Busting Fitness Myths: Cardio Will Ruin My Strength Gains
We’re not entirely sure how cardiovascular exercise got such a bad rep in relation to strength training, but we are absolutely certain it’s not going to ruin your strength training progress – as long as you’re still incorporating resistance training into your fitness routine as well. Keep reading to learn more about how cardio really affects your strength training.
What is cardio?
Cardio refers to different activities that are classified as aerobic exercise, which typically require more oxygen and can be sustained for longer periods of time. Exercises such as walking, jogging, bike riding, and kickboxing would be considered cardio. During cardio activities, your heart rate elevates, and you tend to breathe faster and more deeply to maximize the amount of oxygen in your blood. Over time, you can use cardio to increase your aerobic capacity, which is how well your body uses oxygen. An increased aerobic capacity can leave you feeling more energized and less tired throughout the day.
Cardio exercise is also an excellent way to strengthen your heart – one of the most important muscles in your body. Consistent cardio can help improve your heart’s ability to pump blood and oxygen throughout your body, which is important for helping your other muscles grow and recover after each workout.
Cardio + Strength Training
For cardio to negatively affect your muscle strength, you’d really have to do an insane amount of it without doing any resistance training. Kickboxing-themed workouts like ours are a great example of how you can work on your cardio fitness while still improving your strength. Each time you punch or kick using your full range of motion, you’re engaging your muscles and causing them to contract, which will help you build strength. These moves also elevate your heart rate for killer cardio at the same time, so you’re getting the best of both worlds, especially when you consider the resistance given by each of our heavy bags.
The American Heart Association recommends you do at least 150 minutes of low-intensity cardio, like walking or bike riding, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity cardio, like your 9Round workouts, each week to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So, if you complete the recommended three workouts a week at your local 9Round studio or you do 2.5 hours of walking or bike riding per week, then you’re doing more than enough to satisfy the recommended amount of exercise.
Regardless of what your strength goals are, you never want to cut cardio out of your fitness routine completely because it’s one of the best ways to reduce your risk of developing a lifestyle-related diseases, such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Cardio also helps you burn away excess fat, so you’re building leaner and more toned muscles during your strength training sessions.
If you want a KILLER fitness routine that helps you crush your strength goals while incorporating a healthy dose of cardio as well, then it’s time to try our revolutionary kickboxing-themed workouts! Get started today with your FREE Introductory Workout using the link below!
This is not medical advice. Please speak with your doctor regarding any health concerns and before starting a new workout routine. This article was written in conjunction with our certified 9Round Exercise and Nutrition Specialist, MacKenzie Rowand, CSCS, NASM-CNC.