Numerous studies have shown that training cardio regularly can improve digestion, sleep, strengthen the bones, heart, and lungs, make you more energized and improve your circulation. Cardio can also help you eliminate the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles.
It is the buildup of lactic acid that triggers the burn you feel in your muscles after performing a hard set with high reps. It slows down recovery time and can lead to significant muscle soreness. If you train cardio regularly you will greatly improve circulation and the oxidation of toxic substances, thus eliminating the post-workout lactic acid buildup from your body a lot faster.
Taking into consideration all the benefits cardio provides, from increasing energy levels to increasing the body’s ability for better nutrient utilization and the elimination of toxins, it becomes quite evident that moderate levels of cardio combined with lifting weights will greatly speed up muscle growth.
Here’s a list of some basic rules to follow when training cardio:
1. Do cardio for at least twenty minutes three times a week.
2. Train in your “target heart rate zone”. To find out where that zone is, subtract your age from 220 and you get your maximum heart rate. Afterward, multiply that number by 0.65 and you’ll get the “lower target heart rate level” or multiply by 0.8 to get the “upper target heart rate level”.
3. You can also make it easier for yourself by wearing a heart rate monitor on your wrist, just like wearing a watch. This will give you a precise number and you’ll know exactly if you’re working at the correct intensity level. These heart rate monitors can be purchased at almost any department store in the sports section.
4. Pick a type of cardio that you actually enjoy. Not one type is better than the other. There’s no such thing as the best cardio exercise, it’s all the same, it makes absolutely no difference what form of cardio you use. What matters is how intensely you do it. The body will expend the same number of calories when exercising at a specific heart rate regardless of whether you ride an exercise bike, hike through the woods or use the stair master. There’s no difference in terms of getting training results.