Cardio Workouts for Bodybuilders

A balanced approach to bodybuilding and fitness in general is important. Weight training and brief, high intensity bursts of exertion are certainly crowd pleasers, but there’s nothing like an integrated cardio regimen to keep body fat levels low and endurance high. Here are some thoughts on reaching cardio nirvana.

Bodybuilders are known for their dramatically cut physiques. Having the endurance to carry that carved body around the track is important, too. So that means that your elliptical machine or treadmill needs to see you at least twice a week. To keep your workout from getting too dull, consider mixing in some distance swimming or running on the track. Anything that gets your heart rate up for 20-30 minutes is great, like beach running, hill sprints, stair climbing, and a perennial favorite: racing up and down the bleachers. These are all good exercises to intersperse with your normal gym routine.

Why is cardio important? Your lungs and heart are challenged by weight training, but not particularly strengthened during the brief and intense exercises. Longer duration periods of activity are critical to maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. That means reaching and sustaining a heart rate of around 140 beats per minute for a twenty-something and around 120 beats per minute for a more mature, but fit individual. These exercises boost your metabolism, causing your body to burn fat cells to keep up with your demand for energy. Studies have shown that cardio can measurably reduce your risk of type II diabetes and heart attack. Plus, you’ll feel great when you stop!

So don’t overlook the less glamorous, but rewarding cardio components of your workout. Whether you’re a bodybuilder or just getting yourself back in shape, you will be healthier with cardio.

p.s. We all know that workouts are more fun with a buddy. You can find a workout buddy at

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