Newbie, want to build a solid cardio foundation...

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Newbie, want to build a solid cardio foundation...

Post by OUChevelleSS »

Hi all,

I was hoping to get our input on getting into cardio shape. I used to play soccer up till high school but never got stamina and cardio to a good level. Since then I used to lift weights, where I got pretty into Rippetoe's program and was making solid gains, but I neglected cardio. However, I stopped due to a trip to Europe and never got back on track. Thereafter I was diagnosed with a form of leukemia (CML), so leading up to and after diagnosis/treatment I wasn't really able to work out. I am still on medicine that gives me a lot of side effects, and being a wimp I haven't really tried to be in shape and work out in the last couple of years.

I want to get back into things, but I really want to have a good cardio foundation before I get lifting. I know having this foundation will help with fatigue and energy levels when I get back to lifting. I know I am out of shape, because while I'm not super heavy, heart rate gets pretty high, and I want to change that.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone could give me tips or guidance on starting out cardio. I have bought one of those chest/wrist heart monitors and tested it out. When I'm super relaxed at rest, I hover between 72-80 bpm. Getting up and walking around in the house it jumps to upper 90's. I walked outside for an hour and a half today with wife and walking was about 110bpm, walking in earnest was about 125bpm, and hitting it to almost speedwalking for me was about 145. I believe this is target bpm to be in the ~70% max heart zone as I am 26 years old. I was comfortable the whole time walking and could have walked a while longer in the 120s.

I guess question is, does it really matter what your heart rate is doing different activities, as long as you are able to hit and stay in your 70% zone to build cardio? Or do I need to look at it as: if just strolling in the park I'm 110bpm, I need to keep doing that for a while until I can do this with less effort before moving on? I hope that makes sense.

Thanks for any input. Just not sure how cardio should all work. Thanks!
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Re: Newbie, want to build a solid cardio foundation...

Post by Boss Man »

The fat burning zone is suppoed to be 60-70% of MHR, but it's really a very hit and miss thing.

I would suggest a simple way of gradually stepping up the cardiovascular activity you do.

This is one way you could do it.

You have a 30 minutes session, split into 10 x 3 minute "cycles"

You do these 5 times a week. I'd suggest perhaps 3 days of cardio, 1 off, 2 days on, 1 off, so that you don't do 5 days straight and 2 days off, which might eat into progress.#

I'd use a fairly flat course.

In week one, each cycle would look like this.

Walk 2 minutes 50 seconds, job 10 seconds.

In week 2 do this.

Walk 2 minutes 40 seconds, jog 20 seconds

Week 3, do this.

Walk 2 minutes 30 seconds, jog 30 seconds.

You should see a pattern emerging.

When you've managed to do a full 30 minutes, then you could aim for one of 3 things.

1. another 5 minutes a week.

2. A tougher route.

3. A faster speed for 30 minutes.

With the latter, you could perhaps work up to a full hour, then go for a bit more pace.
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Re: Newbie, want to build a solid cardio foundation...

Post by Tallgirll22T »

I live in southern Indiana, which is great for building endurance because it is a land of rolling hills. problem is now it is hard for me to get fatigued enough to know I worked out unless I do higher intensity cardio. However, I think walking on a natural surface that alternates is good for you and easier to manage because you aren't always going uphill, downhill, or flat. When you have a variation it is kind of like active recovery. Walking is also fairly low impact. I think you should just start out going for walks, then start walking as fast as you can without jogging, then once you are used to that maybe move on to some other cardio like biking or buy a cardio dvd with short, but intense workouts.
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Re: Newbie, want to build a solid cardio foundation...

Post by toddhicks209 »

I think the routine you have now is a good one. Keep it up and your conditioning is likely to be ideal.
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