Interval Training, Reserve Capacity, and the Truth About Cardio

Cardio Equipment_Omaha BarbellFor the past few decades we’ve all heard the usual recommendations, that adding up to an hour of cardio a day into your exercise regimen is one of the best ways to strengthen your heart and lungs. Our weightlifting team at Omaha Barbell have come across some information that may shock you if you’re one of those people who have taken this increased cardio recommendation to heart. As it turns out, some recent studies have shown that increasing the amount of cardio in your workouts is unnecessary and can actually be unhealthy for you!

In this post, our strength-training and fitness team at Omaha Barbell will help you wrap your head around these studies and get you on track to maintaining a healthy exercise schedule!

What’s Reserve Capacity?

Simply put, reserve capacity refers to your heart and lungs’ ability to tolerate a sudden increase in stress load. If you think back to our ancestors’ hunting and gathering days, reserve capacity was one of the most important factors in one’s health—if your body wasn’t good at handling those occasional bursts of physical exertion necessary to hunt and catch that wild pig, your family simply wouldn’t eat.

Reserve capacity isn’t just a holdover from ancient times, though. It’s also one of the best indicators of health in our modern world. Heart attacks, for instance, aren’t caused by a lack of endurance. They happen when your heart is suddenly faced with a load that it simply can’t handle!

So what’s the matter with cardio?

It’s our attitude toward cardio that’s the problem. When you think of cardio exercise, you probably think of running or biking, maintaining a steady plateau of exertion over a long period of time. Not only does this kind of exercise NOT build the reserve capacity you really need, but it also leads to a laundry list of other problems.

A recent study of long distance runners showed that their workouts increased their blood levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides substantially, and threw off the natural balance of blood thinners and thickeners, which are both signs of heart distress.

A separate study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found reduced bone mass and an increased risk of osteoporosis in long distance runners.

And as though that weren’t enough, rigorous cardio exercise over a long period of time increases cardiac risk up to seven times!

The solution is interval training

As the #1 gym in Omaha, Omaha Barbell wants you to know that the most effective way to build reserve capacity is through high intensity interval training. Strength training provides a great high intensity workout that engages your fast twitch muscle fibers, which releases human growth hormone (HGH) associated with longevity, increased bone density, accelerated fat loss and lean muscle maintenance. Compared with cardio, strength training at a gym in Omaha burns 9 times more calories after your workout!

Let the #1 Gym in Omaha Help Your Reserve Capacity!

If you’re looking for a gym in Omaha where you can focus on building a healthy strength-training regimen to build up your reserve capacity, then come to Omaha Barbell and check out what we have to offer! We have state-of-the-art equipment that you won’t see at any other commercial gym, and our team has the expertise to help you reach your peak of fitness! Call us any time at (402) 594-4485 to set up an appointment, or just swing by our location at 8935 J Street, Omaha, NE.

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