Cardiovascular Training & the Benefits

Cardiovascular training/ fitness is the function of the heart, blood cells and lungs to supply oxygenated blood to the working muscles and tissues to produce enough energy for movement of the body.

Cardiovascular exercise/aerobic exercise involves using larger muscle groups for a period of time, be short 5-10 minutes or long 30-120 minutes. Types of cardiovascular exercise varies to help suit the person’s needs be it weight loss, fitness or sports related.

Types of cardiovascular training and their benefits

Long distances cardio training;

Long slow distance cardio training is a form of aerobic endurance training it should last anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours.

The aim is to improve cardiovascular functions increasing oxidate capacity of skeleton muscle and increased utilisation of fat for fuels. This training is performed at a constant paced over an extended distance or duration. The benefits of long cardiovascular training are increased stamina, weight loss and reduced risk for diabetes.

High intensity interval training (H.I.I.T)

High intensity interval training involves alternating between very intense bouts of exercise and low intensity exercise. In order to maximise the most from H.I.I.T training you need to know your maximum heart rate which can be found by calculating 220 minus your age. 80 to 90% of that heart rate should be reached during your intense bout of this exercise to achieve full benefits. HIIT training has been shown to improve, aerobic and anaerobic fitness, blood pressure, cardiovascular health, insulin sensitivity (which helps the exercising muscles more readily use glucose for fuel to make energy), cholesterol profiles and body weight while maintaining muscle mass.

Types of cardiovascular YOU can do at the gym.

Long distance cardio

  • treadmill 2.4km, 3km, 5km and 10km
  • treadmill incline walk 20, 30 and 40 minutes
  • Rower 2km, 5km and 20 minutes distance challenge
  • Bike 5km, 10km, 20km and 1 hour time trial

High intensity interval training (H.I.I.T)

  • Treadmill 1 minute sprint // 1 minute walk
  • Treadmill 200m sprint // 100m walk
  • Treadmill 30 second sprint 30 second rest
  • Rower 500 metres // rest 1 minutes
  • Rower 30 second sprint 30 second rest
  • Bike 1km sprint 40 seconds rest
  • Bike 1 minute sprint 30 seconds rest
  • Bike 500 metre sprint 200 metre rest



Written by Liam Meadham – Personal Trainer