Cardio for Powerlifters: A Winning Combination

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So, cardio for powerlifters, huh?

It’s like trying to put peanut butter and jelly together – some people love it, but others can’t wrap their heads around it.

But here’s the thing, cardio and powerlifting can be great friends if you give them a chance.

Think of cardio as the supportive friend who always helps you bounce back after a tough workout and powerlifting as the tough guy who always lifts heavy weights.

See where I’m going with this?

Now, before you start thinking about running for miles and miles, let me tell you that there are different types of cardio exercises that you can do.

You don’t have to run like a hamster on a wheel if you don’t want to. There’s rowing, biking, swimming, and even just a simple walk in the park.

The key is to find what works best for you and your powerlifting goals.

Cardio is an often-debated topic among powerlifters, with some seeing it as essential for overall health and longevity, while others view it as a hindrance to strength and muscle gains.

However, the truth lies somewhere in between. Incorporating cardiovascular exercise into a powerlifting routine can have numerous benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, enhanced recovery, and reduced risk of injury.

In this article, we’ll explore why cardio is important for powerlifters, the different types of cardio exercises, and how to properly incorporate it into your training regimen.

Weightlifting and Cardio

Cardio for Powerlifters: Why It’s Important?

As a powerlifter, your primary focus is likely on building strength and muscle mass through heavy lifting.

However, incorporating cardio into your routine can offer a range of benefits that can enhance your performance and overall health.

Improved Cardiovascular Health

The heart is a muscle, just like any other muscle in the body, and it needs to be exercised to stay strong.

By doing cardio, you’re strengthening your heart and making it more efficient at pumping blood, which can help improve your overall health and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Enhanced Recovery

In addition to improving cardiovascular health, cardio can also play a crucial role in enhancing recovery.

Cardio helps increase blood flow to the muscles, which can help reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery time between workouts.

This is especially important for powerlifters, who engage in intense and heavy lifting sessions that can put a lot of stress on the body.

Reduced Risk of Injury

Finally, incorporating cardio into your powerlifting routine can also help reduce the risk of injury.

Cardio helps increase flexibility and range of motion, which can reduce the risk of muscle strains and sprains.

Additionally, cardio helps improve balance and stability, which can reduce the risk of falls and other accidents during lifting.

By incorporating cardio into your powerlifting routine, you can maximize your performance, improve your overall health, and reduce the risk of injury.

Whether you’re a seasoned powerlifter or just starting out, the benefits of cardio are undeniable and well worth the effort.

Types of Cardio Exercises for Powerlifters

When it comes to incorporating cardio into your powerlifting routine, there are numerous options to choose from.

It’s important to find what works best for you and your goals, so here are some popular types of cardio exercises for powerlifters to consider.

Types of Cardio Exercises for Powerlifters


For those who like a challenge, running is a great option. It’s an intense form of cardio that can help improve cardiovascular health and endurance, making it a great option for powerlifters looking to improve their performance.


Rowing provides a low-impact workout that can help improve cardiovascular health and increased endurance. As a full-body workout, rowing can also help improve overall fitness and muscle tone.


Biking is a popular option for powerlifters, providing a low-impact workout that can help improve cardiovascular health and increase endurance.

Biking is also a great way to explore the great outdoors, making it a fun and diverse option for those who like to mix things up.


Swimming is another great option for powerlifters, offering a low-impact workout that can help improve cardiovascular health and increase endurance. As a full-body workout, swimming can also help improve overall fitness and muscle tone.


For those who are just starting out with cardio or looking for a low-impact option, walking is a great choice.

Walking is a simple and effective way to improve cardiovascular health and can also be a great way to clear your head and get some fresh air.

No matter what type of cardio you choose, incorporating it into your powerlifting routine can bring numerous benefits and help you reach your goals.

Find what works best for you and make it a regular part of your training plan!

How To Incorporate Cardio into Your Powerlifting Routine

One of the most important aspects of any workout routine is incorporating cardio.

As a powerlifter, you may think that cardio is not necessary, but it actually provides numerous benefits that can enhance your overall performance and help reduce the risk of injury.

So, let’s talk about how to incorporate cardio into your powerlifting routine.

Start Slow

If you’re new to cardio, it’s important to start slow and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. This will help you avoid injury and prevent burnout.

Start with moderate intensity and a short duration, and gradually increase both as you get more comfortable with cardio.

This will allow you to build endurance and stamina over time, so you can eventually perform more intense cardio workouts.

Mix it Up!

Don’t be afraid to try different types of cardio exercises. There are numerous options, such as running, rowing, biking, swimming, and walking, so it’s important to find what works best for you and your goals.

Mixing up your cardio routine will help you avoid boredom and keep things fresh and interesting. It will also allow you to target different muscle groups and improve your overall fitness.

Set Realistic Goals

It’s important to set realistic goals for your cardio workouts. Decide on a frequency and duration that works for you, and stick to it.

You may also want to consider setting performance-based goals, such as running a certain distance in a certain amount of time or improving your times in a rowing machine.

Having goals will help you stay motivated and on track and will give you a sense of accomplishment when you reach them.

Integrate Cardio into Your Workout Routine

Integrating cardio into your powerlifting routine is the best way to incorporate it into your workout routine.

Consider doing a warm-up session before you lift weights or doing a cool-down session after you lift.

This will help you get the most out of your cardio workouts and prevent any interference with your weightlifting routine.


Why is cardio important for powerlifters? 

Powerlifting is great for building strength, but don’t forget about the heart! Cardio helps improve cardiovascular health, aids in recovery between heavy lifting sessions, and reduces the risk of injury. Plus, a healthy heart means more pumps for heavy lifts!

What are some good types of cardio for powerlifters? 

There are many options to choose from! Running, rowing, biking, swimming, and walking are all great options that can provide low-impact workouts, improve cardiovascular health, and increase endurance. It’s all about finding what works best for you!

Can too much cardio negatively impact my powerlifting progress? 

Yes, too much of anything can be a bad thing. It’s important to find a balance between strength training and cardio to avoid overtraining and burnout. Remember, balance is key!

Can I still eat donuts and be a powerlifter who does cardio? 

Absolutely! Just like with any exercise program, it’s all about finding a balance between eating healthy and indulging in your favorite treats.

Don’t forget a balanced diet and proper nutrition are key to reaching your powerlifting and fitness goals!

There you have it! Cardio for powerlifters doesn’t have to be boring. Incorporate it into your routine, find what works best for you, and have some fun with it!


In conclusion, incorporating cardio into your powerlifting routine is like adding a secret ingredient to your workout recipe.

Just like the perfect pinch of salt elevates the flavor of a dish, cardio elevates the benefits of powerlifting by improving cardiovascular health, reducing muscle soreness, reducing the risk of injury, and adding some variety to your routine.

So, grab your running shoes, jump on a bike, or hit the pool, and see how cardio can take your powerlifting game to the next level!

Just remember, the key to success is finding what works best for you and having fun with it. Happy lifting and happy cardio-ing!”


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