Cardio Fitness

Best Cardio For PowerLifters And Strength Athletes

Best Cardio For PowerLifters

To start with, let’s just understand what powerlifters are so that we can further discuss some cardio for powerlifters. Powerlifting is the same as weight lifting but in an intense way. You have to engage in squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. It is not like every other workout but requires a strength workout. However, it takes time for your muscles to gain strength. 

Apart from the cardio we will also discuss balancing powerlifting and cardio so that you know what’s healthy and effective for your body. Moreover, it is essential to know the best cardio for fat loss and muscle gain mass because powerlifting leads to a gain in your muscles. 

Best Cardio For PowerLiftersWhat Is Cardio Exercise

What Is Cardio Exercise? For everybody who thinks that every exercise is cardio, let me correct you. Cardio is every such exercise that raises your heartbeat. It takes it to a certain rate where your body loses more fat and calories. Activities such as swimming, cycling, running, or even brisk walking tend to intensify your heartbeat which leads to more fat burning in your body. These are one of the best forms of cardio for weightlifters considering how it benefits you and allows you to enjoy the process. 

Benefits Of Cardio

Benefits Of Cardio

  • Makes Losing Weight Easy: If you are wondering how then just remember that when cardio increases your heart rate your body automatically burns more calories and you sweat more. 
  • Reduces Stress: The best cardio at gym makes you relax and forget about the daily tensions of life. You start viewing everything in a positive way.  
  • Reduces Depression: You stop analyzing everything with anxiety because after powerlifting cardio you start enjoying life actively. 
  • Enhances Self-Love: When you see a difference in your body you automatically grow more confident in your looks. Also, people around you feel motivated too. 
  • Increases Heart Rate: This leads to more circulation of blood and fresher skin. Your heart does not have to make much effort in pumping blood. 
  • Good For Lungs: It increases the amount of air your lungs can hold, so healthy lungs lead to a healthy life. 

Should PowerLifters Do Cardio

Should PowerLifters Do Cardio The main objective behind powerlifting is to strengthen or make your body stronger. Considering this, all types of cardio are not HIIT for powerlifters. But, it is all about finding the right cardio and adding it to your regime. When you do cardio you are left with less energy, which means you would not have much left to lift. Therefore, your goal while doing powerlifting before and after cardio should be to maintain your energy during the cardio by reducing its effects.  

There is some cardio for Olympic weightlifters like sprinting. Sprinting doesn’t require a lot of energy. However, you must make sure to rest in between to avoid overpowering yourself. You are not supposed to have low and slow cardio in your routine but you can look for some other cardio activities which leave you with enough energy to power lift 

When Should PowerLifters Do Cardio

When Should PowerLifters Do Cardio?Powerlifting is not at all like regular weightlifting. Regular weight lifting focuses on muscle gain and improving the physique but the goal when you do powerlifting is to make your body stronger. Some good cardio workouts help you achieve your goal without trouble in the future. 

Now if we take a week of your training as an example. The best conditioning for powerlifters is to lift on days 1 and 2 then rest on day 3. Similarly lifting on days 4 and 5 then resting on days 6. Nowadays, you are assigned to rest and you will do your cardio training. Now the best to choose is sprinting which will keep your muscle response fast and will even be nice to the energy getting out of your body. However, day 7 will be a total break day where you just rest and give your body time to heal from a tiring week. Powerlifters must avoid any kind of overworking because this will take away their energy to lift on any of the days. If you do cardio twice a week, it is enough for you to save energy for the other days of your week including the prevention of the risk of injury.  

Is Cardio Good After Powerlifting

Is Cardio Good After Powerlifting Now if we take a week of your training as an example. The best conditioning for powerlifters is to lift on days 1 and 2 then rest on day 3. Similarly lifting on days 4 and 5 then resting on day 6. It depends on what you are willing to achieve out of it. Now if your goal is tolerance and for cardio to supplement weight gain training then you should do it before your powerlifting. But if you have the goal to burn more calories and fat or to get stronger then you should do cardio after powerlifting. You must try balancing powerlifting and cardio. 

