Strength Train for a Healthier Heart

By Kyler Crouse, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist | Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Can a short, four-minute workout be as effective as 30 minutes of cardio? While it may sound too good to be true, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, you’ll be happy to hear it’s true. 

Researchers tested traditional treadmill cardio against a fast-paced bodyweight workout, and while improvements in cardiovascular fitness were produced by both, whole-body resistance training presented an added benefit of improved muscle endurance. Meaning fast-paced bodyweight training can improve cardiovascular fitness just as well as running on a treadmill, plus it also provides improvements in muscle endurance. 

The training method, Peripheral Heart Action Training, is similar to circuit training. It keeps you moving from one exercise to another with minimal to no rest between exercises, while focusing on alternating, non-competing exercises. 

For example, start a strength circuit with a squat followed by an overhead press, then move immediately into a plank. The heart must push the blood from the lower body, to the upper body, and finally into the core. This systematic exercise selection increases the demands on your cardiovascular system, while also challenging more muscle groups than traditional cardiovascular exercise.

This style of strength training has become the preferred method for athletes, as the bodyweight workout is more dynamic and enjoyable, so on average, they continue the training program longer than treadmill running alone. 

Total body movements should be the foundation for any fitness program, whether the goal is fat loss, athletic improvement or gaining size and strength. While traditional cardiovascular exercise can provide many benefits, you can improve aerobic fitness and save time with resistance training exercises.

To meet with the author and get started on an exercise program that fits your needs, visit or call (530) 600-1976.


About the Author Kyler Crouse, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Kyler Crouse is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Titleist Certified Performance Coach.