As Strength Improves So Does Cardio

As Strength Improves So Does Cardio

It is a long held belief that resistance exercise and cardiovascular activity are separate entities and need to be trained independently of one another for optimal health. However, when we examine the literature (as well as basic human anatomy and physiology) on this topic we soon realize that this is not the case. When properly performed resistance exercise can indeed be an all encompassing type of exercise (and arguably the only type of exercise) that actually improves the health of our organism (body) in its entirety.

The basic function of the cardiovascular system is to supply nutrients and remove by-products that are essential for the muscular system to do its job (effectively and efficiently move the body). We often confuse cardiovascular health with aerobic activity (running, walking, biking, etc) when in reality cardiovascular health is simply a measure of the cardiovascular system's ability to supply the musculoskeletal system with the essential nutrients it needs to function. Thus as we increase the demands placed on the muscles through resistance exercise we directly increase the demands on the cardiovascular system and in return improve our cardiovascular health while at the same time avoiding the inherent risks associated with aerobic activity.

Additionally, as we increase the strength of our muscular skeletal system we reduce the amount of work the cardiovascular system actually has to do. Take for example the simple task of walking up the stairs and let's say in a deconditioned individual this takes 10 muscular units to traverse a flight of stairs. That then places x demand on the cardiovascular system. As our strength improves we reduce the number of muscular units required to move us up the stairs therefore reducing the amount of work our cardiovascular system previously had to perform to accomplish the same task i.e improve its efficiency.

The take home message is that our musculoskeletal fitness and cardiovascular fitness are inextricably tied together. As the former improves as does the latter. We can design workouts that train these systems independently of one another but the need to do so is simply not as pressing as we have been led to believe.

Make 2022 Your Best Year Ever

Every new client receives a Free Introductory Session.

Book Your Free Introductory Session Now