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May 30, 2023

205 – How to Best Integrate Cardio Into Your Strength Training

205 - How to Best Integrate Cardio Into Your Strength Training with Annie Miller

Gone are the days of thinking strength makes you slow and endurance training kills your strength gains. YOU CAN HAVE BOTH. And there are three ways in my opinion. Keep in mind this is with strength training as the focus. That’s important to note for context purposes.

How to Best Incorporate Cardio into Your Strength Training:

If butted up to training, after training

This will NOT kill your gains. Worry not. You’ll actually like get the plus side of the accumulation affect. Try doing your scheduled cardio before your lift, and then after your lift. You may find that you don’t have to work at the same intensity to get the same cardiac and respiratory response when the cardio is done post-lift. That’s the accumulation effect at work.

If this is unappealing to you and you really want to give your cardio 110% then see option two.

Completely separate from your training.

This is my personal preference and this truly does come down to preference and time availability. Not everyone an do this, but if you can, it allows you to focus ONLY on your conditioning and ONLY on your lifting. If training four days per week, do your cardio on two non-lifting days for example.

If you want more of an “athletic” or “crossfit” feel and are seeking TRUE integration, see option three.

In a fatigue based post-workout metcon/circuit style conditioning.

This would look like a timed, distance or calorie based cardio machine – ie, bike, treadmill or run, rowing etc, paired with exercises that make sense for that day of training. So if doing at the end of bench day, maybe you’re doing rowing, followed by plank shoulder taps and reverse flies or banded tricep extensions. 

These exercises are not ones that require high focus, CNS demand and can be performed quickly, or for time without high risk of injury.

You can certainly integrate cardio into your training in more ways than these. But in order to get the most out of both, these are what I suggest.

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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