T Nation

How Do They Do It?

I keep reading that cardiovascular fitness and building muscle are two mutually exclusive goals. Yet there are plenty of athletes that have lots of cardiovascular endurance that are built like tanks. (football players, wrestlers) Which leads into my question and the title of my thread: How do they do it?

Football players arent endurance athletes.

Want to look and perform like a football player? Eat and train like one.

Cardiovascular fitness and excelling at endurance sports are not one in the same. An athlete can be big and ripped and have great cardio health, but not have great endurance by traditional measures (i.e. who can run the furthest).

Endurance is a vague term, which is relevant to the intensity of the exercise performed. Which athlete has better endurance: the athlete who can run a marathon in 4 hours (intensity is very low) or the olympic wrestler who can go all out for 9 minutes (intensity is very high)?

Endurance athletes die of heart attacks just as much as other types of athletes, obviously, fat and out of shape athletes excluded.

They’re not mutually exclusive. It isn’t optimal to train your cardiovascular system when you want to purely build muscle. In the same way, it isn’t optimum to be trying hard to build heaps of muscle when all you want to do is be able to run for a very long time.

Different sports demand a different compromise of these qualities from the athelete. That’s all it is, a compromise.

-Cloth

Long period of “cardio” can be quite catabolic. This is probably where the idea of “mutually exclusive” is coming from.

So, these big guys are probably not doing a lot of repeated long sessions of “cardio”. However, that doesn’t explain how to get big…

Right, probably not lots of long distance running. But probably a truckload of windsprints, running plays, agility work, field work and stair sprints.

And lots and lots and lots of food and iron.

But is it possible to get the benefits of aerobic training (low intensity long distance running) using anaerobic exercises (sprinting)?

[quote]Sliver wrote:
But is it possible to get the benefits of aerobic training (low intensity long distance running) using anaerobic exercises (sprinting)?[/quote]

What are the “benefits” of long distance running other than simply being able to run long distances? Your questions imply that you think being able to run for very long periods of time makes you more healthy “cardiovascularly”. It doesn’t. It simply means you can run for long periods of time. Marathon runners are not “healthier” than sprinters or even people who don’t run much at all.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
What are the “benefits” of long distance running other than simply being able to run long distances? Your questions imply that you think being able to run for very long periods of time makes you more healthy “cardiovascularly”. It doesn’t. It simply means you can run for long periods of time. Marathon runners are not “healthier” than sprinters or even people who don’t run much at all.[/quote]

Exactly, for example, short distance sprinters are some of the ‘fitest’ people on the planet and they avoid long distance running like the plague.

[quote]unearth wrote:
Professor X wrote:
What are the “benefits” of long distance running other than simply being able to run long distances? Your questions imply that you think being able to run for very long periods of time makes you more healthy “cardiovascularly”. It doesn’t. It simply means you can run for long periods of time. Marathon runners are not “healthier” than sprinters or even people who don’t run much at all.

Exactly, for example, short distance sprinters are some of the ‘fitest’ people on the planet and they avoid long distance running like the plague.[/quote]

Marathon runners are also more likely to develop one of a number of stress related diseases compared to other “casual” athletes.

By stress related disease the author means cancer and heart disease etc. his relation regards the elevated levels of time spent under stress and in sympathetic nervous system dominance. he also talk about elevated blood levels of cortisol etc.

Interestingly enough all professional level athletes suffer equal opportunity to develop StrRelDisease.

If i find the article in the uni ResDataBase I will post it. great panel studys are hard to find.

Good cardio health can be done using muscle building methods such as sprints and circuit work etc.

-chris