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When Powerlifting – What Cardio To Do & When

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Bodybuilders happen to ask this question frequently- is it good to include cardio when you have a powerlifting routine? The main concern is that of overtraining. What the others have to say is always relative and the real answer is hard to find.

You may be hearing that cardio is not accepted in this situation. Some suggest that the best way is to do cardio on the days you don’t powerlift. It all depends on what your goals are, on the muscle and fat ratio and on the diet you’re on.

Cardio Sessions and Powerlifting

A powerlifter’s body has special demands. Whatever he adds to his routine must be well thought out. Cardio sessions cannot be random. These need to be added in an appropriate way. It also matter what kind of cardio you do, as the term is a broad one – it means aerobic training (cardiac development) that can go from low to moderate to high intensity. The length of such exercise is between 20 and 45 minutes. Its intensity must be of at least 70% of the athlete’s maximum heart rate.

We may conclude that intensity and duration are the parameters that count here. It doesn’t really matter how you get your cardio training – it could be by running, by using a treadmill, a stationary bike, an elliptical, stepper or other piece of equipment. Bodybuilders who included cardiac development work (cardio) noticed important changes in the way they handled their regular training. They had an increased ability to handle intense and prolonged exercise.

Benefits of Cardio during Powerlifting

The benefits of cardio when powerlifting are as follows:

  • It improves recovery times during training sessions, boosts immunity, and helps improve strength
  • Lets you more work during a workout, reduced body fat
  • Gives more energy for deadlifts and decreases cortisol production

You usually hear lifters complain about how heavy their sessions are and how exhausted they become. With adequate cardio, they get to stop complaining.

We’ve already mention that the recommended duration for this kind of training is of 20 to 45 minutes. How often does one have to do this, though? Make room for 2 or 3 weekly sessions in your schedule and you’ll be fine. A heart rate monitor will help you monitor your effort and keep you in the optimal range. You don’t have to be too hard on yourself if you are a powerlifter.

The Best Types of Cardio

As for the most appropriate types of exercise, the suggestions are:

  • Walking on a flat or inclined treadmill, walking with weights, using a stepper, a bike or an elliptical. Rest each time you are going too hard
  • You may also do the farmer’s walk, front squat walks, lower and upper body sled dragging, as well as overhead dumbbell exercises

Many bodybuilders have discovered what works best for them through trial and error, as there is no fixed method. When a competition is approaching, you will have to shorten the time you spend doing cardio. Limit it to 20 minutes and to one session a week, including only standard exercises. Make the changes gradual as the meet date approaches.

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