Cardiorespiratory work

16.73 Weight training gives the cardiorespiratory system work, but just how much depends on how you train. To get into serious aerobic work you need to get specific.

16.74 Unless you are already fit, moderate safe aerobic training will increase your fitness, i.e., your cardiorespiratory efficiency and muscular endurance. Improved fitness will help you to weight train more intensively, and probably help your recovery process.

16.75 Benefits from aerobic training can be obtained from just moderate work. Extreme dedication is not only unnecessary but actually counterproductive. Performing more than about thirty minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic work three times a week will probably have a negative effect on your weight training. Your gains in the gym may stall if not regress, you risk overtraining and, depending on the activities used, you may get injured.

16.76 Choose a zero-impact activity, e.g., stationary cycling (with the seat positioned so that your leg is almost fully straight when the pedal is at its bottom position, for knee care), or use a skiing, climbing or rowing machine, or choose a very-low impact activity such as brisk walking. ^e more musculature you can involve in the exercise, the better—for increased effectiveness and productivity relative to time invested—so skiing and rowing are superior to walking.

16.77 Millions of people have been injured from jogging, running, and road cycling, all in the quest for improved health. Some supposedly beneficial activities are very dangerous. Apply common sense and make sure you do not use an activity that is likely to produce either acute or chronic injury.

16.78 Just two or preferably three 25-30 minute aerobic sessions each week are fine, excluding the few minutes needed for a gradual warmup and another few minutes for cooling down, each session. Either perform the aerobic training after you weights workouts, on your off days, or a mixture of the two. Write a convenient and practical schedule, and stick with it.

16.79 Moderate-intensity aerobic training is important or else you will kill your gains in muscle and might. If you cannot talk, albeit haltingly, while you do your aerobic work, you are training too intensively. You should be breathing much heavier than when you are at rest, but you do not need to be gasping. Always keep in mind that you cannot focus on getting a stronger and better physique if you are training like a competitive endurance athlete.

16.80 If you are currently not doing any specific aerobic exercise, and especially if you are over thirty-five years old, start pronto! But start out gently and take a month or so to progressively build up to the required duration and intensity. If you rush this process you may overstretch your recovery abilities, and overtrain. ^e body has a wonderful ability to adapt to imposed demands, but apply new demands gradually.

16.81 Start your aerobic session very easily and take a few minutes to work up to your intended level of effort—consider this as the warmup period. Your body needs a few minutes before it starts drawing most of its energy from the aerobic system.

16.82 ^is aerobic activity is for fitness, and help with fat control. Any possible benefits to health are additional. ^e health benefits from aerobic exercise are exaggerated by many enthusiasts. Because you are seriously working out with weights you are already getting tremendous benefits from exercise. But people who do not do any other exercise are going to get substantial benefits from even just modest aerobic training because that is their only formal exercise.

16.83 Many enthusiasts take aerobic activity to such extremes that they harm their bodies. A fit body is not necessarily a healthy body, and a healthy body is not necessarily a fit one. Fitness and health are not synonymous, but of course it is far better to be fit than unfit. Some people who were super fit also had serious heart disease, and died of that despite their high level of fitness. And many people who do not have heart disease are not at all fit.

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