“Should you opt for high or low-intensity training?” and whether or not short minutes dedicated for intense training is better than slow yet continuous training based on heart rate.
This debate has persisted for the last five to ten years. In fact, the steady state is deemed useless in burning fat. Therefore, many people chose short burst training with high intensity. After all, it is believed that athletes can burn up to nine times the amount of fat with this method known as Tabata.
Even studies support high-intensity activities. They burn more fat and even increase the overall stress of the workout – which is a good thing, of course. Because of these pieces of evidence, numerous coaches and athletes ignored the steady state for many reasons. It burns less fat and takes more time to complete.
However, the truth is that you will benefit more from this technique. No matter what you do, whether you are a sprinter, football player, powerlifter, or just about any athlete, it is the type of training to go for.
What is the Cardiac Output Method?
You may know the cardiac output method as the Low-Intensity Steady State (LISS) or Long Slow Distance (LSD) training method. It is a practice in many athletic performances, such as Muay Thai and Boxing. This method is where you train at lower intensities. According to its proponents, it is the most efficient way to create a strong aerobic system.
For most athletes, cardiac output method denotes they have to run at least four miles while taking their time. They believe slow training will make them slow.
If you are a sprinter, for example, you could easily think that you do not need to improve your cardiac output. After all, you will only need to sprint for a few seconds then do it again after resting for 30 seconds at least.
In reality though, you should improve your cardiac system. Think of it your very own power plant for producing the all-important aerobic energy.
With cardiac output method, you can improve the amount of blood that the heart pumps when it beats. Such an improvement is critical, whether you are a field or court athlete. The cardiac output method can help enhance your ability to perform repeated tasks, such as sprinting. Plus, it can increase your endurance, so you can play the whole game.
The output formula can vary from one person to another. However, the most common is through the use of the Karvonen method. It helps in determining the best range for an individual’s heart rate for training. Experts advise the following steps:
Estimate your maximum heart rate. It refers to the fastest heart rate that you can achieve while doing any vigorous activity. Note that the number should be in a safe range.
You can get your max heart rate by subtracting your current age from 220.
If your heart rate is between 50 and 80, you are in the optimal range.
Once you have your heart rate, you should bear in mind that it simply serves as a guideline. It should not be used as your absolute fitness marker since there are many other factors that influence your heart rate.
If you are a beginner, your goal is to reach the lower spectrum. As you progress you can adjust the number based on your fitness goal. It is ideal to maintain your heart rate on the higher spectrum, which will give you the best results in your training.
Benefits of Monitoring Cardiac Output
A common problem with many athletes today is that they often neglect their capacity to recover. Everyone dreams of being able to run, rest, and repeat their performance just like the first time. However, the intensity usually withers even for the best athletes in the world.
With the help of a steady state of training, you can develop your aerobic system. It will help you perform more running and sprinting during your game. Here are more reasons why you should believe in the cardiac output method:
You can develop a good base that you and your trainer can start working from
Slow cardio may be boring for some athletes but it helps them build a great aerobic base. Having a good foundation is one of the most important factors that lead to enhanced performance. Additionally, it also lowers the injury rates of the athlete.
A piece of excellent advice here is to take the time needed on the front end. This way, you can improve the foundation that will allow you to outlast the other competitors in your match. The cardiac output method may be too slow and tedious, especially for athletes who are used to training intensely.
However, you cannot build a mansion if your foundation is poor. When you invest time and energy into your training, you will get great results.
You can benefit from eccentric cardiac hypertrophy.
The left ventricle of your heart will gain more if it becomes more elastic. It means that it can let more blood flow through it. Eccentric cardiac hypertrophy will help in enhancing the stroke volume. You can accomplish this because the chamber is filled up with more blood. Therefore, every time your heart beats, it pumps more blood to your working muscles.
When eccentric cardiac hypertrophy takes place, one of the things you will notice is your resting heart rate will drop dramatically. Another benefit that you will experience with such an occurrence is that the time you need to recover will reduce as well. Even when you play your sport, you do not require a long time for resting.
This foundation is exactly what athletes need. This way, they will become much stronger after each recovery session without requiring them to stay rested for an hour or more. Therefore, you get the energy that you need to help you stay in the game and even outlast your opponents.
The cardiac output method will help improve your stroke volume.
Since your left ventricle enjoys more blood between every beat, your body is also working on enhancing the blood volume to distribute with every pump. People who have low stroke volumes tend to have a tougher time in getting the oxygen delivered to their working muscles.
As an athlete, you need this important trait and you can get it through the cardiac output method. When you have improved stroke volume, even the top coaches guarantee that you will perform better.
You will also benefit from a low resting heart rate.
There is a reason why you should always monitor your heart rate. A free and simple method that will let you see how good your conditioning levels are is to simply check your resting heart rate. The way here is to test it in the morning.
If you find that your heart rate is 60 BPM in the morning while you are not doing anything, you should certainly start implementing the cardiac output method into your routine. The beauty of this technique is that it works with any athlete. No matter what sport you are into, you will benefit from it.
Your resting heart rate is important to your performance and overall well-being. It tells you whether or not your body is adapting well to your current training.
