The Beginner's Guide to Conditioning for Women

Conditioning your body promotes faster recovery and better endurance. Learn about the different types of cardio and their benefits with our Conditioning Guide.

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Aerobic & Anaerobic

Knowing what type of physical activity is either aerobic or anaerobic can make all the difference to both your long-term health and how much time you should be spending on an elliptical machine or lifting weights.


Aerobic exercise

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic means “with oxygen.” There is enough oxygen available to supply your body’s energy demands. With aerobic exercise you can sustain physical activity for longer periods of time, such as jogging.

Anaerobic exercise

Anaerobic Exercise

Anaerobic means “without oxygen.” There is not enough oxygen to supply your body's energy demands. With anaerobic exercise you get out of breath quickly by performing short bursts of activity, such as sprints.

Interval Training

Interval training involves alternating periods of short, intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods. The benefits go far beyond saving time and expediting results.


Time efficient

Time Efficient

Interval training is one of the most efficient forms of cardio, and can deliver benefits much more quickly than typical cardio workouts.

Burn more calories

Burn More CALORIES

The intensity required for interval training means that your body must work harder to recover, so you will burn more calories post workout.

Boost metabolism

Boost Metabolism

Speed up your metabolism and burn fat with interval training by triggering a reaction called Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC).

No gym required

No Gym Required

No gym, no problem! All you really need for an effective interval training workout are plyometric exercises, like high knees or lateral jumps.


Types of Interval Training

 

Tabata TRAINING

The Tabata was created by Dr. Izumi Tabata to improve athlete performance. Each exercise in a given Tabata workout is performed for 20 seconds at maximal effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest (30 seconds equals one set), and repeated for a total of 4 minutes (or 8 sets).

Example Tabata:
(Complete 2 rounds = 4 minutes)
• Mountain Climbers 20 sec / Rest 10 sec
• Alternating Lunges 20 sec / Rest 10 sec
• High Knees 20 sec / Rest 10 sec
• Jump Squats 20 sec / Rest 10 sec

HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING

HIITs are also completed in intervals, but you have more flexibility with the intensity, duration (for work and rest), and type of exercise. These intervals are performed at high intensity, such as sprint intervals (followed by light jogging intervals) or by performing multiple exercises.

Example HIIT:
(Can be performed on a track or treadmill)

• Sprint 400m / Rest 3 minutes
• Sprint 300m / Rest 2 minutes
• 
Sprint 200m / Rest 1 minute
• 
Sprint 100m
 

Steady-State Cardio

Also known as continuous training, steady-state cardio involves training at a consistent and sustainable pace for a longer duration, usually 20 to 60 minutes, without taking breaks.


Great for Beginners

If you're new to fitness and not sure which cardio style is best, 45 minutes on the stationary bike is probably a better choice than all-out sprinting.

Fat-Burning Zone

Steady-state cardio can increase the length of time your body is in the fat-burning zone, which occurs at about 65% of your max heart rate.

Build Endurance

By training your body and energy system to function for a longer time frame, you will increase your body’s capacity to do work over time.

Faster Recovery

The effects of a workout don't stop once you leave the gym, so keeping a moderate pace during your cardio will leave you a little less fatigued.