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Cardiovascular adaption and health

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  • Cardiovascular adaption and health

    Hi BBM

    I really love your content and have been running your templates for the last year now. I'm really enjoying using them, although if I'm being honest I haven't been taking the cardio training very seriously, I've often skipped the cardio GPP sessions. I would quite like to change that and am determined to start meeting the current guidelines for cardiovascular training (have done so for the last 2 weeks). I would like to get a better insight into how CV training works and why it improves our health.

    I understand the benefits to resistance training and how the body adapts to it. I can't say the same about CV training. If someone goes running for example; what actually changes in the body and how does that make someone healthier in the long term?

    I assume the main stress on the body during a run, is trying to deliver adequate oxygen to the muscles to maintain that performance. A person is mostly limited by the efficiency of the body's ability to do that. I'm not sure what the body does to improve that delivery system in response to training stress. Are there changes in the lungs (external respiration)? Are there changes to the cardiac muscle; and blood circulation in general? Is there hypertrophy in slow twitch muscle fibres and changes to the nervous system aspect of CV training?

    My other thoughts are then on health and the relationship of CV fitness. I always hear that athletes tend to have a resting HR of approx 60 BPM. Is there a reason why this happens? Is a lower resting HR a sign of health/CV fitness? Is a lower resting HR a sign of better oxygen delivery to all of the tissues in the body?
    Also does the process of doing CV training reduce the effects of atherosclerosis? Can it even reverse it?

    Apologies if this all comes across as nonsense. My own research isn't leading me to anything useful to read. I would appreciate any thoughts on this. I would also appreciate if you can indicate any good reading material on the subject as I'm not having much luck finding any.

    Many thanks


  • #2
    Yes to essentially all of what you listed. There is a lot of material out there on this stuff that is easy to find using basic search terms. All you need to search for is something like "adaptations to endurance exercise" or "adaptations to aerobic exercise" with whatever organ system you are interested in (e.g., cardiac, pulmonary, vascular, skeletal muscle, neurological, etc.)

    For example:
    Aerobic exercise training leads to cardiovascular changes that markedly increase aerobic power and lead to improved endurance performance. The functionally most important adaptation is the improvement in maximal cardiac output which is the result of an enlargement in cardiac dimension, improved cont … (<--the Big Kahuna on exercise)

    There are a number of adaptations in things like cardiopulmonary structure and function, vascular endothelial function, tissue capillarization, mitochondrial biogenesis in the tissues, skeletal muscle structural/functional adaptations, and many others.

    Regarding resting heart rate:

    IG / YT


    • #3
      Thank you for your reply Dr Baraki and thank you for linking those studies, I'll check them out now.