Benefits of Cardio for Bodybuilding
Reasons Why You Shouldn't Neglect Cardio
Cardio, that one word we all hate, it usually entails 30 minutes at a decent pace on the treadmill, or 5-10 minutes going hell for leather running on a track or something similar. We all hate it, except for the few people who are born with the, what I like to call "cardio gene" But, it has to be done. Not only are there immense health benefits to doing cardio, but it also speeds up your muscle building and fat loss.
Your heart is a muscle too
Believe it or not, your heart is a muscle, and it needs working out just as much as your biceps. Cardio will keep your heart in tip-top shape even in to your elderly years. Some people I know may be swole and lean, but they can't even run a mile, for shame.
It Aids muscle recovery
Cardio pumps blood around your system at a much higher rate dropping off oxygen at your muscles as it's needed. Finish your heavy leg days off with a good workout on the exercise bike(and then go home and foam roll/passive stretch and you'll actually be able to walk up the stairs without wincing in pain the next day!)
It doesn't have to be long!
One of the main excuses I hear people talk about when it comes to cardio is "it takes too long", "I don't have time", etc etc. Well, thanks to a certain genius called Dr Tabata you do have time! All it takes to get in world class shape is 4 minutes!(although it'll be the longest 4 minutes of your life) Dr Tabata created his interval training, dubbed the tabata protocol by studying the effects of 8 intervals of 20 seconds of maximum intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest on elite athletes.
He not only discovered that it increased anaerobic endurance, but also aerobic endurance! And the EPOC (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or "oxygen debt") created by this will ensure your BMR is higher for the rest of the day, cool huh? Not only did he save you 10-30 minutes, he also raised your BMR. I'll leave his address below so you can send him a thank you card.
It gets you high!
When you do cardio, hormones called "endorphins" are released, ever heard of "runners high"? or even felt it? Imagine having that feeling 3 times a week. It feels amazing to return home from a run and collapse on the sofa and watch TV (Rest first, shower later) I earned it. Not only does it make you feel good but it busts stress. Wow cardio makes you go grey slower!
What can't it do!?
Helps you catch them Z's
You sleep better when you've done cardio, there doesn't need to be a study to prove it. Rest and recovery are essential to building muscle and for the people who don't do cardio, have you ever had one of those nights where you can't get to sleep because you've got too much energy? Get on the treadmill for 20 minutes at a decent intensity and you'll be dozing off within 10 minutes of hitting the hay, I guarantee it.
It slows down aging and makes you live longer
This is one for the ladies out there, maintaining good aerobic health now and during the later years can delay severe biological aging by up to 12 years! Also, wouldn't you like to live longer to see your kids grow up more? Is that not worth sacrificing a bit of your time now?
Improves the quality of life
Everybody I know who does regular cardio is just a generally happier person, I experienced it firsthand. I used to always be sighing, complaining about something or just generally miserable, but ever since I became a treadmill warrior after lifting, my mood has lifted and I'm a spunkier person in general!
What have we learned today?
- Do cardio; there are too many advantages to name. You'll thank me in 30 years time.