From Pumping Iron to Pumping Blood: The Benefits of Strength Training for Your Heart

Our health and longevity can be measured by the state of our hearts – especially when we are at rest. Resting heart rate (RHR) is a valuable indicator that provides insight into how efficiently our cardiac muscle works. With regular strength training, we can reduce this baseline number while strengthening and improving long-term cardiovascular performance!

What is RHR?

RHR, or resting heart rate, is the number of times your heart beats per minute while you are at rest. Keeping your RHR low plays an important role in increasing longevity and optimizing performance. While the average RHR for adults is around 60 BPM, or beats per minute, elite athletes have much lower rates- often as low as 40 BPM! However, don’t worry about comparing yourself to others. Just use this metric as a way to measure and track your personal progress over time. With advanced wearable technology available today or by simply manually checking your pulse at home – it’s easier than ever before keep tabs on our heart health through monitoring RHR wherever we go!

One of Stark's coaches gently corrects a student’s form on dumbbell lunges to keep them safe

How Training Can Improve Your RHR

Whether you’re a fitness veteran or just starting out, the gym is your battlefield and aerobic and strength training are your strongest weapons. To maximize results from aerobics, work within 60-80% of your maximum heart rate to achieve higher SV, or stroke volume, so that more blood can be pumped out with each beat for sharper cardiovascular health. Use the “talk test” if necessary – as long as you can talk through it without stopping mid-sentence, making sure to tailor this range depending on individual body type and resources at hand like custom zones provided by wearable devices!

man resting on block

Another way strength training can be a powerful tool to improve your RHR is that it allows you to increase your muscle mass. Building lean mass not only helps nourish muscles with nutrient-rich blood, but it also reduces blood sugar while decreasing resting heart rate and creating more robustness within the heart.

To really maximize the benefits of your workout and stay healthy, taking time to recover between sets is key. During recovery, it’s important to monitor one-minute intervals of deep breathing which will help lower your heart rate more effectively than caffeinated pre-workouts that can keep you in a state called sympathetic stress. Having an elevated heart rate for too long has been linked with serious health risks such as cancer, diabetes, and even sudden death – so don’t forget this crucial step on your fitness journey!

Other Ways to Improve Your RHR

Taking proactive steps like exercising regularly and managing stress levels can drastically affect our Resting Heart Rate (RHR). If allowed unchecked, a heightened sympathetic nervous system response – the body’s “fight-or-flight” mode – will lead to disruptions of hormones and other indicators such as HRV or blood pressure. To stay healthy for longer, it is essential that we manage stress carefully so that both the mind and body are functioning optimally.

Looking after your heart is paramount for living a long, healthy life – and what better way to do that than by combining regular aerobic workouts with strength training? Not only will you reduce your stress levels and see an improvement in overall well-being but it’ll also make your cardiac muscles more resilient. So let’s get going on the path towards physical fitness – we will see you in the gym!

people lay on the floor and practice breathing patterns for meditation