Lifting and cardio provide benefits

Athletes work to balance exercises, workouts


Strength coach Jessica Gust uses freshman Sam Thyne to demonstrate how to spot someone while bench pressing Feb. 27. This week students had fitness testing to track their progress.

When evaluating the advantages of weight lifting and cardio, sophomore Aaron Sledge said both exercises play crucial roles in being a well-rounded athlete.

Strength and conditioning coach Jessica Gust said the answer to which exercise is better remains unknown.

“It depends on what your goals are. (Cardio and weight lifting are) both hugely important for proper health,” Gust said. “There’s no magic answer, it’s different for everybody.”

Gust said cardio and training plans are tailored to the specific sport the student plays.

“The goal of cardio is to train your cardiovascular system, so your heart, your circulatory system and your lungs, to be able to properly circulate oxygen through your body,” Gust said.

Sledge said the benefits of cardio include endurance.

“A person who performs averagely in their sport the entire game will definitely play over the person who plays above average for a little bit and then below average for most of the game because they have no endurance,” Sledge said.

Gust said strength training contributes as well.

“Strength training is absolutely critical for developing muscle mass, changing metabolism (and) maintaining balance or adjusting imbalance,” Gust said.

Gust said training cardio and strength contribute to effective progress in athletes.

“If you’re an athlete you’re going to be spending a fair amount of your time training if you want to be good,” Gust said.