Written by David Polisky
The importance of including ‘cardio’ in a well-developed training program does NOT necessarily mean that you should expect to spend half an hour, or really any time, on the treadmill or running trail. There are plenty of benefits to running, but there are much better movements that will help increase your overall cardiovascular health, and in much less time (which is especially important if you’re strapped for time). Also, running can be detrimental to helping preserve lean muscle mass gains, which I don’t have to tell any of you can be very frustrating.
Movements like kettlebell swings and rowing have been proven to be just as, if not more effective when introduced into training programs (especially at the correct times). Typically, cardio exercise doesn’t build muscle as effectively as resistance training, so why not include some exercises that actually help promote lean muscle gain by tapping into the benefits of both forms? Probably the greatest thing about kettlebell swings and rowing is that they lack any real impact to your joints, which is not true about running.
Also, you can easily quantitatively measure your efforts during the shorter intervals of rowing or kettlebell swings, whereas it can be difficult to measure your performance while you’re in the middle of a run. And both movements help you develop more power and stamina by engaging the whole body at once, which makes them ideal choices to help build strength and stay lean at the same time.
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