Cardio often comes up as a buzzword in the fitness industry, demonized by anyone looking to gain muscle. Doing aerobic work is seen as a step backwards as opposed to adding in another lifting session. In reality, some sort of cardio training is necessary in any program. However, the duration and intensity of the sessions should be dictated by training goals and aspirations. Someone looking to increase their powerlifting total has far different demands than the weekend warrior looking to attempt their first marathon. No matter the goal, there are smarter and more efficient ways to work your cardiovascular system without compromising your entire weekend.
Many guys in the gym lack specificity within their cardio program. When it comes to lifting weights, they have detailed notes of sets, reps, personal records, and arm growth progressions. For cardio, they slough off the numbers and progressions in favor of 20-30 minutes at a moderate intensity. Your cardio training should be approached with the same precision and details as a well-executed weight training program. By paying closer attention to intensity levels and duration, gym-goers can reap the benefits of an intense session without wasting away their day slogging miles on the treadmill.
1) Track Your Heart Rate
2) Focus on Heart Rate Recovery
3) Build Cardiac Strength
4) Train Your Threshold
5) Do Easy Steady-State for Fat Loss and General Conditioning