Many people that perform cardiovascular training at the gym receive no results! So, why waste your time and energy doing something that gets you no results? Well, the truth is that cardio actually does give great results, but only when performed correctly in your personal training program. Unfortunately; however, performing cardio also comes down to a science when regarding weight loss. Any personal trainer will tell you that you must follow certain rules when starting aerobic activity.
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Let’s take a look at this 6-pronged attack on cardio:
1. Most important of all, never just do a cardiovascular program alone. You have to supplement the program with weight training. If you do not abide by this rule and only perform cardio, you will burn muscle and slow your metabolism down drastically. A slower metabolism will greatly hinder your weight loss results.
2. Next, you have to create a plan for your cardiovascular program. If it was as easy as hopping on a treadmill and hitting start, every American would be in shape. I create my plan through the FITT principle. That is, Frequency, Intensity, Type, and Time.
3. Frequency is the amount of days per week that you are on a piece of cardio machinery. Depending on your personal training needs, you may need to do anywhere from 2-6 days of cardio. It’s important to know how your body reacts to cardiovascular training and also as to how easily you store/lose fat. Performing too much can hinder muscle gains, while not performing enough may keep you further away from optimum weight loss results.
4. Intensity is the intensity that you are performing the exercise at. In other words, how hard you’re performing the exercise. An example would be doing the treadmill at 3.5 mph versus 5 mph. Performing a jog versus a sprint is another example.
5. Type is the type of machine that you are using in the exercise. Ellipticals, stairclimbers, treadmills, and running outside are all example of selecting a type of equipment. Each piece of equipment has its strengths and benefits and it is up to you to know what they are.
6. Time is the last factor in this principle. Time is the amount of time that you’re on a machine for that that particular exercise. Running outside or on the treadmill for half an hour is a great example.
If you do not know how to plan out these variables, you should then do some research or seek professional help. The worst decision you could make would be to start a cardiovascular program without a plan. Planning is the root to your personal training program; it’s the foundation to your weight loss goals.
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