You’re a dedicated bodybuilder. Always pumped at the idea of lifting weights, but it’s more than that. You believe in vigorous activity, too.
Probably a big part of why you got into bodyweight training.
The kicker is that you enjoy the feel of your muscles transforming. Your mind floods with a healthy outpouring of dopamine, adrenaline, and everything in between.
But here’s the challenge: you now boast a powerful, strong-looking body that’s out of shape.
Most bodybuilders work on building “perfect” muscles. Then stand in front of the mirror, take off their shirts, and smile at their efforts. Sure, you did well.
But you overlooked cardio. Big mistake. Cardio and bodyweight training are two legs of a three-legged stool – you need both. The third leg is the diet.
Cardio Can Improve Endurance
Bodyweight training is a vigorous activity. Fast-paced, highly active, intense workouts. If you lack the needful endurance, you’ll burn out in minutes.
Cardio exercises give you the right amount of endurance to keep up. They enhance your body’s aerobic capacity giving it a much-needed boost to keep up with lifting weights – more reason bodybuilders need to adapt cardio in their workout routine.
Example of cardio exercises:
- Playing soccer
- Walking (brisk)
- Gardening or heavy home clean up
- Aerobic exercises
Remember, muscle building drains energy. Your cardiovascular health can take a hit and even face some challenges along the way.
That’s why short bursts of rest in between sets are essential in weight training. More oxygen flows in your body, which then helps you carry on with your training while feeling more energized.
As a dedicated bodybuilder, this is how you get to perform at peak level in fast-paced, highly active workouts and exercises.
If you want your body gains to sparkle at popular bodybuilding contests, cardio is necessary as much as weightlifting is. That’s the hard, simple truth.
Cardio is Good for Your Heart
Weight training requires massive body energy and physical exertion. In that case, having a strong, healthy heart will tip the scales in your favor.
Cardio training improves and keeps your heart beating stronger, strengthens it even. Allowing for a smooth flow of blood to your vessels. Which then expand to help the lungs supply more clean oxygen to the entire body. Meanwhile, improving the effective elimination of waste from the body.
So, the more you’re engaged in cardio fitness activities, the more your body needs oxygen.
To perform at optimal levels, and ensure that your body can handle vigorous activity. Strive to ensure your heart is super healthy and strong – a fact cardio training easily takes care of powerfully.
Burns Fat to Help You Shred for Competitions
The more you engage in cardio fitness training, the easier your body will shed fat. Consuming a high calorie-rich diet only adds you more weight – a burden that can weigh you down for competitions.
Everyone knows you can shed excess weight through cardio-based exercises, but too many bodybuilders are focused on building as much muscle as humanly possible.
They do this without remembering that their cardiovascular health is equally important to their routine weight training.
For the record, weight training burns less fat than cardio. But the truly potent fat-burning strategy is combining the two.
You often target critical muscle groups, losing excess weight and improving your heart’s health, fast. It’s a great way to burn high amounts of calories at once.
HIIT While Lifting Weights Boosts Metabolism
HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and bodyweight training are the two most echoed magic words in burning fat and for a plentiful of good reasons.
HIIT combines cardio-based workouts that increase and decrease your heart rate, burning more calories and building more muscles.
Meanwhile, vigorous weightlifting strengthens your body muscles – boosting metabolism that helps in fat loss even after you’re done working out.
Too many bodybuilders consume high amounts of protein-rich diets. Having a healthy metabolic rate helps process the excess protein, making the body more efficient at the gym and in fat loss.
Including both exercise routines yields overall great results in terms of burning fats and cardio fitness.
How to Mix Body Weight Training and Cardio Training
For maximum fat loss, you need to create a program that pairs both exercise routines.
Pump up more extra muscles – We burn calories when actually lying down or resting.
In this state, our bodies are said to be in a resting metabolic rate. To allow your body to burn more extra calories at rest, even if a handful, increase your muscles.
Go full-throttle on weights – Make your next weightlifting workouts more vigorous than usual. Lift heavier weights to allow your body to reach levels where doing cardio workouts will be a cakewalk. How do you do this? Increase weights workout to a higher number of repetitions.
Take aerobic classes – Regular and consistent aerobics like walking, swimming, and jogging will burn fat and calories in short bursts of time. You can alternate aerobics exercises with cardio and weightlifting for five days after every seven days.
You can also combine resistance-exercise such as swimming with continuous bodyweight training, you can gain muscle from swimming as you place no stress on bones or joints. Swimming strengthens and works more muscles than other exercises; including triceps, legs, shoulders, back, abs, etc.
Swimming also builds more muscle endurance when you pull and push against the water, and this makes for a more efficient workout which improves muscle growth. But all this is not enough.
You have to lift weights to put on extra muscles and burn fat. Both activities must complement each other to get better results.
If you lack swimming skills, you can enroll in aqua aerobics classes to best engage all muscles used in cardio and bodyweight training.
When you pair swimming with weightlifting, you’ll experience:
Muscle regeneration – Swimming is a perfect way to help regenerate and spur muscle growth, enhancing proper fitness levels. Taking short laps at the pool will help a great deal.
Recovery of Type II muscles – Active, vigorous, fast-paced weightlifting workouts stretches Type II muscles. It strains them. But swimming helps in their smooth recovery.
Works your Type I muscle fibers – Standing, walking, cycling, and other cardio exercises engage Type I muscle fibers a lot. Swimming helps relax these muscles often used for longer periods.
As you enjoy bodyweight training, don’t forget cardio. Combine it with proper diet and regular swimming and bingo! Your body and your health will thank you.
Nikos Vasilellis is the Founder of Nereids Aquatic Coaching and has a passion
and love for aquatic activities which is combined with his care for
helping others. Nereids Aquatic Coaching company helps children and adults to
overcome their fear of water by focusing on their individual
strengths and helping them enjoy safely the aquatic environment.
Nereids team is dedicated to decreasing the percentage of drownings
while motivating students to remain physically active.