Significant cardiovascular benefit from strength training?
This is a question that has been bouncing around in my head for a bit and one that I have heard people touch on briefly in this forum in the short time that I have been a member.
Do you guys think one can achieve any sort of significant cardiovascular benefit from strictly high intensity strength training? I am not talking about a routine heavy in super sets or plyometrics, just good old fashioned training sessions with 4-6 exercises per workout, 5-8 reps focused around gaining strength and muscle mass.
It is definitely possible to work up a good sweat during these workouts and to get your heart rate to rise, but I am still skeptical that this is enough to really get a good cardiovascular workout. What do you all think? Running for the sake of running is the bane of my existence and I am interested to hear everyones thoughts.
Are there general physiological adaptations in your cardiovascular system that occur with strength training? You bet. One is hypertrophy of the left ventricle of your heart, due to the drastic increases in blood pressure you experience during resistance training, and therefore the greater force with which your left ventricle must contract to push blood through your circulatory system (I believe this is called afterload). There are definitely others that take place like lowered blood pressure and reduced resting heart rate as well.
Are these adaptations anywhere near what someone who does regular vigorous endurance exercise training will experience? Hell no. There are a shit ton of adaptations that take place with this type of training which, if they do occur in resistance trained individuals, occur to a substantially lower degree.
Now, sometimes when people ask this, they are also equating this benefit to mean "I will be able to run more/easier." That's not necessarily true. Neurological efficiency is the name of the game. That's why even elite athletes who try and transfer to another sport (Talking cyclical endurance sports here) are almost always going to quite a bit worse.
Last edited by CowPimp; 02-17-2010 at 04:56 PM.
The only time it's bad to feel the burn is when you're peeing...