By: Brianna Buchholz and Mike Alsup
Train your heart like you train your legs.
Let me explain. If you did a lower body-focused workout yesterday, you’re not going to do the exact same workout again today, right? Your body needs to recover, so you give your legs a couple days off (this is where I remind you to let your body recover). In the same way, you should not be pushing your heart rate to 80% of its max for 30 minutes every day. Recovery is how you get results.
Cardiovascular Stage Training, according to Kinesis trainer Mike, is the key formula for improving your cardiovascular health without running yourself into the ground. This program is broken up into three stages based on percentage of max heart. This program can be applied to all forms of cardio, depending on which you personally enjoy.
Stage 1: 65%
At the first stage of cardiovascular stage training, heart rate stays relatively constant at 65% of max. This is the stage at which marathon runners remain in order to run for such long periods of time. It is safe and not too tasking, as no anaerobic failure occurs.
Stage 2: 80-85%
The second stage of cardiovascular stage training should only be performed a couple times a week, on non-consecutive days. This stage utilizes interval training in which one performs cardio at 65% of max heart rate for 5 minutes, then increases their heart rate to 80-85% of max for 2 minutes, and back down to 65% for 5 minutes. Following the stage 2 interval, the goal is to decrease one’s heart rate down to 65% of max in 2 minutes. The cycle should be repeated until one’s heart rate does not drop down within the 2-minute period. Typically, this occurs after 4 or 5 cycles, however, if your heart rate does not decrease fast enough, stop.
Stage 3: 90%
Stage 3 of cardiovascular stage training is the most taxing, as one is to perform cardio at 90% of their max heart rate. Due to this, stage 3 is to be performed once a week in intervals. These intervals are similar to stage 2, in that one performs cardio at 65% of max heart rate for 5 minutes, followed by 2 minutes at 80-85% max. We then add one more interval in which one raises their heart rate to 90% of max for one minute. This three-part cycle should once again be performed until one cannot drop their heart rate to 65% of max in two minutes. If your heart rate is unable to decrease at such a rate, it is a sign that the body is over-trained, meaning that you will not see results.
Kinesis trainer Mike recommends performing these three stages over a five-day period, as demonstrated below.
The biggest problem is that individuals have the tendency to over-train. You will not improve as well by running for 30 minutes at 80% of your maximum heart rate. The key to improving performance is to recover. Cardiovascular Stage Training can be applied to any form of cardio so it is important to find the forms that you love and benefit you. Try mixing it up and alternating between running, biking, or swimming. If you find what you love, you will have an easier time committing to your routine and earning results.
What is your favorite form of cardio? Let us know if you try this style of training and, if you do, how it goes!