If your resting HR keeps increasing in the morning, you may want to reduce the intensity of your workouts. It also helps to dedicate a whole week with easy routines or even no exercises if possible.
There is a chance that your body is trying to give you a signal about your health. Often, it means that you are not recovering in an optimal manner. Therefore, your heart is working hard even when you are resting. The solution here is to back off a little bit. Use slow cardio exercises to your benefit and you will eventually see that the numbers are falling down.
You will recover faster than ever.
If you are an athlete, chances are you will have competitions that take place back to back. You are lucky if you get a few days without playing. The need to recover fast is not to be taken lightly. Whether you are a power or strength athlete, you should focus on your cardiovascular development.
Many of those who struggle in power-lifting, 100-metre dash, O-lifting, and more tend to forget about their heart health. They rely purely on their strength, which is why it is the only area they want to improve.
However, these sports depend on another form of the energy system. You will need to recover every time you wait for an opponent to perform lifts, jumps, sprints, or any other activity.
Several athletes have a problem with their recovery time. When it is their next attempt, they become more tired and fatigued. As a result, their muscles are too weary to help them perform well. If you want to improve your recovery time, the best way is through the cardiac output method. Athletes swear that they see the results almost immediately.
Aside from the time you are competing, it is also useful during your training. With such a method, you help your body recover between each session. It is beneficial because you also aid your body to adapt to the training process that you are doing.
To get good results from your training, you should recover quickly and efficiently. If you are a speed or power athlete, you should not just improve on these areas. It is also essential that you consider your aerobic system as an important part of your whole training routine.
Meanwhile, if you are a power-lifter, you may think it is not an aerobic sport. Therefore, the cardiac output method will have no use for you. However, power-lifting is one of the sports that need you to perform high training volumes. You should keep practising so you can improve.
By adding the cardiac output method into your training process, you will become stronger. It helps improve your recovery time, which means you will be prepared for the next strength training session. Best of all, you can perform the same way as your first output, if not even better.
As you can see, the cardiac output method is useful for every athlete. Whether you are a power-lifter or a sprinter, it will give you great results that you have been longing for in your training. If you are serious about improving your strength, speed, and stamina, you should make building an aerobic base your priority.
How to Incorporate the Cardiac Output Method to Your Training
Before you start incorporating the cardiac output method to your routine, there are a few guidelines to follow. They are important so you can reap the benefits. Here are the things you need to bear in mind:
- Your goal should be to maintain a heart rate of 120 to 150 beats per minute. It should be your constant heart rate.
- Every cardio training sessions should last for at least 30 minutes. If you have the time and stamina, you can extend it to 90 minutes.
- Of course, you should start slow at first. You should never complete a training session that is longer than 30 minutes. You can then increase your workout volume every week.
- It also helps to begin with only two sessions every week.
- In the off-season, you can increase your training to up to three sessions each week.
- If you monitor your heart rate while you are resting and you find out it is above 60 BPM, you may want to add more days for training. Experts suggest training for four to six times weekly.
- The goal is to keep your heart rate to 55 at the most.
- If your resting heart rate is 50 BPM or lower, once to twice every week during the off-season is often enough. You can later progress to a more advanced training style.
Meanwhile, if you are performing any activity, you should make sure that your heart rate is from 130 to 150 BPM. This range is the goal of the whole training process and your number should not fluctuate much for 30 to 90 minutes.
There are many activities that you can perform, so your heart will achieve the optimal rate range. Some examples are jump rope, light sled dragging and pushing, bodyweight circuits, and low-intensity resistance training.
With the numbers out of the way, you can focus on the “how.” Here are some techniques to follow when incorporating the cardiac output method to your exercise sessions:
Train for two sessions that last for 30 minutes. An alternative is to go for one session that takes as long as an hour. Make sure to pick the duration that best fits your schedule. Since it should be a regular part of your routine, you should ensure that you are consistent with the method.
During the Off-Season
If you are a football player and your goal is to increase your cardiac output during the off-season, you can follow the same plan as above. Two to three days every week will allow you to build an aerobic base.
The good news here is that you do not need to perform at least 45 minutes of LSD running. You can perform your circuit training routines instead in the weight room or outside.
Combine with Strength Training
It is not a requirement but training to improve your strength while improving your cardiac output can deliver even better results. Many athletes and coaches have stated that two to three days of strength training, along with the cardiac output method, helped them with their goals.
If you will use this technique, remember that you should aim to lay the foundation for your other training methods. Therefore, you need to be prepared for the more advanced methods; otherwise, you are setting yourself up for failure. It can easily lead to more injuries and even disappointment.
Some types of equipment that you can use include sleds, bands, ropes, and medicine balls.
See the Results of Improved Cardiac Output
The cardiac output method can be applied to any routine. Whether you are training for soccer, basketball, or even Brazilian jiu-jitsu, this technique will help you perform better. It is always best to stick to a slow and steady routine.
Cardiac output is all about keeping your heart rate at the optimal range. It does not matter what type of activity you choose for the time block, which is from 30 to 90 minutes.
The important thing is that your heart rate stays within 130 to 150 BPM. Once the number goes over, you should always stop and rest or simply lower your exercise intensity until you reach the range again.