Reaching your maximum aerobic fitness is something that requires a lot of training and perseverance to achieve. The effects of obtaining heightened aerobic ability include increased lung capacity, increased stamina while training and increased metabolism, all of which can help you sculpt your body and make you feel great. Here are 4 steps to achieving max aerobic fitness:
Step 1: Practice Interval Training
Interval training is exercise that is interspersed with short periods of rest. This type of training is essential to increasing your aerobic ability. Start by interval training with running. Run a typical course for your ability, but instead of maintaining a steady pace, practice sprinting for 30 seconds and than running a slower pace for 30 seconds for the duration of the run. As your aerobic ability increases, begin to extend the time spent at both sprinting and regular pace running until you are doing 3 minutes of each for the duration of your run.
Step 2: Cool Down and Stretch
Always spend at least 10 minutes after your interval training session to cool down and jog at a steady pace. This will help to prevent injuries, and give your muscles a chance to recover. It is important to remember to stretch after your sessions to ensure that your muscles are loose and to prevent cramping or tightness after working out. These two steps are often overlooked and lead to an inability to maintain a high level of fitness (due to soreness and injury). Try to spend at least 10 minutes both cooling down and stretching after any interval training session.
Step 3: Engage in Weight Training
In addition to your aerobic training, you should include strength training into your workout to increase your overall strength, and thereby increase your performance. By building your underlying muscles, you will be able to last longer and work to prevent injuries as well. Include 2 to 3 strenght training sessions into your fitness routine weekly. These can include lifting weights or doing a strength training program like yoga or Pilates.
Step 4: Maintain Your Training Program
To achieve your maximum aerobic potential, you will need to dedicate anywhere from 3 to 5 training sessions a week to aerobic fitness. This needs to include at least 20 minutes of aerobic fitness in each training session. You should reach your target heart rate in these sessions, which means you will need to achieve 60% to 80% of your max heart rate. Calculate this by subtracting your age from 220 and calculating the range of 60% to 80% of that. Immediately after you exercise, take your pulse for 15 seconds and multiply that number by 4 to verify that you are reaching that level.
By following these 4 steps, you too can achieve maximum aerobic fitness. Maintaining a focus on your goal and continuously working to increase your aerobic strength will pay off in just a short amount of time if you remain dedicated.