“Cardio” is short for cardiovascular.  The cardiovascular system consists of the heart and blood vessels (arteries, veins and capillaries) and is responsible for circulating blood.  It delivers oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and carries waste products to the organs responsible for elimination. 

Many people believe that you must perform “aerobic activity” to work your “cardiovascular system”.  This is NOT TRUE!

Aerobic activity can be running, using the elliptical or Stairmaster machine, bicycling, etc.  However, when you strength train properly and effectively by hitting a deep muscular fatigue, this is also “cardio”. 

The SuperSlow method has many positive benefits on your cardiovascular system by pushing your muscles to complete exhaustion and increasing your heart rate and breathing to condition your cardiovascular system.  Muscle fatigue must be met to achieve cardio benefits, so the intensity must be high.  Research has shown that:

The greater the intensity = the greater the blood flow = positive “cardio” effects.

“Remember that the purpose of the cardiovascular system is to supply certain nutrients that are needed by the muscles and to help remove the by-products of the consumption and utilization of these nutrients.  Cardiovascular health is often confused with aerobic conditioning, the latter of which is always specific to a particular activity, such as running or stationary cycling.  Cardiovascular health, by contrast, equates to the ability of the heart, lungs, and bloodstream to supply whatever the muscles need.  According to an abundance of studies, the cardiovascular system receives tremendous stimulation and benefit from resistance exercise.”

-Dr. Doug McGuff, exercise scientist, author of Body by Science.