Heavy Weight Training or Cardio?

How about both!

I believe we are training in an era, where most individuals take a bodybuilder approach to lifting weights which I do like and have no issue with. Only downside to strength training/weight lifting with no cardio days, is that it can lead to arterial stiffness. Arterial stiffness means that your arteries are stiffening, making it harder on the heart to get blood pumped through the body, causing the heart to work harder than it needs to which could cause long term cardiovascular issues. Sounds serious, but there are some training tips that can prevent this, but still allow you to lift weights each week. Something I’ve always used at the end of my sessions with my clients is basic endurance/conditioning training at the end of their strength session to increase their cardiovascular health.

After I’ve finished the strength portion or hypertrophy part of the exercises, I take them through what I like to call the finisher. Sounds intense, because I like to make it intense for an 8-10 minute period. I’ve used interval stations, where the client or group of clients perform a certain move/exercise for 30 to 40 seconds on followed by an 15-30 second rest, before starting up another movement or the same movement. I end most of my workouts with an endurance density or stations for cardio, to help prevent the arterial stiffness, which in return help with recovery and allow the lifter to keep up his weight lifting routine, without compromising their health and the way they feel. Below is an example of stations I would put myself or a client through after strength training.

Stations 40 seconds on 20 seconds rest-  2-3 rounds. Rest 1- 2 minutes after completing a round.

Station 1- Battle rope slams

Station 2- Jump rope

Station 3- Kettlebell swings

Station 4- Burpees


(Journal Strength Conditioning Research, 29: 74-79, 2015)

By: Nick Brandt


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