that strength training should come before cardio. Why? Well, it all depends on your goals in the gym. If you are trying to focus on fat burning or weight loss, your high intensity cardio should go after your strength training. After lifting, your resting metabolism rate is heightened and your body has already started trying to help your muscles recover. This means that you will burn more calories when your muscles are tired from lifting. This is the perfect recipe for fat burning metabolism.

kailua physical therapy

Now, the same can be said for burning more calories if you’re lifting second, BUT, there’s more cause of concern. If you are weight training with fatigued muscles, you are more likely to falter in your form on your lifts. Exhaustion while lifting can lead to lessened focus and worse form, which can result in injury. You’re also more likely to be able to lift heavier weights if you are starting your training with fresh muscles. Remember that a short muscle warm up is always a good idea, 5-10 minutes of low cardio and stretching is what we recommend here at OSR. Just like when you’re coming in for PT here in Kailua, it’s important to get your muscles warm before fitness activity.

Here at Oahu Spine & Rehab, we see patients that are regulars at MCBH Semper Fit Gym, the Kaneohe 24 Hour Fitness, Crossfit gyms around island, UFC gyms, spin classes and more. Because we see so many athletes, it’s important that our integrated health center brings personalized treatment plans to each patient. If you are suffering from any of the following conditions:

Back Pain

Neck Pain


Fibromyalgia Pain


Chronic Pain



Muscle Pain


Frozen Shoulder


Give us a call today to set up your complimentary consultation today at 488-5555!

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