Avoid a shotgun approach to training part II

You can be a strong dad

So in the first post in this series I discussed the topic of ‘Training Exploration’. This covered three key points:

  • Your training environment
  • Timing your training i.e. a fixed schedule
  • Choosing your exercise

This post is going to build on the final point – ‘choosing your exercise’ because it’s where most training plans fail.

By now you might have decided from the list of training systems in the last post. Are you going to train for cardiovascular endurance, strength, strength endurance or mobility and stability? I recommended that you choose cardiovascular endurance especially if you are classed as a ‘beginnner’ but also if you are resuming training after a prolonged absence. I highlighted that this was the wisest option because:

  • it does not require much learning
  • it can be done anywhere
  • it’s an easy opportunity to form a small group of like-minded individuals leading to accountability and increased motivation by helping each other.

I left out one key point. The cardiovascular system is the one system that you can train with immediate results. There is no other system to train where you can elevate yourself from a couch potato to competing in marathon with a few months. There has been an anti-aerobic trend for way too long now with the rise of HIIT classes and gyms popping up all over the place. This is a very inaccurate view of aerobic system training. It’s important to develop a good aerobic system to keep away unwanted illnesses, particularly cardiovascular disease and live a longer healthier life.

Here’s a little bit more information on the aerobic conditioning method ‘Cardiac Output’ that was discussed in the previous post.

Your cardiovascular system is the power plant of aerobic energy production. It does the job of pumping blood throughout the many miles of blood vessels that make up the vascular network and delivering oxygenated blood to working muscles while transporting deoxygenated blood back to the lungs. Aside from oxygen, blood also transports vital nutrients, hormones, metabolites, gases, waste etc throughout the body so how well your cardiovascular system is developed plays a very big role not just in performance but your general health.

The Cardiac Output method is a highly effective method for improving how much blood your heart can pump with each beat. It has been around for centuries and this type of training has developed a bad reputation in favour of shorter ‘fat burning’ workouts such as HIIT type training. This is a mistake as the Cardiac Output method develops the heart and vascular network in a way that higher intensity intervals simply do not.

Summary:

Why is it important? Helps improve oxygen supply by increasing how effectively the heart can deliver oxygen and develops your peripheral vascular network.

Exercises:

Any low intensity, low pressure exercises such as jogging, biking, swimming, skipping rope, pad and bag work (boxing) as long as the heart rate is in the correct zone.

Guidelines:

Heart rate should be within 130-150 (120-150 for older adults)

Each session can range from 30-90 minutes – build up to this by increasing volume over time

It can be used 1-3 times per week.

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