In this video I’m going to show you how to avoid a huge mistake with your cardio training.
Quality over Quantity
The cardiovascular system, like our muscular system, adapts and grows stronger when it’s trained intensely with variation; or it adapts and plateaus when it’s not challenged, and then becomes de-conditioned all together when that stimulus is removed.
A stronger cardiovascular system means that your body will utilize oxygen and remove metabolic waste more efficiently, and therefore you’ll produce more energy, and with less stress to the body.
It’s the High quality movements that will recruit the maximum number of muscle fibers in order to produce the greatest results to challenge the demands on your cardiovascular and nervous systems, and burn calories.
Variety & Safe Progression
To create a safe progression for the body you can choose a variety of surfaces such as starting off on a treadmill, and then moving outdoors to more challenging environments like a track, grass, dirt trails, and sand. Hill work can also be intermingled to add gravity resistance, which also recruits more muscle.
Some other ways to incorporate variety and progression are to add multi-directional movements in your running or walking such as moving laterally and/or using a rotational component.
Cross-training is essential to our results and longevity because it stimulates our body to work harder by having to constantly adapt to a different stimulus, and also minimizes the risk of overuse injuries.
In order to challenge your heart and lungs to improve your cardiovascular conditioning, interval training has proven to be the best. Unlike standard steady state cardio where you keep your heart rate relatively the same, and where longer duration equals better results, interval training is for a shorter duration of 20-25 minutes and requires intermittent sprints followed by a period of recovery.
Steady state cardio can and should last longer because lower intensity exercise can utilize the steady supply of oxygen, which is excellent for increaseing your cardiac output.
However, since interval training is done at higher intensities it has to rely more on sugar for fuel, which is in limited supply in our body, and therefore less duration is possible.
Working at high intensities has tremendous benefit to not only the cardiovascular system, but also our hormonal system in a way that not only boosts our metabolism but also has anti-aging benefits.
A general recommendation to improve cardiovascular conditioning is to get in at least two interval training workouts each week; one at high intensity and the other at moderate intensity.
From week to week, there gets to be steady manipulations in the intensity level (Exercise Heart Rate), and duration of the intervals to make improvements. Otherwise the body will adapt, and a plateau will be reached.
The interval sprints and active recovery can occur using any cardiovascular exercise mode. If you are just starting out, I recommend using a stationary bike so that you can easily monitor your intensity level and duration of intervals to help you to learn your perceived level of effort and know your limits in a safe environment.
For more advanced levels, going to your local track to do sprints and training methodically to improve your fitness is highly recommended. The track makes it easy to measure distance by using the markers for sprints and active recovery intervals, and also easy to measure progress.
I suggest that you start with making a list of that cardio exercises that you enjoy doing, and schedule that variety throughout the week. Then choose two to three days that you will concentrate on interval training, and two to three days of standard steady state cardio as recovery workouts.
If you’re not using interval training at the moment, one way you can incorporate this into your training to boost your results is to dedicate two sessions each week to it in addition to two steady state days.
With each you interval training session, you’ll want to warm-up for 5-10 minutes, and then increase to a high intensity of 85-100% of your max effort, depending on your conditioning level and the workout objective, for a specific time period or distance. Then this is followed by a full or partial recovery for a specific time period or distance. This interval would be repeated over a duration of 10-15 minutes followed by a 5-10 minute cool down.
Vary Your Work to Rest Ratios
Your work to rest ratios can vary between 1:1, for example a 30 second sprint followed by 30 second rest. But you can also do a 1:2, 1:3, work to rest ratio and so on. The more conditioned your cardiovascular system is and your mental tolerance is, then the less recovery time you may need. That’s one of the main objectives to focus on.
It’s very important to keep a daily journal of what and how you train, how you’re feeling, and use biofeedback tools like heart rate variability. Only then you can make educated adjustments to challenge your body safely and progressively from the week prior.
Applying higher quality, and interval driven cardio training is great opportunity to reach your goals faster with less time and wasted effort.
➡ Please, before engaging in any high intensity cardiovascular exercise, make sure that you’re in good health, and get cleared by your doctor to participate.
All the best in your health & fitness!!!