There are numerous benefits to incorporating a healthy cardiovascular related training routine. Many people's workout regimen only involves a routine of lifting weights a few days a week. While weight training is necessary and extremely beneficial, ignoring cardiovascular training can affect your heart and general health. The term cardiovascular can be defined as the body's ability and efficiency to get blood and oxygen to the muscles.
The amount of time spent on cardiovascular exercises will vary according to your specific goals. For an individual attempting to further their heart health, without specifically gaining or losing weight, a general guideline would be to perform cardio a minimum of 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week. Gaining and losing weight involves a different approach to doing cardio. If you are a hard gainer attempting to gain a desired amount of weight, you probably do not want to do a large amount of cardio. Incorporating light cardio work twice a week, for about 20 minutes a session, would never hurt anyone though. If you do wish to gain weight and incorporate a serious cardio routine, increase your calories consumed per day, or see our circuit training section.
Losing weight takes a different approach to cardio. In addition to eating below your maintenance calorie level, taking part in cardio 3-5 times per week, at about 20-40 minutes per session should be adequate for fat loss. For those who have never done any form of cardiovascular training, or are just out of shape, 3 times a week at 20 minutes per session would be a good starting point. For those in poor shape, low intensity cardio exercises such as walking should be done in the beginning stages. Those in decent cardiovascular shape could do exercises at a higher level of intensity. Fat loss remains the main reason people take part in cardiovascular training. However, this belief does not totally justify the true advantages of cardio since anyone can reap the benefits.
Finding your target heart rate is important for the length of time spent on each session and the intensity that you are completing the work. Finding your target heart rate can be explained in the link at the bottom of this page. The two types of exercises that involve mainly your cardiovascular system include aerobic and anaerobic exercises. Aerobic work is done where your body is using oxygen as fuel. Anaerobic work is done where your body does the work without oxygen as fuel. Both types of exercises are vital to a successful training regimen.
Examples of aerobic exercises include: Walking, running, swimming, and cycling.
Examples of anaerobic exercises include: Weightlifting, sprints, hill climbing, and jumping rope.
Circuit training is a type of interval training program which combines components of both strength training and cardiovascular training. It is often a set up of stations or 'circuits' which individuals will complete before moving onto the next. Within each circuit participants will perform exercises for a specific count or a specific time period before they venture to the next station. The goal of circuit training is to increase strength and agility at the same time as increasing fitness. Some studies have even found that circuit training is the most efficient way to enhance cardiovascular training and muscle endurance.
There are many advantages to opting to take part in a circuit training regimen as opposed to a weight training or cardiovascular routine in addition to combining the benefits of both into one schedule. Circuit training can easily be assembled to include a full body workout. A circuit training routine does not require expensive gym equipment, a gym membership, or any traveling to find facilities to fit your needs. The small groups that typically are a part of circuit training routines assist beginners by allowing them to more easily be paired with advanced and experienced people to learn the basics.
Circuit training also allows for the routine to take place at any venue and can be customized for any person or athlete of any age, gender, or physical ability.
The goal of circuit training is to force individuals to display their maximal physical effort at the same time of achieving your maximal target heart rate. You should not rest in between exercises. Each exercise should burn out the targeted muscle groups as well as increase your heart rate to fat and sugar burning zones. Lean muscle gains along with simultaneous fat losses are highly possible from adopting a circuit training program.
When constructing a circuit training routine you should remember to combine both strength and cardiovascular training elements. For instance your can assemble a circuit where stations involve exercise machines, hydraulic equipment, hand-held weights, elastic resistance, or calisthenics. In between each station you should force yourself with some type of aerobics such as jogging for 1 to 3 minutes between each circuit. Typically circuit training sessions last anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes with a variety of different sprinting, strength gaining, and jogging exercises intertwined. See some circuit training examples below to get an idea of how to construct your very own customized program. Good luck and happy training!