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Guide to Cardio

Guide to Cardio

Today there are so many types of cardiovascular workouts that it can be difficult to determine which one is best for your fitness goals.  I have broken down three of the most frequently used cardio exercises and the best way to incorporate them into your fitness routine.

Steady State:

Even though most people hate doing steady state cardio, it needs a place in everyone’s training plan.  Steady state cardio focuses on your aerobic system.  This is the system that will help improve your resting heart rate, your cardio endurance, and help improve fat loss.  The goal of steady state cardio is to reach your target heart rate (formula below) and keep it at that rate for 20-60 minutes.

First you must calculate your max heart rate: (example for 30 years old)

200-(your age x 0.67) = MHR

Then your target heart rate: 200- (30 x0.67) =180 MHR

180 x 0.70 =126 (Target Heart Rate)



To truly benefit from HIIT training you must first test yourself to see your MAX performance in a specific area.  Example: how many burpees, mountain climbers, how high you can jump or how fast you can sprint.  Then you do your intervals near that maximum intensity. Tailor your workouts using a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio of intervals based on that maximum intensity.  This ensures that you will be getting stronger, faster, and burning the max amount of calories for your fitness level. Typically you want to do HIIT for 15-30 minutes 3 times a week for best results



Tabata is a type of HIIT training but with a more specific set of rules and guidelines. Tabata should be 5 minutes or less with 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest. Since you are forcing yourself to work at max intensity it is possible to increase your anaerobic capacity by 28 percent, and your VO2 max and aerobic power by 15% according to a six week study.  Tabata workouts will burn more calories than a 60 minute steady state workout if you are doing it correctly.  You must be at MAX intensity for a tabata to work.  Since it is such a highly anaerobic workout it can burn calories for up to 24 hours after the workout.


by Manuella Myburgh

Categories: Uncategorized

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