Should I do cardio? I know, cardio sounds boring. Really boring, and sometimes it is, but here’s the thing: cardio isn't just for fat loss. Cardio can actually help your performance in the gym. Aerobic capacity (essentially your endurance) will come into play whenever you do a set of more than a handful of reps. Lifters have absolutely failed reps because they were too winded and not because their muscles didn’t have the strength.
Don’t let that be you! Doing cardio a few times per week (either low intensity like a jog or something more intense like sprints) is a great way to improve your aerobic capacity. This improved aerobic capacity will allow you to do higher reps sets, and more reps per session overall. More reps mean more practice, more muscle, and more strength!
If that isn’t enough to convince you, let’s talk about the other main benefit of doing cardio: it lets you eat more food. And who doesn't want that? Cardio burns calories and I haven't met anyone who wouldn't want to get away with eating a little more. Doing cardio a few times per week will provide a safe cushion for your lean mass phase.
If you happen to eat a little more than you intended for the week, doing a little additional cardio will help offset this. It might seem trivial but over the period of a one-year lean mass phase, the results can be pretty drastic. The answer is clear: do your damn cardio. DO IT!
- Nigel, Kizen Coach
Who is Nigel?
Nigel is a coach who has been competing in powerlifting since 2012 and started directing meets in 2017. Nigel began working as a personal trainer in 2013, was a part of the Ascendant Athletics team with Omar and Silent Mike from 2015-2016, and has managed the group coaching for Kizen Training since 2017. Through this work and coaching private clients, Nigel has worked with many lifters of all skill levels and from diverse athletic backgrounds. His best lifts in competition are a 661lb/300kg squat in sleeves, a 451lb/205kg bench, and a 639lb/295kg deadlift.
If you haven't already, we recommend checking out our Beginner Program - Free Preview, its a great place to start if you're new to the gym.