One of the most misunderstood and underrated parts of most people’s fitness programs is cardio-respiratory training.
Most people fail to understand why cardio training is so important in their fitness routines. Once you have set your overall goals, it is important to understand how to perform cardio training in the most effective way to reach those goals. Some of the most common goals for cardio training are: improve health by reducing cardio risk factors such as unhealthy body composition, poor blood lipid profiles, high blood pressure, weight management, improve performance, and reduce mental anxiety. There is much more to cardio training than just working the aerobic energy system.
In order to meet the goals, you have set the aerobic energy system and anaerobic energy system must both be trained. This is true especially for people who consistently switch between their aerobic and anaerobic energy systems, maximizing performance and minimizing fatigue. This type of conditioning is referred to as “interval training“, and is actually one of my favorite types of training. One thing I would suggest before you start an intense cardio program is to actually meet with a fitness professional just to help determine your current VO2 max. Your VO2 max, is the highest rate of oxygen transport and utilization achieved at maximal physical exertion. It will also be very helpful to find your maximum heart rate. The formula for this is rather simple your maximum heart rate is equal to 220 – Age.