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S POR T


by Michael Bolger M.A. Goldstone Gym Cardio training


The issue of cardiovascular training is currently a hot topic in the fi tness industry. Should you do it or not, and if you do what type of training is best? It is the intention of this article to examine these training methods and provide some practical advice for anybody whose cardiovascular fi tness is their priority.


Firstly we should start by examining the two main schools of thoughts on cardiovascular training. The fi rst is based on working your heart within a certain “zone”, worked out from the formula: 220


– age = max heart rate; from this a zone is defi ned as a percentage of maximum. The main zones include 60% – 70% which is known as the fat burning zone and 70% – 80% which is the endurance zone and fi nally 80% – 90% which is known as your anaerobic zone. There are both positive and negatives to this type of training. For example, it allows an individual to collect data on themselves and allows them to view any progress made. However,


on the negative side, recent research shows that up to 70% of the population maybe +/- 10 to 12 beats per minute away from their max heart rate fi gure, which may lead to under or over training in different people.


The other main school of thought in relation to cardiovascular training is interval training. This may be structured in different ways; however, the basic layout involves combining different exercise intensities to allow your heart rate recovery time. A


sample of this may involve 30 seconds at a high level and high speed on a stationary bike followed by 60 seconds at low level and low speed recovery. As with the heart rate training zone there are positives and negatives. From a positive side interval training allows you to get more total work done in a shorter time period, however, for beginners this type of training may be too much to handle.


At Goldstone Gym & Fitness we believe that both these forms of training have their place at certain times and with certain individuals. In our opinion, it may be possible to take the best of both worlds! For example, within interval training use your heart rate to defi ne your recovery time. As a general recommendation if you are new to exercise, ease yourself in, work within your limits and we would suggest using your heart rate zone to do this. Then as your fi tness progresses start to implement interval training to ensure continued progress in your cardiovascular fi tness levels.


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