Weight Training Is Just as Good as Cardio

Ben Greenfield,
September 13, 2013

How to Burn Calories

When it comes to increasing your cardiovascular fitness, it turns out that weight training is just as good as cardio!

A recent study entitled “Resistance Training to Momentary Muscular Failure Improves Cardiovascular Fitness in Humans: A Review of Acute Physiological Responses and Chronic Physiological Adaptations” (yes, that’s a mouthful!) was written in part by Doug McGuff, whose concepts I first introduced in the Get-Fit Guy episode Is Weight Lifting Bad For Your Heart?

In the study, resistance training (aka, weight lifting) to muscular failure resulted in the same type of cardiovascular adaptations you’d get if you were to, say, go out for a long run. This included a better ability to buffer lactic acid and increased density of the mitochondria – the tiny energy-producing powerhouses of your cells.

Want to try the type of workout they looked at in the study? Here it a good place to start. Simply do 10 cardio workoutseconds up and 10 seconds down for each of the following exercises, 3 times through as a circuit, with 10 reps of each:

  • Push-Up
  • Pull-Up or Pull-Down
  • Leg Press or Squat
  • Overhead Press

That’s it! Try skipping the run this week and do these weight-based exercises instead, then leave a comment over at Facebook.com/GetFitGuy about how it went for you!

Cardio image courtesy of Shutterstock