This past week, we finished our first ever program called “Inner Circle” and I’ve been meeting with each person to discuss their thoughts, as well as how we can make it better for next time. One common theme that I’ve heard is “what about cardio”.
Many of them were doing more strength training days than normal and what was perceived as less cardio. In our follow-up private session, I was sharing something with most of them I thought would be of benefit for you.
Is strength training cardio? Answer is YES… When it’s done properly that is. If you finish a set of squats, for example, how is your heart rate? When done properly and with the appropriate amount of weight, your heart rate should be SKY HIGH.
Obviously, knowing how to do a squat properly is a big factor in that equation. If you aren’t doing them properly you will hurt yourself if you go too heavy.
Here is another question for you? What is the point of cardio training?
- Is it for the calorie burn?
- What about building endurance?
- Is it for our Heart and to strengthen the ability to pump blood?
- Or is it because its just easier sometimes to zone out and get on a machine? I know I occasionally find myself doing a run so I can zone out and not think much about form and reps, etc… (can you relate?)
Maybe it’s all of the above, maybe it’s because you heard Dr Oz say you should do cardio X number of times each week. Whatever the reason, I’m here to tell you when you do strength training the right way you don’t need very much cardio in order to be healthy and change your body shape.
Ask my “Inner Circle” class if their heart rate was up after yesterdays “595” workout. Ask them if they felt like they strengthened their heart? Even though they would ALL say yes to that, the stigma is that when we say cardio people think immediately about things like:
- Spin Class
- Swimming, etc…
While all those things are amazing, and I enjoy so many versions of “cardio” I want everyone to know the truth about Strength Training. Mostly how it can and does serve as cardio (when done properly). Next time you are in a strength class, pay attention to your heart rate when you finish a set of something (especially big muscle groups like legs, chest, back, etc). Is it high? It certainly should be.
So, on that same vein, what is “Strength Training”? I would classify it as, any time you are pushing or pulling against any kind of resistance.
With that said, isn’t swimming pulling against resistance and isn’t running up a hill pushing against gravity? So isn’t most cardio, strength training and isn’t most strength training, cardio?
YES they are! So why do we get so caught up in the when do I do this and when do I do that? You got me… All I know is if I/YOU need to choose one week between strength or cardio you should always choose strength.
Just keep in mind that when you have the proper technique and can push yourself in the right way, Strength Training is packed full of cardiovascular training.
Now, GO, and be STRONG.
P.S. Here is another subject that’s recently come to the forefront, how long can you do back to back strength training days (when you train full body each time)? The answer, not long. Unless you are doing only 1-2 body-parts per day, you need to take some time to allow your body to rest from the damage you’ve done with the strength training. It’s okay for a few weeks at a time, but then you need to get back to an every other day routine for full-body strength training. Think – “Work, Recover – Work, Recover”