The Ultimate Guide to Effective Cardio Training
February is American Heart Month! “Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. The good news? It is also one of the most preventable.” (The Heart Foundation)
Be Heart Strong is Titan’s campaign to encourage heart healthy lifestyles in both experienced power-lifters and beginners. Weight training and daily movement has its benefits, but effective cardio training can improve muscle gains, fat loss and your overall health and fitness. So where do you start?
Start with a plan
- Check with your physician to ensure that your heart can handle all levels of cardio training.
- Know what form of cardio you will be doing for the day.
Have a strategy
- Skipping cardio is easy if you do not like it. Begin your workouts with cardio.
- View lifting, yoga or any favorite hobby, as a reward if you do cardio first!
Save the slow-motion cardio for marathoners
- Row for 30 seconds as fast you can. Rest for 30-45 seconds. Repeat.
- Mix in body weight exercises with light weights such as aerobic bars or slam balls. Squat then press the bar or slam ball above your head as you stand up.
- Like the treadmill? Run or walk really fast on the treadmill on “off” mode as long as you can. Then, completely stop for 30-45 seconds.
Track the tempo
- Document your progress.
- Track your breathing rate, distance, and fatigue levels. They should improve over time.
Mix it up
- Use an aerobic bar over your head while running. This is called military running.
- Run with the bar over your head while keeping your elbows locked.
Make it challenging
- Add forward and backward bear crawls.
- Alternate kettle bell swings with aerobic bar front squats. Repeat for 15-20 minutes. As you feel the pain, go lighter on the weights, but keep going!
Effective cardio training doesn’t have to be boring. Get your music ready before your cardio session. Make a cardio playlist. These should be your most motivational jams known to mankind.
Good luck. Happy American Heart Month!