(Graphics: Melanie Anderson/Livestrong.com)
Whether you’re a competitive athlete, casual lifter or simply training to improve your health, you know cardiovascular training is important for both men and women. Beyond the wealth of heart-healthy benefits, cardio training is vital to mental health. Exercise ranging from low to high intensity improves your concentration and mood and stimulates the release of endorphins, giving you the “runners high” after a lunchtime or after-work training session. Equally as important, low-impact cardio training will improve your recovery after weightlifting sessions, eradicating soreness and allowing you to train harder more frequently. With the wealth of benefits in mind, here are 5 cardiovascular-focused workouts created specifically for men; although women can certainly do them too.
Treadmill intervals are an excellent high-intensity training method. If you haven’t sprinted in a while, treadmill intervals allow you to ease back into running without going all-out and injuring yourself.
Here’s the workout:
– Start by setting a treadmill at a 2 to 3 percent incline and warming up for three minutes between 5 and 6 mph.
– Increase the speed of the treadmill to between 7 and 10 mph, depending on your training level.
– Sprint for 15 seconds, then hop onto the sides of the treadmill and rest for 45 seconds.
– Repeat for 15 to 20 minutes. Start slowly, and then increase the pace of the interval. You should be out of breath and struggle to maintain your speed for any longer than the 15-second sprint.
Unlike most cardio equipment, the rower offers full-body benefits due to the rowing motion created when your upper-body muscles (lats, traps, rhomboids, forearms and biceps) work with the legs. By recruiting the upper and lower body, the rower allows you to target the entire body after a hard workout or stimulate a greater amount of muscle mass during your training. The more muscle you recruit with an exercise, the greater the potential cardiovascular benefits due to an increased number of muscular contractions. Whether you’re looking to recover from other training or minimize joint stress with low-impact training, the rower is a great tool.