|Three fundamental programming elements make Fitness Together’s Programming Uniquely Effective:
At Fitness Together your trainers will specify, record, and manage your Cardiovascular Exercise load with a very specific Prescribed Cardiovascular Program following your One on One Pesonal Training Program. Total cardiovascular exercise volume and intensity will be varied on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to safely, effectively, and permanently reach your goals.
For a variety of reasons (preference to exercise outside being most common), clients choosing to complete their cardiovascular efforts independent of trainer guidance should find this quick tip sheet useful guidance.
Heart Rate is used almost exclusively for cardiovascular training programs. Heart Rate, the term, is rather self explanatory … it is quite simply the frequency with which your heart beats, usually expressed in beats per minute (BPM). The fastest it will ever beat is your maximal heart rate. Maximum Heart Rate (MaxHR) is completely dependent on age and hereditary factors – you simply cannot change it with training.
Heart rate zones are ranges of heart beat rates where the heart, lungs, and circulatory systems convert energy sources to energy uniquely within each range. Between your Maximum Heart Rate (MaxHR) and Ambient Heart Rate (see Heart Rate Zone Training to Look and Feel Fantastic for Definitions) are four (or five or seven, depending on who you ask) heart rate zones. For our purposes … to reduce your risk of developing heart disease, reduce stress, reduce bodyfat, and preserve lean body mass, we use 5 zones in our Prescribed Cardiovascular ProgrammingTM Model.
The challenge with Prescribed Cardiovascular Programming is threefold:
The next best thing to following FT’s Prescribed Cardiovascular Programming is to read, understand, and follow the recommendations in my Heart Rate Zone Training to Look and Feel Fantastic report. But if you merely want some simple guidelines for what a reasonable cardiovascular program should look like, here you are!
Plan for 4 days per week of cardiovascular exercise in addition to your 3 or 4 personal training sessions. Use a Relative Perceived Exertion (RPE) to define Intensity as follows:
10 = The Hardest Thing you’ve ever done and you must stop exercising immediately;
9 = A very, very difficult level, but something you can continue to do for a few seconds;
8= A very difficult exercise level, but something you can continue to do for a few minutes; and
7 = A Somewhat Difficult exercise level, but something you could continue to do for an hour
Each Week, your total Cardiovascular Program should Include:
One or Two Easy, but Longer Duration cardiovascular events: spend 45 to 60 minutes at Level 7
Two Moderately Difficult and Moderately Lengthy Cardio Events: Maintain, alternatively Level 7 and Level 8 intensities between 35 and 45 minutes. Total effort in the Level 8 range should be no more than 10% of the total exercise time. These are rolling hills kinds of things – gradual, slow increases in intensity with longer periods of time in Level 7 in between for ‘rest & recovery’
One day per week you should complete a Shorter Duration, High Intensity effort of about 30 minutes. 60% of the exercise should be Level 7, 47-49%% of the time should be spent at Level 8 Intensity; and 1-3% of the effort at Level 9. These are ‘spikey’, very high intensity exercise bouts like 30 or 60 second all-out sprints or steep hill short hill climbs followed by a rest interval. They should be briefly painful, but not agonizing. Pain Good. Suffering Bad.
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