Ignore the noise, din and obsessive experts on training programs. There are only two types of cardio, and both will have a place in your training.
Author: Lisa Kenilwors
Athletes are divided into those who love cardio and who hate it, but even the latter admit that it is an inevitable evil that burns fat, develops endurance and helps to look cool in clothes or without. But what kind of cardio training is better? What to prefer – low-intensity cardio, high-intensity interval training (VIIT), group exercises on exercise bikes, dance training Zumba or 20 / 10-second intervals of Tabata?
If you are discouraged by an abundance of options, you are not alone. At what point in time with training everything became so difficult? What happened to those good old days, when jogging and walking on the path for an hour were the best way to burn fat? Before you begin to panic, let's look back.
Representatives of the company NLA Jesse Hilgenberg and Teresa Miller will help us make sure that despite all the big words and fashion trends, in the world of sports there are still only two types of cardio: low-intensive and high-intensity.
1. Low-intensity cardio (long cardio workouts at a low pace)
There is a feeling that recently low-intensity cardio fell into disgrace. VIIT, circular training and AMRAP (as many reps as possible, or the maximum number of repetitions over a period of time) topped the popular charts. But for low-intensity cardio there is still time and place, especially if you want to develop endurance, increase tolerance to aerobic exercise and, yes, burn fat.
"You can burn an impressive amount of calories during a low-intensity cardio, and I'm sure that there is still room for it in your training program," says research editor Chrissey Kendall, Ph.D., a certified specialist in power and general physical training. "In addition, this type of load is much safer for your joints and muscles." The latter makes this type of cardio an ideal activity for anyone who recovers from injury.
When it comes to active recovery, nothing compares to a low-intensity cardio session that increases the flow of blood to the muscles, helps to remove the by-products of metabolism from tissues and speeds up regenerative processes. Moreover, it is very easy to find time and opportunity to study. "I like to weave elements of low-intensity cardio into active rest with the family," says Jesse Hilgenberg. – I put the little girl on my child's seat on my bicycle and go for a drive, or put her in a backpack for the child and go wandering around the park and forest paths. "
Low-intensity cardio is incredibly versatile. Possible activities include walking on a treadmill, cycling or swimming in the lake. As long as the pace remains low, and the heart rate does not exceed 60-75 percent of your maximum, you help burn calories and stimulate changes in metabolism, such as increased activity of enzymes that help your body use fats and carbohydrates as a source of energy.
Low-intensity cardio should be done after strength training or on days of active rest. If you want to develop muscular and respiratory endurance, it should last 30-45 minutes.
Low-intensity cardio: can and can not be
Can. Use it as a warm-up before strength training, but time should be limited to ten minutes, not more. Longer sessions should be set after training.
You can not. Put long low-intensity sessions before the power trainings, as this can negatively affect the growth of power indicators. "When I focus on developing strength and muscle mass, but prefer low-intensity cardio, especially on days of legs," says Teresa Miller.
Can. Use it as a tool for active recovery. Choose the kind of activity that you can enjoy together with family and friends.
You can not. Do low-intensity cardio, if you are terribly bored, and every minute turns into torture. "The more fun you get from cardio training, the higher the result," says Chrissey Kendall.
2. High-intensity interval training (VIIT)
VIIT is a popular prince of the Kingdom of Cardio Training. It takes little time, is effective and well studied by science. Dozens of experiments have proved its useful properties, such as the development of aerobic endurance, increasing the maximum consumption of oxygen and – most importantly – the incineration of fat.
"Numerous studies have shown that after fat burning, fat burning is more active than after monotonous aerobic exercise," Kendall says. – VIIT improves the body's ability to use fat as a source of energy during exercise, and can also lead to increased post-exercise oxygen intake (PACE), which helps you burn more calories within a few hours of training. "
Intensity of work spurs metabolism and creates such a significant metabolic shift that recovery requires a large expenditure of calories. This means that after training your body spends energy on restoring injuries and returning to a state of homeostasis.
Scheme VIIT – is clearly measurable high-intensity intervals, which alternate with periods of rest. During the working phase, you are laid out at the level of 85-100% of the maximum heart rate; during the rest period you can either completely stop, or slow down to a smaller percentage of the maximum heart rate. The intensity of rest directly depends on the intensity of the working interval just completed.
In other words, if you worked at the level of 95-100%, on vacation you can reset the load to zero; if you worked at the level of 85% of the maximum heart rate, during rest, reduce the rate to 60% of the maximum heart rate.
"As a rule, the shorter the working interval, the harder your work should be, and the longer you rest before the next interval," explains Kristy Kendall.
- Work on 95% HR of 30 seconds – rest 90 seconds.
The number of intervals in one training course, of course, depends on their duration, but no one training session should last more than half an hour.
"If you really do high-intensity cardio, you can not hold out longer than 30 minutes," Kendall says. – You must work at a level of at least 85% of the maximum heart rate. "
The WIIT protocol is also universal. It can be used in pure cardio training, for example, run sprints in the stadium, in a combination of cardio and power load, as in Crossfit training, which increase maximum oxygen consumption and fat burning, or in AMRAP trainings, when you do the maximum number of rounds and repetitions in each exercise for a certain period of time. Jesse Hilgenberg, for example, likes to push training sleds for crossfit during the HIT, or run sprints up the slope, while Teresa Miller prefers jumping rope, intervals on the staircase and VIIT programs on the treadmill.
"The kind of activity that uses the maximum possible amount of muscle mass and the most elevated heart rate will be the best choice for fat burning," Kendall says. "Plus, some people may find that a combination of strength training, plyometric exercises and cardio is much less monotonous than pure cardio."
High-intensity cardio: it is possible and impossible
Can. To be engaged in the protocol of VIIT after the strength training or on days that are free from force loads. "But I do not recommend using VIIT after a hard day of legs or back, because you can not cope with the planned load," advises Chrissey Kendall.
You can not. Start off the bat, if you are new to training. "You should have a good level of general functional training and cardiorespiratory endurance, and there should be no damage to the joints or soft tissues," warns Kendall.
Can. Limit the duration of sessions 20 minutes and engage 2-3 times a week to avoid overtraining.
Can. During working intervals, spread out to the full and raise the heart rate, at least, up to 85% of your maximum heart rate. Carrying out the intervals to the fullest without full recovery, you will develop anaerobic endurance, increase maximum oxygen consumption and aerobic power.
So, the decision is accepted: both training protocols are useful and productive. When planning a weekly training program, see how on which days you can use them most effectively. And, most importantly, listen to your body.
"If the week is devoted to really hard work with large weights, I prefer low-intensity cardio," says Hilgenberg. "If I have not enough time and I can not get into the gym, a quick 20-minute VIIT training will be my salvation."