Date: 2nd May 2022
Author: Mark Wood
We all know that anyone who has an endurance based goal should, and probably will be doing a fair amount of cardio, but what about the rest of us?
If you’re looking to get stronger or gain muscle, should you do cardio? In short, yes!
We love incorporating cardiovascular training into all of our clients training, regardless of the goal. We do this because we believe quite strongly that is has huge benefits for everyone.
Before we even get into some more specific reasons why even strength athletes should do cardio, let’s first all remind ourselves of probably the biggest reason why cardiovascular training should be in your programme.
Remember that fist sized thing that sits behind your rib cage and is responsible for pumping blood to your whole entire body. Yep, your heart. Health should always be your number one priority over everything and it certainly trumps everything else when we programme for our clients.
Ok, so onto some more specific reasons why people looking to gain strength and muscle should do more cardio…
Firstly, let’s consider some important factors when it comes to getting strong and gaining muscle. We all know that progressive overload needs to be a priority in your training programme, and when this happens we start to demand more from our body. This demand will likely challenge your recovery and your work capacity, which from our experience are two big limiting factors for a lot of people. They simply either can’t recover enough between sessions, or between sets, or don’t have the work capacity to perform the required number of sets and reps at the required intensity to continually progress.
This is where cardiovascular training comes into play. Increasing your cardiovascular efficiency will allow you to recovery quicker in between sets and between sessions. It will also increase your tolerance to exercise and work capacity, meaning that you don’t get gassed out during a tough set of squats or deadlifts.
As you can see, cardiovascular training will help you by allowing your to handle more challenging sessions which either demand more from your body through higher intensity (recovery faster) or higher volume (increased work capacity), both of which will lead to progress in your journey to more strength and more muscle.
You don’t have to train like a marathon runner, but getting out of breath a couple of times a week is certainly going to help you. We will provide some example training sessions for you in our next blog.
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