Steady State Cardiovascular Training Dead?

Should we get rid of hours of cardio training?

Aerobic Training Shape Up Fitness & Wellness ConsultingOver the past couple of years interval training has become progressively more dominant versus the old habit of spending hours on the treadmill or elliptical!

The short answer is yes and no. Hours of steady state cardio is good for some, bad for others and a waste of time for the third group.

So, what does science have to say?


Science’s approach to cardiovascular training


  • Older clients with stroke and hemiparetic (weakness on one side of the body) gait
  • people with severe left ventricular function can improve their cardiovascular fitness significantly without increasing their morbidity.
  • clearly improve after 6 months of cardiovascular training.
  • cardiovascular training reduces systolic and diastolic blood pressure
  • it significantly increases HDL levels
  • it lower LDL
  • aerobic exercise can have positive effects on protein synthesis in older adults

What is my take on it?


  • If you are training for endurance races regular aerobic exercise in the steady state range is probably a crucial component to your success and should stay a part of your training regimen.
  • If you are looking to lose weight then you might be better of doing some high intensity interval training sessions. They have a bigger bang for the buck. If you have more time you are welcome to add some steady state cardiovascular training but be aware that a lot of it will negatively impact your strength training routine.
  • If you are looking to improve your health markers aerobic trainingis a crucial component, especially in people with already impaired health. Even low intensities seem to have a beneficial effect on health and should not be overlooked.
  • Being physically active is great! Adding a steady state training to your routine could be a good balance to your HIIT training and strength training if you look to improve your general fitness even more

I hope this was helpful,

Have a great day,



Blumenthal, J. A., Emery, C. F., Madden, D. J., George, L. K., Coleman, R. E., Riddle, M. W., … & Williams, R. S. (1989). Cardiovascular and behavioral effects of aerobic exercise training in healthy older men and women. Journal of gerontology, 44(5), M147-M157.

Conn, E. H., Williams, R. S., & Wallace, A. G. (1982). Exercise responses before and after physical conditioning in patients with severely depressed left ventricular function. The American journal of cardiology, 49(2), 296-300.

Cornelissen, V. A., & Fagard, R. H. (2005). Effects of endurance training on blood pressure, blood pressure–regulating mechanisms, and cardiovascular risk factors. Hypertension, 46(4), 667-675.

Macko, R. F., DeSouza, C. A., Tretter, L. D., Silver, K. H., Smith, G. V., Anderson, P. A., … & Dengel, D. R. (1997). Treadmill aerobic exercise training reduces the energy expenditure and cardiovascular demands of hemiparetic gait in chronic stroke patients A preliminary report. Stroke, 28(2), 326-330.

Short, K. R., Vittone, J. L., Bigelow, M. L., Proctor, D. N., & Nair, K. S. (2004). Age and aerobic exercise training effects on whole body and muscle protein metabolism. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism,286(1), E92-E101.

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