  • You Will Have More Energy: In addition to it, if you do powerlifting first and then cardio you will save yourself energy. You would not be tired when you do powerlifting but rather be filled with energy to lift and then you can even enjoy your cardio. Cardio is tiring so you can rest properly, but if you do cardio first you won’t be able to lift properly and just waste time trying. Running on a treadmill or cycling takes up your energy to do anything later. A tired body is even less focused on what they are doing considering a lazy mind after such intense work. A tired mind impairs your logical ability to do something. 
  • Easier For You To Do More Powerlifting: Moreover, if you are fresh you will be able to lift more weights. Now just imagine if you sprint before your workout how would you be able to lift huge weights without trouble? It is on you to decide to either break your cardio and powerlifting into separate days or to prioritize powerlifting before you get started with cardio. 
  • You Will Be Prepared To Gain And Build More Muscle: As we discussed earlier, powerlifting is getting stronger so building more muscles refers to the strength of the muscles. Your body has certain enzymes that help you perform these activities now when you start with powerlifting the enzymes can work better because they would be fresh then. However, if you do the cardio first you would not be able to take help from the enzymes. 

However, out of all the three points discussed above, the first two play a vital role in helping you power lift.  

10 Cardio Exercises For Powerlifters

10 Cardio Exercises For Powerlifters Choosing which approach of cardio to take depends on what your aim is to get out of your practice.  

  1. Rowing: Rowing for powerlifters is a great option because it gets your heart rate up quickly. But, you need the best rowing machine for it which focuses more on your upper body. Do it for 10 to 15 minutes and take a break. 
  2. Brisk Walking: Try wearing a powerlifters band which helps you track your heart rate and maintain the same pace throughout. It is a low-intensity workout that can be done anywhere. Move around for 30 to 60 minutes. 
  3. Running: All you need is a pair of shoes and you can run anywhere. Run for 3 to 5 km and take a break to relax your muscles. This might leave your legs sore but it helps you achieve your goal faster. 
  4. Cycling: It is quite an enjoyable activity and is slightly less tiring than other activities because you get to stay seated. You can speed cycle for 20 minutes and take a break. 
  5. Circuit Training: This is a group of lightweight workouts which are fun. It doesn’t really tire you much but you have to be careful to avoid any injuries. You can choose around 3 exercises and enjoy them for 20 to 30 minutes repeating each after a round. 
  6. Stair Climbing: You can use the climber machine but it is quite tough on the knees so be nice to the body. Do it for just 20 minutes straight. 
  7. Air Bike: The best spin bike workout focuses on both the upper and lower body. It might be hard to find in all gyms but is great for high-intensity training. You can do it for 10 to 15 minutes.  
  8. Swimming: It doesn’t really have a strong impact on your joints and all you need is a pool to work on your whole body. You can do it for 30 to 40 minutes. 
  9. Sled Pushes: You just have to load a pusher with weights and it targets your whole body’s movement. However, it might be hard to do over a long period of time so just be kind to your body. Push it for 20 m and take a 1-minute break to rest. 
  10. Elliptical: The best elliptical with incline is a great choice for low-intensity cardio and is quite good on the joints. You can do it for around 20 to 30 minutes and find your heart racing.


Frequently Asked Questions

Powerlifters should not participate in marathon runs but sprinting is a nice exercise for them to include in their routine. However, most of the 12 week powerlifting cycles include cardio as a part of its routine.
Powerlifters do not work on their tolerance. They do not need lots of cardio in their program.  A 20 to 40 minutes session twice or thrice a week is more than enough for them. 
For powerlifters a 2 or 3 sessions per week is enough, but they should just keep a heart rate monitoring band to know when to stop. Their goal is not to shred fat but to get stronger.


Cardio for powerlifting is easier for you to follow. Cardio is an amazing form of exercise but many powerlifters avoid doing it. But, once you understand how to maintain powerlifting cardio it gets easier for you to follow. Stay away from injuries and do what you enjoy. Just remember your main goal is to get stronger while lifting and doing cardio. After reading this handy guide, You understand do powerlifters do cardio?& best cardio for powerlifters. 

About the author

Amelia Robert

My name is Amelia Robert, and I am the co-founder and author of the website For the past seven years, I’ve been a certified personal trainer. I am really passionate about assisting women and men in achieving sustainability and happiness in their lifestyles, all while making progress in their own fitness journeys! My goal is to deliver the most accurate information in a way that motivates you to take an active role in your health and fitness journey.

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