• Why Cardio is just as important as Weight Training

    Cardio gets a pretty bad wrap. What should be one of the cornerstones of any workout routine is often neglected. The understood sentiment, especially amongst men, is that cardio equates to muscle loss. The truth is that if performed correctly, cardio can contribute to tremendous muscle maintenance and in some instances muscle gain.

    The mistake most men make is either overdoing cardio sessions or under utilizing cardio all together. Finding a tempo that is perfect for you is essential. Not every routine will accommodate your fitness level. The goal of cardio ultimately is to increase endurance and shed the fat, so figuring out what your tolerance is and exceeding that to a degree will surely benefit you long-term.

    The perfect cardio routine puts just enough stress on the heart to strengthen the muscle. Over doing cardio can leave too much stress on the heart and limbs, which can detour many men from completing another session. While performing a cardio session there a few things to take into consideration and the first thing is what makes you comfortable and performing at that level initially. The second consideration should be, as with weight training, whether or not you can push yourself just enough to where the routine is effective but not damaging on the heart, limbs or joints. The third consideration should behow you can progress with the routine so the long term effects are maximized.

    As for muscle maintenance and growth, cardio forces the muscles to work anaerobically which forces them to hold lactic acid for longer periods of time, especially the quads, back, hamstrings and calves. The result is greater muscular endurance which will allow you to lift longer and heavier.

    Cardio, again, gets a very bad wrap. However, if utilized correctly, the benefits can be substantial and fulfilling. However, as with weight training it is about knowing your body and finding the tempo that will meet your fitness goals. So get out there and work your heart. It will thank you in the long run.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Why Cardio is just as important as Weight Training
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. BigJohn's Avatar
      BigJohn -
      This is a very interesting subject. It's really difficult who to believe. So many of the resistance training guys say you really don't need cardio. As I get older I find it harder to run. I have just started a new routine of combing 30 minutes of stair climbing, doing intervals, and about 30 minutes of Staley's Escalating Density 3-4 days a week. I would be interested in hearing thoughts on this.
    1. Donnie Moreland's Avatar
      Donnie Moreland -
      I am glad you bring up the other perspective. I do plan on writing an article on different routines and how each can benefit different ages and experience levels. I think that cardio is scary to a lot of resistance training guys because we do not want to lose that muscle mass we have worked so hard to gain. I was definitely in that category of guys. But it's so beneficial and needed. I like your routine. You understand balance, which many of us lack. And most importantly, I think you recognize your bodies limitations and are training accordingly. Keep up the good work.
    1. SierraMan's Avatar
      SierraMan -
      How does one specifically determine ones start and ultimate limitation?
    1. Acton's Avatar
      Acton -
      Well,Cardio works are so good for improve the body fitness so i am agree with your all reviews about it.Cardio exercises keep us active
      and healthy on the physically and mentally.Cardio exercises burn the fat more effectively and control the cholesterol level which lead to
      healthy heart so according to me these works are so good for keep maintain of the body fitness.
    1. dwayne's Avatar
      dwayne -
      i get so damn sore from my weight training from so few sets ....i still find it hard to work enough volume cardio into the picture ....since all my body wants to do it literally nothing till its healed up for the next weight training session.
    1. Nelson Vergel's Avatar
      Nelson Vergel -
      dwayne, are you taking any medications like statins?
    1. dwayne's Avatar
      dwayne -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nelson Vergel View Post
      dwayne, are you taking any medications like statins?

      no I'm not taking anything like statins, .....but in all fairness, just being back at it (training) for 2-3 weeks
      ....maybe my body is just over sensitive to the training stimulus for the time being
      and not as efficient yet at clearing out the lactic acid.

      It has been suggested to me to try doing at least 10min of light cardio if for no other
      reason as to remove and clear some lactic acid out of the way.

      Even when i have been in training shape in my past glory years ,
      I've never needed a huge volume of training stimuli to reach my muscles.
      So perhaps this could be looked at as a blessing of sorts, ...a kind of safeguard
      to help prevent me from crossing the line into an over trained state.

      Keep it real,

      ~~ Dwayne
    1. Ferdinend's Avatar
      Ferdinend -
      Informative post on the importance of cardio and will be of great help for those who are new in fitness world. Jumping rope, sprinting, rowing, hiking, burpees, jumping, dragging sand bag, flipping tire, line hopping and box jumping are great cardio exercises.
    1. Slate's Avatar
      Slate -
      For those interested in prescriptions for specific adaptations to energy systems, I would recommend you check out Joel Jamison's materials, in particular, his MMA Conditioning book. Joel has cut through the nonsensical information the "intervals only" crowd of fitness gurus and discuses why steady state cardio training is valuable for anybody, not just MMA fighters or other athletes.

      Steady state cardio at lower heart rates can be referred to as "cardiac output" training, improving your per stroke volume and making your heart more efficient.
    1. SteveAllen's Avatar
      SteveAllen -
      Cardio is useful for weight training because cardio provides fitness to the body and also provides strength that is good for any kind of training. Cardio has lot of importance so it is good to do cardio with any weight training.
      Watch this video for more information
    1. White Menace's Avatar
      White Menace -
      Cardio is great for fat loss as it makes the heart more efficient at pump the blood.
      Better at pumping blood = More fat oxidation, as more oxygen can be carried throughout the body.
      Aerobic activity stimulates the Beta adrenergic receptor (correct one? I forgot) which widens the veins and arteries which is good for "stubborn" fat, as where you have stubborn fat, tends to be areas where there are a higher density of Alpha adrenergic receptors which role is to restrict the veins and arteries.
      I might have confused the receptors around, but the concept is the same.

      THink of those kids who were always fit, always sporty etc. they dont have stubborn fat, yet look at people who weren't fit growing up, they tend to store more fat around the lower back, abs etc, even if they did lots of weight training, and probably had a better body composition, but did little aerobic exercise.
    1. jimithing's Avatar
      jimithing -

      My "cardio" mostly consists of kettlebell swings and snatches and prowler pushes and pulls. I do go for walks with my wife but I don't count that as cardio. I think these kinds of exercise along with strength training is much more effective for fat loss and body composition than long steady state cardio.
    1. bilaon's Avatar
      bilaon -
      Quote Originally Posted by Donnie Moreland View Post
      The mistake most men make is either overdoing cardio sessions or under utilizing cardio all together. Finding a tempo that is perfect for you is essential. Not every routine will accommodate your fitness level.
      i am quite agree with your point of view mostly people do over workout of cardio and its harmful or them and cardio routine and exercise which effects differ from person to person
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