Fitability

Deb Bailey AFPA, MAT, CanFitPro, YMCA

Cardio Training – What Kind Should I Do?

 

This is a common concern, especially for those people who have been working out for a while, but aren’t seeing good enough results. The issue is really getting variety in your workouts, to constantly challenge your body to working harder. Fitness professionals often refer to the FITT factors; this means the Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type of exercise performed.

 

In terms of cardiovascular work, there are several types of training you can do. First, we have Tempo Training. This means doing continuous aerobic exercise at a moderately challenging intensity, or 14-17 RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion). Do this type of training for 30-60 minutes.

 

Second is Long Slow Distance Training. Again, this is continuous aerobic exercise at a low to moderate intensity (11-13 RPE), for 60-80 minutes. Think about a moderately challenging bike ride around the city, or a beginner spin class. This type of training stimulates an increase in the size of our mitrochondria. Those are the centres of our cells that act like “fireplaces” to burn fat and carbs. So this cardio type will increase the size of the “fireplaces”, allowing you to burn more of both those energy sources

 

Interval Training has you doing 3-minute stints of low-level cardio (RPE of 10-11, or easy), with 3-minute stints of high intensity cardio (RPE of 16-18, or very challenging). Do these intervals for 30-60 minutes.

 

And finally, there’s Supramaximal Interval Training. This is an extremely challenging cardio model. Each cycle consist of doing cardio for 1 minute at your fastest and most intense rate possible, followed by 2-5 minutes of active rest. That means doing an easy walk or gentle cycling to stay active, but at a much lower intensity. Here’s the challenge: work your way up to 15-20 cycles per session of Supramaximal Training. The great thing about this type of training is that it increases the “afterburn”, or how long your body continues to burn fuel at a higher rate than usual, for the longest time of any of these types of cardio.

 

So how can you put this all together for a very effective variety of cardio workouts? If you are doing cardio four times a week, this chart suggests a schedule that will give you variety and results from your workouts. This shows you a cycle over a period of 4 weeks, which you can repeat when you’re done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AEROBIC

FITNESS STRATEGY

           

 

LSD (Long Slow Distance)

60-80 minutes: continuous aerobic exercise at moderate intensity

 

Continuous Interval Training

30-60 minutes: alternate 3 minutes bouts of low and high intensity

 

Tempo Training:

30-60 minutes continuous aerobic exercise at high intensity

 

Supramaximal Training:  15-20 supramaximal exercise bouts for 1 min., with 2-5 min. active rest between bouts (walking to next cardio station or going much more slowly on the same cardio exercise). Supramaximal = your top speed

 

 

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

WEEK 4

WARM-UP

Stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical, low-moderate pace

 

7-10 min.

 

7-10 min.

 

7-10 min.

 

7-10 min.

AEROBIC ACTIVITY

 

Session 1:

LSD (Long Slow Distance)

Session 1:

Continuous Interval Training

Session 1

Tempo Training

Session 1:

Supramaximal

Training

 

 

Session 2:

Tempo Training

Session 2:

LSD (Long Slow Distance

Session 2: Supramaximal

Training

Session 2: Continuous

Interval training

 

 

 

Session 3: Continuous

Interval training

Session 3:

Supramaximal

Training

 

Session 3:

LSD (Long Slow Distance)

Session 3:

Tempo Training

 

 

Session 4: Supramaximal

Training

Session 4:

Tempo Training

Session 4:

Continuous

Interval Training

Session 4:

LSD (Long Slow Distance

CHALLENGE

Get to at least 200 minutes total cardio  per week

Get to at least 200 minutes total cardio per week

Get to at least 200 minutes total cardio per week

Get to at least 200 minutes total cardio per week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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