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Reach PT: Cardio

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Cardio means training your cardiovascular system. Traditionally, we think of cardio as running, cycling or circuit training but, if you’ve ever done 3 sets of heavy back squats, deadlifts or even bench press, you’ll know that it gets you out of breath – that’s “cardio”! However, although weight training does involve cardio, that’s not the purpose of it.

Resistance training helps to improve strength, grow and preserve muscle and shape the body. Along with nutrition it is absolutely vital for body re-composition (what we think of as “toning”) – it’s a non-negotiable!

So, where does traditional “cardio” training come in?

I guess the first thing to discuss is why you are doing cardio. There are a number of reasons that you might want to perform cardio in addition to resistance training.

  • To improve your cardiovascular system further.
  • To learn a new skill, such as running, cycling or swimming.
  • For enjoyment.
  • To supplement your resistance training and nutrition program and improve your results in terms of weight loss, body fat reduction and “toning”.

The first three of these relate to doing cardio because you want to do cardio. The last one is more a means to an end. Therefore we’ve split these discussions into two articles.