T Nation

Does Steady-State Cardio Affect Your Strength?


Interesting arguments presented here:




good post and good link.

I think most people buy into styles or systems of training too much-
not that that is inherently bad - but people forget the benefits outweigh the
'damage' that staples like cardio do for your health.
let alone your performance.



Not to say that Coach Sommer is wrong, since I personally don't think steady state cardio is a killer and I really respect some of the articles he's written. However, I do think that particular example is flawed. The rings are a heavily upper body intensive exercise. Whereas running really isn't. Strength loss from running wouldn't manifest in rings or even most gymnastics events. Larger legs would probably be considered a detriment as they would make leverage more difficult. I know doing front and back levers for me have become a lot more difficult as I've added lower body mass.

A better question and more concrete example would be how much steady state running are the Chinese olympic lifters doing.

Anyway, my perspective on steady state cardio and combat athletes is that pretty much all great fighters put in road work. I'm going to assume if it was hurting their performance, someone would've figured it out by now.


Chinese O-lifters run too, not sure what volumes though.


I think it comes down to correctly programming it as well as recovery methods, like he touched on.


Muhammed Ali was known to do a lot of long distance running and was very quick on his feet.
Roy Jones Jr. as well used to run like 5 miles a day and his speed and pound-for-pound power was phenomenal.
Rocky Marciano was extremely powerful puncher at only 185 lb. and his training routine included tons of long distance running and high repetition callistenics.

It seems that moderate (compared to long distance runners) amount of steady state cardio doesnt affect power/strenght.