Many have probably heard of cardio training at least once. Most experienced athletes successfully apply this type of training in practice to achieve their goals. Let’s take a closer look at what cardio training is, how to do it, and what rules of cardio training exist. And in conclusion, we also give a set of exercises for beginners.
Cardio training is synonymous with aerobic training. This type of exercise involves the performance of muscle movements due to the energy that is produced during the oxidation of glucose molecules with oxygen. In biochemistry, this process is called aerobic glycolysis. This is what makes cardio different from strength training, where energy is produced by the body in an oxygen-free, or anaerobic, way. During cardio training, not only muscles are trained, but also the cardiovascular system itself: its efficiency and endurance increase.
Cardio training – general information
Typical examples of aerobic exercise are running, cycling, active team games, walking, swimming. A characteristic feature of these sessions is their duration. The duration of cardio workouts is from 20 minutes to an hour, not counting the warm-up. The exercises are performed dynamically and intensively.
What is cardio training for? The main goal is to increase the body’s endurance. The overall benefits of cardio are extensive:
- Strengthening the heart and vascular system;
- Burning fat and losing weight;
- Drying the body by bodybuilders and other athletes in preparation for the competition;
- Resistant to stress;
- Increased immune status.
There are different types of cardio workouts. There are aerobic exercises for security officials, for representatives of high-speed sports, for women who want to tidy up their figure. Cardio is especially useful for novice athletes – it allows them to prepare the cardiovascular system for heavier and more intense training.
Slimming cardio is a popular fitness area, especially in demand by female representatives. In training halls, exercise bikes and treadmills are used for these purposes. As for self-study without the participation of an experienced instructor, they often not only do not bring benefit, but sometimes act to the detriment.
However, when done right, aerobic exercise is a productive way to burn fat. During intense training, lipids are actively oxidized and converted into energy, thanks to which long-term and intense exercise becomes possible.
Experienced bodybuilders definitely advise beginners to include aerobic exercise in their complexes. Correct cardio training is an excellent prevention of cardiac and vascular pathologies, from which middle-aged and middle-aged strength athletes often suffer. Athletes who do endurance training on a regular basis ensure athletic longevity.
Frequency and duration of cardio training
Aerobic exercise is a type of physical activity that involves a large number of muscles and body systems. Exercise is accompanied by an increased heart rate. During training, the athlete intensively consumes oxygen, which is involved in the process of burning carbohydrates and fats to produce ATP – the main source of energy in the human body.
Constant exercise stabilizes blood pressure, stimulates metabolism, improves health and invigorates. However, for aerobic exercise to be beneficial, as safe and productive as possible, it must be done correctly. Frequency and duration are important characteristics of aerobic exercise.
Frequency refers to the number of workouts per week. For best results, it is recommended to exercise 3-5 days a week. For beginners, the most optimal regimen is 3 times a week with intervals between trainings no more than 2 days. In the future, the frequency can be increased up to 5 times a week.
The duration of the workout itself is 30 minutes. As endurance increases, it is advisable to increase the duration to 1 hour. Not always a modern business and family person has the opportunity to find an hour a day and devote it exclusively to training. Therefore, experts recommend combining exercise with daily activities. For example, you can ride a bike to work, to a store or to a summer cottage. If you live high up, you can forget about the elevator and use only the stairs and your own legs.
The best time for cardio workouts is in the evening, or rather, the period between 5 and 19 hours. Of course, a lot depends on the individual characteristics of the organism and the goals of the classes, but in general, the indicated hours are the most optimal in terms of the efficiency of fat burning and the speed of other metabolic processes. If your goal is not to burn fat, but to increase endurance, you can also do aerobic exercise in the morning. Keep in mind that your metabolic rate is at its lowest during this time, so avoid overloading.
Heart rate control
Heart rate during cardio training is the most important indicator of vital activity. Often, beginners, starting to exercise on their own, do not pay attention to the state of the body and force the load, trying to achieve a result that is called “here and now.” This is a fundamentally wrong and irrational approach that can damage your health.
Both novice and experienced athletes need constant heart rate monitoring during cardio exercise. In other words, trainees need to regularly check their heart rates and calculate loads in accordance with these values.
Before training, you need to find out the border indicators of your heart rate – the upper and lower limits. The most accurate values will be given by a computer examination: it will reveal the state of the heart and blood vessels and make it clear what loads will be maximum. Experienced athletes recommend using a heart rate monitor during training (especially independent).
A few general rules regarding aerobic training:
- Choose only sports equipment and exercises that allow you to enjoy your workout. Mind is critical to achieving optimal results.
- During training, it is recommended to keep the pulse within 60-70% of the maximum values.
- Alternate between different exercises and machines to target all muscle groups.
- Try to change the pace more often: this way you burn more calories and endurance develops better.
- Study to music – it sets the rhythm, distracts from fatigue and improves mood.
- Exercise outdoors whenever possible.
- Dress in natural fabrics.
Should you completely eliminate cardio loads when gaining weight? Experienced bodybuilders advise against being so categorical. Aerobic exercise as a warm-up before a strength training complex will only benefit your blood vessels and heart muscle. For example, 5-10 minutes of treadmill exercise before and after exercise on a treadmill is enough to keep the myocardium, arteries and veins in good shape.
A few words about nutrition. If the training time is 30-45 minutes, it is better to eat 2-3 hours before class. The best option is high quality protein foods or slow carbohydrates. During training, do not forget to drink water, otherwise the water-salt balance will be disturbed. The optimal time to eat after cardio is 45 minutes.
Examples of aerobic exercise for beginners
Cardio workouts for beginners include simple endurance exercises and cardiovascular health.
A few simple homework exercises:
- Plyometric push-ups – do regular push-ups, only at the bottom point, push off the floor much harder, making a jump upward with your whole body.
- Jumping Out – Do squats with your hands on the back of your head. In the lower position, jump up to the highest possible height.
- Exit to the lying position – sit down from a standing position, place your hands on the floor, transferring the weight to them. Jump out by moving your legs back without lifting your hands off the floor. Having taken the support while lying down, make a reverse jump.
You can start from 5-10 minutes, gradually increasing the intensity of the training and its duration. Monitor your pulse and overall well-being. If you are going to exercise constantly, it is better to visit a doctor and talk with him about possible contraindications.