Benefits of Cardio Training

Every year, people all over the world create a New Year’s resolution focusing on creating a healthier lifestyle, but not often do we hear about these resolutions coming to fruition. More often than not problems arise from time constraints or lack of motivation from not seeing immediate results. Cardio training or aerobic training can be defined as any activity that keeps the body moving at a regular pace for an extended period of time. This type of training is able to elevate the heart rate between 60-85 percent of your maximum heart rate.

cardio training versa climber

Examples of Cardio Training:
Versa Climber
Marpo Rope Pull
Speed Ladder Drills
Agility Hurdles
Jacob’s Ladder

EZIA integrates cardio in every workout by implementing Energy System Development (ESD). There are three different types of ESD. They are:

Steady state (Endurance Phase)
Intervals (Strength Phase)
Sprint (Power Phase)

Whether you are going for a 5 mile run or running a 300 yard shuttle, you are doing a form of cardio. It all depends on the energy system you are trying to target. As with all training SPECIFICITY is key. Knowing and implementing these types of cardiovascular training properly can mean the difference in any competition. At EZIA Human Performance we integrate all of the following energy systems into our programming.

Endurance – Oxydative (Long Term Fuel) – Aerobic
Strength – Glycolytic (Medium Fuel) – Anaerobic/Aerobic
Power- Phosphagen (Fast Fuel) – Anaerobic

Steady state cardio is the equivalent of a slow long run on the weekend or keeping the same pace for 500m or more on the rowing machine. During an endurance workout, the heart rate increases gradually to peak at the strength phase of the workout, instead of maintaining an increased heart rate for the whole workout. Steady state cardio utilizes the aerobic energy system which means that oxygen is necessary in order to maintain a consistent work rate over longer periods of time. At EZIA Human Performance every workout has some form of cardiovascular training. Whether it be a cardio specific workout such as running for a long duration or multiple sets of high repetition weight training with limited rest, you are doing a form of endurance training. Endurance training is the most common form of cardio, including different training modalities such as interval training.

Interval cardio is ESD with a purpose. It is normally preparing the athlete for an event where they will be going hard for an extended period of time with intermittent active rest periods, as in such sports as rugby, soccer, or basketball. There are different ways of using interval training to prepare for competition such as: running for 40 minutes, but increasing speed every two minutes for a one minute bout, or going on the Jacob’s Ladder hard for a minute, then resting for a minute for multiple rounds, or a circuit with 3-4 exercises repeated 3-4 times with high repetitions. Interval cardio utilizes both the aerobic and anaerobic energy system, the anaerobic system is represented in the short bursts during an intermittent sprint or during an exercise in a circuit, and the aerobic system is represented in maintaining effort during the entirety of the interval workout.

Finally, sprint cardio is ESD at maximum effort. This could be 200m sprints on a track or here at EZIA it could be mastering the hexagon or pro agility drills. It utilizes the anaerobic energy system, meaning that it does not require much, if any oxygen, depending on the entire workout.

The different energy systems are beneficial in different ways. The aerobic system for example, would be utilized primarily when the athlete wanted to maintain long duration exercise, as seen marathon training, where energy needs to be consistently produced throughout the race. This occurs in the mitochondria of the cell, also known as the power house of the cell. It requires oxygen in order to produce energy, this production takes time, but also produces more energy over longer periods of time. In comparison to the anaerobic system, which can deplete energy store relatively quickly in about 2-3 minutes.. The anaerobic system would be targeted when the athlete is focusing on power. It is more of a “short term” system, utilizing energy from stored muscle glycogen, blood glucose, or phosphocreatine, which are all sources of immediate energy. This is the reason that the anaerobic energy system does not require oxygen. It is also the system that is used primarily in the onset of any type of exercise, so it is easy to understand why we need both systems in order to perform.

cardio training agility ladder

There are many benefits to cardio training:
1. Increased energy throughout the day
2. Disease prevention
3. Weight control
4. Decreasing body fat percentage
5. Increases cognitive function
6. Decreasing stress
7. Increases cardiovascular health
8. increases longevity

After training regularly, you can expect your endurance to increase, along with having more energy throughout the day while completing daily tasks. The term cardio training comes from cardiovascular. The cardiovascular system includes the heart, arteries, blood vessels, and is responsible for the transport of oxygen to the entire body . Many diseases can be prevented due to cardio training including: type II diabetes, heart disease, and even osteoporosis.

cardio training jacobs ladder

Why does cardio training help the body so much?
This is due to the strengthening of the heart muscle and lungs as a result of the increased workout intensity. Most people want to be able to shed a few pounds and cardio training will do just that. With increased intensity, consistency, and duration, your bodies ability to burn calories even when resting will increase dramatically. This will allow you to maintain a healthy weight as well has allow you to perform at higher levels.

Running, for example, is fun because you are in control of rest, speed, and duration, all of which are easily controlled. This allows you to be the master of your workout, which means you have to push yourself and continue to profess in order to maintain and increase your results. A trick to keeping cardio training fun is using music to pace when you are going to run fast or slow. When one song comes on run faster until the song changes, then slow your pace down. Soon enough, it’s time to turn around and you can do it on the way back too.

cardio training rope pull

What are ways to even better enjoy cardio training?
It is recommended that you get 30-45 minutes of exercise 3-5 days a week. When starting cardio training, start slow and work your way up. It is much more fun to see progress instead of feeling frustrated you can’t do better than your first workout because you went too hard.

If your goal is to lose weight, it is necessary to keep cardio training consistent– 5 days a week.
Cardio exercise alone won’t eliminate the extra weight. Living healthy is a lifestyle, and cardio exercise is an excellent supplement. Remember that your cardio training is only a fraction of your day, making healthy decision throughout the rest of your day including: choosing healthy food options, taking the stairs, walking, and taking 10 minutes for a quick stretch. When you feel ready to move up to a higher intensity, do it! It is important to challenge yourself as opposed to doing the same thing over and over again. Making it harder is fun because it is the best way to measure progress.

Another fun way (not to mention FREE!) to do a cardio workout is to download the EZIA ESP app for iPhone. The app is like having a private personal trainer with you no matter where you are. With cardio training, you are constantly moving, which for most people is a nice change after sitting at a desk all day.

cardio training step mill

Some tips:

  • Do not engage in a cardio workout on an empty stomach, it will prevent you from reaching your maximum performance levels.
  • Remember it’s also WHAT you eat that determines how you perform not necessarily how much. Food is fuel so treat your body like the high performance machine it is.
  • Start with your primary training focus, meaning if you are trying to increase strength do your cardio training last, and if you are focusing on endurance, start with your cardio session
  • Most importantly stay consistent, don’t give up, and have fun!

Download the EZIA ESP app to “activate your full cardio training potential” and get access to all of EZIA Human Performance’s exercise videos.

Coauthored by Performance Coach Derrick Broussard and Kelsey Jess


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