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Cardiovascular Training

The American Heart Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend at least 30 minutes per day of moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise (and this is simply to maintain basic health).  These recommendations do not apply to people who are trying to lose significant weight (10 pounds or more). We’ve become such an incredibly sedentary society that we have to schedule “exercise” in to our day, just to stay healthy!

Here are 3 types of cardiovascular training as strategies that can help improve fitness.

1.) LSD (long, slow distance) training – This is training at a slow pace, 65-70% of your MHR (max heart rate) for a long period and or long distance, usually an hour, or more as your capacity increases. LSD training should not be done more than once per week, unless directed by a trainer. There are several significant benefits that take place at the cellular level with this form of training. You eventually become a better fat burning machine, during and after your workout. This training primarily burns fat for energy, but does not necessarily burn the most calories, hence the confusion. The key to burning the most calories in a workout is both intensity and duration.

How to LSD Train? You can use almost any piece of cardio equipment in the gym to do LSD workouts, including a treadmill, bike or rowing machine. You can also run or cycle  or swim in the pool. The more muscles involved and the more weight-bearing the exercise, the more calories you’ll burn during the workout.

2.) Tempo training – Training at a steady, difficult but maintainable pace for about 20-30 minutes. These workouts will give you a fantastic aerobic benefit and significantly higher calorie burn per minute. The harder you work, the less fat you burn and the more you use carbohydrates for fuel. Remember though, that you are burning more calories per minute with your increased effort.

How to Tempo Train? For “fit” individuals, tempo training is done at 80-85% of MHR and for less fit people, train at 75% of MHR. Practically speaking, this is the highest exertion level that you can hold for 20-30 minutes. Ask your trainer how to best determine these important training thresholds. Like LSD workouts, you can run, swim, bike or use any piece of cardio equipment in the gym to facilitate your tempo session. Always warm up, stretch and cool down properly when doing tempo training.

3.) Interval Training – This is training that alternates high intensity periods with low intensity recovery periods. There are four variables that can be manipulated within an interval workout: time (or distance) of each work period, intensity of each work period, time of each recovery period and number of repetitions. Studies have shown that interval training burns more calories than a steady paced effort and that intervals maintain a slightly higher metabolic rate for up to 24 hrs following exercise. The more intense the interval activity level, the longer and higher your calorie burning engine stays revved up. Keep in mind that these differences in calorie burn are subtle, but, over a few weeks, they can make a noticeable change in both athletic conditioning and weight control.

How to Interval Train? You can do interval workouts on just about any cardio machine: a treadmill, bike, rowing machine, swimming or a running track. Always warm up and stretch adequately before this high intensity training. For long interval sessions, work for two to four minutes at 95 percent maximum heart rate with recovery periods equal to or slightly less than the time of the work period. Then repeat each hard-easy cycle three to five times. For short interval workouts, work at slightly less than an all-out sprint for 20 seconds to one minute with recovery periods two to three times as long as the time of the work period. Then repeat each hard-easy cycle five to eight times.

These are some different forms of cardiovascular exercise to consider based on your fitness goals, current conditioning level, and lifestyle. Always consult with your doctor and a fitness professional for appropriate direction and to achieve safe and optimum results before attempting these types of training methods.

This article was provided by Assured Fitness Personal Training
For more information on Assured Fitness Personal Training, check out their full profile here.
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