HOW TO DO A CARDIO TRAINING SESSION
Looking to mix up your cardio sessions to meet your needs and goals? We give you some cues on how to customise your cardio training sessions and still get the most out of them.
Warm up properly before you get started
A good warm-up will help you build up your body temperature gradually, get your joints working and prepare your muscles and your mind. It involves making simple movements with a low to moderate intensity. You can, for example, switch between dynamic movements that get your body going: dynamic walking on the spot, knee lifts, gentle running on the spot, butt kicks, arm rotations or jumping jacks, for example. The warm-up gets the heart pumping and engages the muscles.
Start out gently and build up the intensity
You'll get a lot more out of your session if you engage the body slowly to begin with and then pick up the pace rather than go hard at it right from the start. You need to give yourself somewhere to go. If you don't, you run the risk of plateauing or even picking up an injury.
Build up the intensity gradually
If you're just starting out, you should begin with two sessions a week in the first two weeks and then move up to three a week between weeks three and six. After six weeks, you'll be able to do four sessions a week and then five after a couple of months. You can kick off by doing the short circuit while applying intensity levels 1 and 2 from the long circuit.
If you have a medium level of fitness, you can start with the long circuit. If you're doing two sessions a week, you can start with two long circuits and then switch between one long and one short circuit a week. When you move up to three circuits a week, you can alternate two long circuits with a short one, and when you step up to four, two long circuits with two short ones.
If you have a high level of fitness, you might want to try combining long and short circuits.