BY Paudie O’Donovan
I’M regularly asked if strength training is more important than cardio.
In my opinion strength training is equally as important as cardio. One bounces off the other really!
You need good strength in your muscles for your cardio system to function efficiently and vice versa – you need a good cardio system to pump blood around your body.
Now don’t be fooled into thinking your cardio system is all about your heart. It’s basically a system of organs that pumps blood around your body which includes your cardiovascular system, that’s your heart, lungs and blood vessels.
So when you activate your cardio system it means rising your heartrate by fast walking, jogging, cycling or running. Something that gets your heart rate (HR) way up. When your HR is up then this is your cardio training. A more modern name for working your cardio system is conditioning. Some coaches called it conditioning hence the two words you heard so often: strength and conditioning.
But you need a balance of both to really be on top of your game. What I advise is strengthening one day and conditioning the next. Some clubs do both together and then take a day off. See what works for you.
We’re all unique and adapt to different types of training. As I get older I do mine on alternate days. I’m lucky I have time to train and usually get it done in the mornings. I cycle Monday, Wednesday and Saturday (this is my cardio) and I gym on Tuesday and Thursday to gain strength in muscle groups that are specifically used in cycling. Cycling is my thing. GAA or golf might be your thing. Do weights to suit your sport. I then rest Friday and Sunday and maybe do a slow walk with my dog as a recovery day.