top of page

Does Weightlifting Improve Cardiovascular Health?

Many people talk about how much they don’t like cardio. But what if you just haven’t found the right type of cardio that fits your interest? Here at Made 2 Move Summerville we are passionate about finding what you enjoy and tailoring your physical therapy, exercise, and training to match your interests; otherwise your exercise routine will not be sustainable.

Weightlifting is one of Made 2 Moves favorite ways to MOVE, and we love it so much we even have our own strength club! Many people interested in joining the Made 2 Move Strength Club often follow up with the question, “But what about cardio?”

Great question! We find it is very important to hone in on your goals when determining what exercise plan to choose. If improving your cardiovascular health is the only priority, then you'll probably be best off with finding a plan that is in line with that goal. However, that does not mean that weightlifting cannot yield some benefit to cardiovascular fitness.

In a previous blog on cardio, we highlighted that, “The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) defines aerobic exercise as any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously and is rhythmic in nature” (Patel et. al 2017). So how can we make weightlifting fulfill this definition? Below are some training strategies to help kill two birds: cardio and weightlifting, with one stone.

How can Weightlifting also be Cardio?

  • Limit rest time

  • When trying to blend weightlifting and cardio, it's important to limit the rest time in between sets so that you can keep your heart rate and breathing elevated. Try using lower weight + higher reps + less rest time, and your strength sessions will double as cardio.