8-Week Cardiovascular Training & Weight Loss

Trying to lose weight or build up your cardiovascular endurance but don’t know where to begin? This 8-week program makes it easier on you- created for an intermediate exerciser who can (and is willing to) sustain long workouts at a easy to moderate pace to build cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, and weight loss. If you’re not looking for a weight loss plan, don’t worry. This won’t necessarily make you lose weight as long as you maintain your calorie intake and daily NET caloric balance. To use this as a weight loss plan, be sure to combine with a calorie-restricted diet to produce a negative NET caloric intake for weight loss.

This plan is NOT intended only for runners. The intensity of these cardio workouts are based on your heart rate or maximal capacity for effort. If you rarely exercise at all, 60-80% of your heart rate (HR) could be just a walk and for others, it could be a hard run. This is meant to fit all types of populations at different exercise levels, as long as they are able and willing to sustain long durations of physical activity. It is designed for truly dedicated individuals. 8-week plans are not meant for dramatic body changes, but it is a beginning to conditioning the body. For the extended cardiovascular plan, contact me if interested.

Core Workouts

Core workouts are incorporated 4x a week because core strength is most important for posture and everyday activities; many people neglect this area, where weight gain often is most noticeable and pain is most likely developed in the lower back due to weak muscles. A healthy core (abdominals, back, and hips) will ensure optimal posture, strength, toning, and assistance in this type of cardiovascular workout plan and improve everyday functional ability. The core exercise designed for this program can be found here.

Strength Training

Strength Training (weight lifting or body weight exercises) is also incorporated 2x a week, and a high intensity interval training workout (HIIT) once a week to maintain muscle that are needed for increased cardiovascular demands and to benefit weight loss. These types of workouts help balance the high demands of cardiovascular training. Stretching is incorporated 2x a week, minimum, to maintain elasticity of the muscles so they do not tighten up. When the muscles get tight from increased physical demands, they are more prone to tears and injuries. These are all important aspects of keeping the body’s kinetic chain in balance.

Cardiovascular Intensity

The table is coded for cardiovascular workouts each day as CV1, CV2, CV3, CV4. These are the varieties of intensities that will be performed. Use the table at the bottom of the exercise plan to determine how intense the workout should be.
It is best to get to know your own body and listen to the signs of fatigue. Pay attention to what may be the “maximal effort” you could exert, and go from there. The better you get to know your body and it’s abilities, the easier it will be to determine how hard you are working (at 40%, 60% 80%, etc. of your maximal effort) The % HR will approximately correspond.

How to take heart rate

To accurately determine your heart rate or intensity for the cardio session use the formula as follows:
Cardiovascular Intensity: Measured by Percentage of Maximal Heart Rate Method.
Formula: Age-predicted maximum heart rate (APMHR)= 220-age
Target heart rate (THR)= (APMHR x exercise intensity)

Use the tips of your first two fingers (not your thumb) to press lightly over the blood vessels on your wrist or neck. Count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply by 6 to find your beats per minute. For a more accurate reading, count your pulse for 30 seconds and multiple by 2 to find your beats per minute. If counting your pulse during a workout or exercise, counting for only 10 seconds is most efficient.
Readings on cardio machines (elliptical, treadmill, etc.) are most often inaccurate and an unreliable source for providing an accurate heart rate for  your exercise. It is best to count your heart rate yourself for accuracy.

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Warm-Up

Remember to use a proper 5-10 minute warm up before each exercise session. Warming up the muscles is important to obtain maximal effort during the session as well as helping the body maintain homeostasis while the body adapts to increased demands. It’ll also prevent injury, as the muscles are more susceptible to tear and injuries while the are cold or without a proper warm-up.

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
 Week 1 40 min CV 1
Core
20 min CV 3
FB
Core
Stretch
40 min CV 2
Core
20 min CV 4
Strength Training
Core
Stretch
 Week 2 40 min CV 1
Core
20 min CV 3
Strength Training
Core
Stretch
40 min CV 2
Core
20 min CV 4
Strength Training
Core
HIIT
Stretch
Week 3 45 min CV 1
Core
25 min CV 3
Strength Training
Core
Stretch
45 min CV 2
Core
20 min CV 4
Strength Training
Core
HIIT
Stretch
 Week 4 45 min CV 1
Core
25 min CV 3
Strength Training
Core
Stretch
45 min CV 2
Strength Training
Core
20 min CV 4
Strength TrainingCore
HIIT
Stretch
 Week 5 50 min CV 1
Core
30 min CV 3
Strength Training
Core
Stretch
50 min CV 2
Core
20 min CV 4
Strength Training
Core
HIIT
Stretch
 Week 6 50 min CV 1
Core
30 min CV 3
Strength Training
Core
Stretch
50 min CV 2
Core
20 min CV 4
Strength Training
Core
HIIT
Stretch
 Week 7 55 min CV 1
Core
35 min CV 3
Strength Training
Core
Stretch
55 min CV 2
Core
20 min CV 4
Strength Training
Core
HIIT
Stretch
Week 8 55 min CV 1
Core
35 min CV 3
Strength Training
Core
Stretch
55 min CV 2
Core
20 min CV 4
Strength Training
Core
HIIT
Stretch

Cardio Intensity Table – decoded

Use the table below for cardio intensity indication for each cardio (CV) workout.

CARDIOVASCULAR
CV1 CV 3
Run: Moderate Intensity Run: Slightly Above Conversational
40-60% HR Pace
Cool Down: 2-5 min Walk 70-75% HR
Cool Down: 2-5 min Walk
CV2
Run: Easy, Conversational Pace CV 4
60-70% HR Run: “Tempo” Pace
Cool Down: 2-5 min Walk At Lactate Threshold/
Slightly Above Race Pace
Cool Down: 2-5 min Walk

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