I have to admit that I have been writing a lot lately about the benefits of intervals, heavy lifting and generally higher intensity style training. It would almost appear as if I am against cardiovascular training. But if I’m a triathlete, how can I be against cardio? Sufficient to say, I am in no way against cardio endurance training and full heartedly embrace it’s benefits and place in the training world.

Cardiovascular endurance training is an extremely important part of any training regimen as it provides a series of benefits to help promote overall strength gains and health improvement.

First and foremost, there is no better way to strengthen your heart (considering it is a muscle) than to spend long continuous bouts with an elevated heart rate. Much like any other muscle, the more you use your heart and the more you place resistance and intensity on it, the more efficiently it will perform. This will be gained in the way of a lower heart rate, better stroke volume, even strokes, and higher capacity for work.

Secondly, keeping the body under the stress of continuous cardio stress helps improve your hormonal profile by forcing adaptations to take place by releasing endorphins and other necessary hormones to regulate your body’s ability to sustain the effort. As your body uses it’s hormones to accomplish the task, it adapts and figures out ways to be more efficient at using it’s resources to be more efficient.

Thirdly, cardiovascular endurance is a handy attribute to have, it makes living easier, it opens up the possibilities to perform a variety of activities to support your well being. Increasing your capacity to work can translate to many other areas of your life. Having the endurance to participate in all day activities and being able to do your full days work without being overly exhausted only makes life better!

There are many other benefits to adding some good cardio to your strength training routine. But listing the benefits does nothing if you don’t do cardio training properly. A couple of pointers to keep in mind when doing cardio is to properly warm up prior to performing the desired work. Most forms of cardio training puts a lot of pressure and constant stress on the joints and muscles, so avoid getting injured by doing a good warm up. Cardio training doesn’t need to last hours and hours to receive all the benefits. 30-45min of good constant training can do a world of good towards increasing your cardiovascular endurance.  Always eat something within 30min of completeing a cardio session lasting more than 20 minutes, preferably something with some carbs and protein.

Performing cardio endurance training is a huge benefit to any strength routine. The amount you should do highly depends on your goals and level of fitness, however under the direction of a qualified coach or personal trainer, you can reap some serious benefits to improving your body.

Today’s training:

10mile fartlek run

Box hops 5×10
Squats 5×5
Bench Press 5×5
-Superset with pull-up 5×5,6,7,8,10
Row machine 2x3min
Ab routine
Arms circuit