12 Week Personal Training Programme - Cardiovascular

by Greg Brookes - Date: 2006-12-15 - Word Count: 597 Share This!

Moving into week 5 of your fitness programme and we have covered all the basic aspects necessary for improving your overall health. However, the body is a master adapter and must be constantly challenged in order to maintain progress. This change doesn't always have to be radical it can involve further distance, changing terrain or 1 or 2 extra repetitions of an exercise. The point is to keep pushing yourself that little bit extra each time so you never reach a plateau in your routine. For the next 4 weeks we shall be moving up a level, building on the basic foundations that we have laid down and striving to challenge the body that little bit extra.

If you are finding it hard to motivate yourself then try to put things into perspective. There are 168 hours in a 7 day week, during this time your body manages to deal with most things you throw at it, if you exercise for 30 mins per day, 5 days a week, that is only 4% of your time giving something back. Now that's not much to ask is it?

Week 5: Aerobic (Heart and lungs) Intermediate

To build on your basic 30 minute walk, run, swim, cycle that you should be performing 3 - 4 times a week, we can now introduce some interval training to push the body to the next level. Interval training increases your body's ability to tolerate high levels of lactic acid and improve the rate at which this acid is removed from the muscles. If you have ever felt really sick after very hard exercise that is probably an excess of lactic acid that has build up in your system, it is a by product from your anaerobic (without oxygen) system as it makes extra energy for you.

Interval training involves structured periods of work and recovery aimed at developing the aerobic (with oxygen) and anaerobic (without oxygen) energy systems. The best way to start is with a 1:4 work to recovery ratio. So you will exercise as before for 4 minutes (Rate of perceived exertion 5-6) and then you will push yourself either with a light jog if walking, sprint if running or cycling, for 1 minute (RPE 8-9) then you will return back to your 4 minutes as before, you may feel like you want to stop but don't keep going and it will get better. Repeat this process 4 times totalling 20 minutes. This interval training should only be performed twice per week because the body will need time to recover.

Your exercise diary should now be filling up, a current week may look like this:

Monday: Intervals 1:4 20 mins / Stretching
Tuesday: Resistance Training / Walk 30 mins / Stretching
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Intervals 1:4 20 mins / Stretching
Friday: Resistance Training / Walk 30 mins / Stretching
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Resistance Training / Walk 5 mins / Stretching

Remember before any workout programme you should warm up the body, this prepares the body for exercise switches on the nervous system and avoids injury. After exercise you should cool down this prevents blood pooling and slowly returns the heart rate back to normal.

A cautionary note

No exercise program should be painful, there is a difference between being tired and in pain. If you feel pain at any time then stop and consult a doctor. Pain indicates either incorrect technique or a medical problem. If you have any doubts about your current state of health then consult a medical professional before embarking on any fitness program.


Weeks 5-6 20 minutes 2 x per week Intervals 4:1
Weeks 7-8 20 minutes 2 x per week Intervals 3:2

Next week: Flexibility

Related Tags: exercise, london personal trainer, personal training, personal fitness trainer, mobile personal trainer

Fully certified personal trainer and massage therapist based in Denia in Spain. Available for one to one personal fitness training sessions including a holistic approach of nutrition, flexibility, biomechanics, cardiovascular and functional resistance training. http://www.gbpersonaltraining.com

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