A Breakdown of Aerobic Training (Cardio)

Continuous Training

Probably one of the most popular or widely used method of exercise since the pace is dictated by the one performing the exercise. Continuous Training is seen as the most basic form of exercise. Although you are sweating and getting muscle fatigue, continuous training is usually rather mundane in comparison to the other forms of aerobic training. Continuous Training is most commonly seen in the everyday gym-goer who doesn't possess the most knowledge about what they're doing, or are just trying to keep everything in "maintenance." A prime example of this type of training would be walking on the treadmill at the same pace for the same amount of time 5 days a week. This person would still be burning calories and over a long period of time will eventually see some changes in their physical appearance or internal health, but the changes will be limited and delayed.

LSD Training

It's not what you think! Long Slow Distance (LSD) Training is an extended form of Continuous Training. LSD Training is most popular with endurance athletes who are looking to train for a marathon, triathlon, or extended bicycle tour. This form of training is exactly what it says it is. The athlete would perform the same repetitive motion at generally the same pace for an extended amount of time usually exceeding 1 hour. Although LSD Training is effective, it wouldn't be practical for someone looking just to lose weight and get into bathing suit shape. However, integrating a day of this type of training per week would help to keep an individual balanced in their health.

Fartlek Training

Another form of continuous exercise developed around the 1930s in Sweden meaning, speed play. This type of training is usually done in the outdoors. The athlete would simply run/walk a certain pace to an object, like a tree, and then change speeds until they reach another object, like another tree. Although this type of training seems silly to most it is actually the second most effective form of aerobic training in that he keeps the athlete's heart rate variable over a long period of time and distances. This continuous change in tempo causes increased flux in internal respiration leading to a decrease in resting and recovering heart rate. This type of exercise used most popularly for mid-distance athletes such as soccer players, cross-country runners, or those looking to train for 5K's and 10K's.

Interval Training

By far the most effective form of aerobic training in terms of amount of time spent performing the program and amount of production gained. Similar to Fartlek Training, Interval Training is specified to a certain distance and speed for each repition. For example, someone looking to use Interval Training to lower their overall time for a 1-mile run might use this type of format:

Set 1: 6 X 400m at 75s (90s recovery jog)

Set 2: 6 X 800m at 180s (200s recovery jog-walk)

Where s=seconds and m=meters

Running a mile might not be for everyone as simply running itself might not be for everyone, but interval training can be used in anyone's exercise programming simply by adjusting the type of exercise, the amount of repetitions, the duration of the interval, or the time used in recovery to make this program easier or more difficult depending on what you're looking for. Interval Training, if done right, is the most taxing of all other forms of aerobic training and therefore should be treated like resistance training in that you would want at least one day of rest in between sessions/workouts.

In closing I would suggest to anyone to keep their training varied. You wouldn't want to pick any one of these forms of training and stick strictly to it for a long period of time. This variation will not only keep you alert and attentive to your workouts but will also help to prevent any type of injury from over-training the same routine over and over again. All high-performance athletes use a combination of each of these forms of aerobic training, so why shouldn't you? As always, don't bite off more than you can chew. Start small/slow and work your way up to give your body time to adapt to the change in exercise and help to prevent any form of injury.

Fit Tips

Dehydration by definition is simply, "Dryness due to the removal of water." So it's simple, you just drink water to avoid it right? Unfortunately it's not that easy. With summer approaching it's good to know what exactly is going on inside your body during dehydration, and what steps you can take to detect and prevent it from occurring.