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Does Weightlifting Improve Cardio?

Does Weightlifting Improve Cardio?

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Do you feel like your cardiovascular health could be better? You've avidly watched your diet, kept up with regular aerobic activity, and taken the stairs. But is there more to improving your cardio than just those things? Recent studies have shown that weightlifting can help support a healthy heart and improve overall cardiovascular health. Read on to find out why.

Benefits of Weightlifting for Cardio

Working out with weights is a bonus for your cardio workout routine as it builds your body’s strength and muscles. In addition, weightlifting has been proven to help improve cardiovascular health because it increases muscle endurance and heart rate. This can increase fat-burning efficiency and enhance breathing during intense physical activities. Moreover, strengthening muscles in your legs, chest, and arms can help prevent injuries while improving overall athletic performance. 

With all these benefits, weightlifting provides a great source of health promotion and may even work to lower cholesterol levels, allowing you to achieve cardio success. So if you're looking to get maximum results from your cardio workouts, consider incorporating some light weightlifting into your routine.

How Weightlifting Can Improve Your Lung Capacity

Weightlifting can be a great way to improve your lung capacity, increase your muscle strength, and also gain better oxygen utilization. Technically, when your lung capacity increases, oxygen travels more quickly and efficiently throughout the body to fuel muscle movement. Improved lung capacity also boosts your endurance when performing exercises such as running or swimming.

Additionally, weightlifting can help reduce the risk of developing pulmonary diseases like emphysema by reducing inflammation and clearing out dust particles from the body.

The Types of Weightlifting Exercises That Work Best

Most people perform different weightlifting exercises to achieve optimal health. However, for a more appealing outcome, consider focusing on exercises such as squats, deadlifts, lunges, and chest presses that work multiple body parts at once and increase the overall cardiovascular activity involved in the exercise.

Additionally, exercises such as pulldowns, shoulder presses, and abdominal curls are excellent for pumping the heart and adding strength to your core muscles. Remember to maximize the effectiveness of each exercise by focusing on proper form while exercising. It’s important not to sacrifice form for heavier weights as it can significantly decrease the effectiveness of any workout.


To perform squats:

  • Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, and your toes slightly pointed outwards.
  • Keeping your chest up and back straight, lower yourself into a squat position by pushing your hips back and bending at the knees until they reach a 90-degree angle. 
  • Keep your head up and ensure you’re not leaning forward as you come down. 
  • As you come up from the squat, push through your heels as you extend your legs until you’re standing upright again.

It’s important to note that squats work best in multiple sets of 8-12 repetitions for 1-3 sets total. When doing heavier squats or weighted squats, it’s best to start light, gradually increasing the amount of weight as you progress to prevent injury.


Another excellent exercise for improving your heart health is deadlifts. 

  • To begin, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and position a barbell (or dumbbell) in front of you with an overhand grip. 
  • With your back straight, bend at the hips and knees while keeping the weight close to your body as you lower down until it almost touches the floor.
  • Drive through your heels to lift the weight until you reach a standing position again, squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement. 

Deadlifts are best performed in multiple sets between 8-12 repetitions for 1-3 sets total. When doing these exercises, keep a safe posture and focus on a proper form, which will help maximize effectiveness and prevent injury.

Chest Press (Bench)

The chest press is another excellent exercise for improving your lung capacity. To perform this exercise: 

  • Lie on a flat bench and hold a barbell (or dumbbell) with an overhand grip above your chest. 
  • Ensure the weight is evenly distributed between both hands, and keep your elbows tucked in to avoid strain on the shoulders.
  • Lower the weight slowly until it almost touches your chest, pause for a moment, and drive through your triceps as you push it up towards the ceiling again. 

Chest press exercises are best performed in multiple sets of 8-12 repetitions for 1-3 sets total. However, make sure not to sacrifice form while lifting heavier weights, as it can decrease the effectiveness and increase the risk of injury.

Weightlifting is a fantastic way to strengthen your heart and lungs while building muscle and improving overall health. Consider adding these exercises into your routine to enjoy the benefits of weightlifting.

Nutritional Guidelines for Strength Training Endurance

Training for strength and endurance is a challenging and meaningful journey, but it can be made easier by following key nutritional guidelines. Eating the right foods plays a significant part in boosting energy levels during your workouts. For example, eating healthy carbs such as oatmeal and whole-grain bread before intense workouts is important to increase glycogen stores throughout each rep.

Aim to take in 0.8 g of protein per kg of body weight daily. If you are unsure of your daily protein intake, consider using an intake calculator to assess your intake levels accurately. In addition, make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day and include sources of healthy fats such as nuts and avocados. 

Ultimately, eating well-balanced meals that are nutrient-dense will provide you with the fuel needed for strength training endurance.

Safety Tips When Lifting Weights

Weight training is a hugely popular form of workout activity, but as with any exercise, safety should always be a top priority. Taking the necessary precautions when lifting weights can help ensure your session remains safe and enjoyable.

  • Consider keeping your core engaged at all times. This will help to protect your back from strain. It’s also vital to use proper form for a great workout and for the prevention of injury.
  • Always check that weights are correctly stored after you've finished with them. Leaving weights in precarious positions could cause risk to yourself or others.
  • Don’t forget the importance of staying hydrated before, during, and after your weights session.
  • Don’t forget to stretch before and after your session too. This will help prevent cramps or strains.
  • Most importantly, don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel overwhelmed at any point during the session. Your safety should always come first.


Weightlifting is an incredibly rewarding exercise that can help you gain strength and endurance while improving your overall health. When done right, it can be a great way to reach your fitness goals safely and efficiently.

Following the tips above, you can ensure that each session is enjoyable, effective, and safe. Remember to keep a proper form, follow nutritional guidelines for optimal performance, and take all necessary precautions when lifting weights. With the right mindset and approach, weightlifting will soon become integral to your journey toward achieving the best version of yourself!

About the Author

Kenny Spencer was born in California in the early 1980's. He has extensive experience as a personal trainer and does freelance work specializing in fitness and wellness. He's dedicated now to reaching as many people as he can by sharing his experience and contributing to a healthier lifestyle.