When it comes to training your cardiovascular capacity, there are two main factors to consider: do you want to go far or do you want to go hard? There are unique benefits and drawbacks to both approaches, depending on your goals and abilities. In order to reap the greatest rewards from your training time, it’s important to understand the differences between the two.
Long bouts of moderate-paced exertion (think jogging) train the aerobic energy system. This type of exercise is great for keeping the heart, lungs and brain in tip-top shape; and, because of its low-intensity nature, you can easily incorporate aerobic activity into your daily life.
On the opposite end of the cardio spectrum, we have the anaerobic energy system. The word “anaerobic” literally means “without oxygen”; this is how the body operates during brief bursts of intense activity, like a 100-metre sprint. We burn more calories when we’re operating this close to our fullest capacity, however it’s impossible to keep this up for more than 20 or 30 seconds.
It’s become fashionable in the fitness world to promote anaerobic exercises for cardiovascular training. The idea is that you can get more done in a shorter period of time by emulating Andre De Grasse, and while that may be true from a calories-burned perspective, pushing your body to the max on a regular basis often leads to injuries and burn-out. Thankfully there’s a way to get the best of both worlds, a way to work safely within your aerobic zone while still burning extra calories—throw on a Power Weighted Fitness Vest or belt.
By adding some weight to your morning walk, your body has to work harder to sustain the same level of output. Translation: you burn more calories without having to move any faster. Wearing a weighted vest also forces your postural muscles into action, leading to a more upright and efficient stride. It’s a kinder choice for your body than sprinting, and arguably just as effective.
To get the most out of your cardio sessions, load-up your vest or belt with 10-15% of your bodyweight. This will provide enough resistance to encourage extra output without slowing you down. A good goal to strive for: maintain a pace that gets your heart beating fast without forcing you to gasp for air for at least 20 minutes.