How Can One Track Their Cardio Progress?

How can one track their cardio progress? It's easy to check how one is progressing in their strength training but cardio is a little harder. Take action now and apply the following ideas to improve your cardio!


TOPIC: How Can One Track Their Cardio Progress?

The Question:

It's easy to check how one is progressing in their strength training activities; keep a log and see how much stronger you are getting each week. However, cardio is equally important, but a bit harder to keep track of.

How can one track their cardio progress?

How important is it for a bodybuilder to keep track of their cardio progress?

What benefits can be gained by keeping better track of your cardio?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

    Prizes:
      1st place - 75 in store credit.
      2nd place - 50 in store credit.
      3rd place - 25 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Justin @ justin.podzimek@bodybuilding.com for more info.


1st Place - greensquats
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

dots
Introduction
dots

Muscle & Fat. There has been a raging war between these two bodily substances since the beginning of bodybuilding... perhaps even sports in general. On the one hand, we have muscle. Muscle being the representative of speed, power, strength, aesthetics, hard work etc. On the other hand, however, we have fat, being the representative of unaesthetic, slowness, weakness, health problems, laziness, etc.

Taking this fact which has already been ingrained in all of societies' heads, we can see that it would be only natural to want to attain as much muscle while gaining as little/losing as much fat as possible. And what's the one, generally considered the most effective, way in accomplishing this ideal? Through cardio, of course. Yet, even though everybody knows all of this, most people still tend to put the cardio off, if they do it at all.

And when they finally set foot on a treadmill or the likes, they shutter. Why is this? Possibly because there's no joy in it, no sense of accomplishment. As Universal Nutrition rightly put it in their product description of Animal Cuts, "Cardio sucks. There's no beauty or grace in it. You're not moving huge weight. It's just painful." But the question is, is there a way to put a sense of pride and accomplishment back into cardio?

FEATURED PRODUCT: ANIMAL CUTS
Animal Cuts Universal Presents:
Animal Cuts

Whether you're preparing for a show or just trying to get in top condition, you need the raw power of Animal Cuts.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

A way to make it at least tolerable? If so, what's the number one best way? My answer to you is yes, and the best way to do it is simply by tracking your cardio so that you KNOW you're progressing and you'll have something to be proud of. Many people do this already with weights, what's one more log to ya'?

I'll tell you what it is to ya'. It's the difference between giving up or trudging on. It's the difference between first and second. It's the difference between wussy tactics and true bodybuilding heart. That's what. Guess what else? It may even make cardio a little fun in seeing if you can beat yesterday's cardio session. So let's get started.

Cardio
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
It's The Difference Between Giving Up Or Trudging On.

dots
Tracking Cardio Progress
How Can One Track Their Cardio Progress?
dots

So now that we know that you should track your cardio progress, what's the best way of going about it? Well, keeping a log is probably the best route you can take. Simply find a good, durable notepad, find a pencil, and each day, when you're finished with your cardio session, simply record the distance you ran and the time it took ya' and/or speed.

Also record the incline (if on a treadmill or the sort). Then the next day, all you have to do is compare both results and each day try to run faster, longer distance and time wise, and/or higher.

BodySpace BodySpace Workout Tracker:
Set Up A Routine And Stick To It!

With BodySpace you can track your routine day by day and keep yourself from slipping up.

[ Sign Up For Your Own BodySpace Account Here! ]

Probably just as good of a way to track your cardio progress is simply looking at your physique. The reason this isn't technically as good as logging your cardio is because you may become better at cardio and still not lose as much fat.

However, usually your body is the best sign of what's going on. Are your pecs ripped? Do you're abs ripple? Are your legs shredded? Chances are, if your cardio improves but your BF% doesn't, then you need to make some changes in your diet or rest.

dots
Importance Of Cardio Tracking
How Important Is It For A Bodybuilder To Keep Track Of Their Cardio Progress?
dots

As mentioned before, it is very important to track cardio, because it can help you to identify problems in your routine, whether that be diet, rest, or training. For instance, if you keep improving on cardio, but not on fat, then you can rightly assume that your diet, rest, or weight training are the real culprits. And then obviously if you are not improving on cardio, and you are not losing fat, then you know you're not executing cardio well enough. The same principal applies vice-versa as well.

It's also important to track cardio so that you have something to target and shoot for to break. This way you are constantly improving, and as such, losing more fat quicker. This will in turn also make you healthier via cardiovascular.

Another reason it's important to track cardio is so that one stays motivated. If you never knew you were breaking plateaus and striving in cardio, then one could easily become discouraged and give up.

This would be a cardinal sin, because then they would gain fat much easier and much quicker. I mean, the reasons we want to body build in the first place is either to win a competition or simply impress people by looking good, of which you will do neither if you give up cardio and gain fat.

So it is essential to track cardio.

dots
Benefits
What Benefits Can Be Gained By Keeping Better Track Of Your Cardio?
dots

The benefits that can be gained from cardio are many and abound.

  1. Better cardiovascular health, which just happens to be the #1 killer of Americans. Plus, bodybuilders are in greater need of this health because they are lugging around a lot of extra mass in the form of muscle which is hard for the body to maintain.

  2. You lose more fat! Don't we all want to lose fat, especially bodybuilders? This in turn also constitutes for the following:

    1. You'll win more competitions. I mean honestly, if you are carrying unwanted extra fat, you won't beat Joe Blow with sticks for limbs.

    2. You'll feel better about yourself, both mentally and physically. You'll feel more confident, and literally be and feel lighter, quicker, and stronger since there isn't that extra weight to hold you back.

    3. You'll be more aesthetic!! You'll get that girl, guy, or whatever creature you're after. You'll get more respect, too.

RELATED ARTICLE
Confidence: Achieve It And Realize Your Potential.
[ Click here to learn more. ]
Confidence.
The following interview is compulsory reading for those who would like to improve their confidence levels and those who are sufficiently confident but would like to gain that all important edge.
Author:
David Robson

Don't you want this kind of freedom? Of course you do, especially if you're a bodybuilder. That's how and why you should track you're cardio, now go do it.

Thanks,
GreenSquats.


2nd Place - bigcalves
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

dots
Tracking Cardio Progress
How Can One Track Their Cardio Progress?
dots

Cardio is the often overlooked part of bodybuilding. Every bodybuilders goes through stages of "bulking up" and "cutting down". Most advanced bodybuilders track their lifting progress if not daily, then weekly. There, the importance is emphasized through hard work and keeping close tabs on everything.

Since most people complain about cardio and usually make up excuses to avoid it, wouldn't keeping even closer tabs make sense, considering the goal is to get the desired results with the lowest amount of cardio? It makes perfect sense, and in this article we will discuss the importance of performing cardio in a smart way.

In order to record your total cardio progress and results it is important to make two goals:

  1. A short term
  2. A long term

A short term can be doing cardio four times this week and doing it for at least 30 minutes. A long term goal on the other hand takes more time and an example would be performing cardio 4 times a week for six months and loosing 4 percent body fat.

Cardio
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Train At The Intesity That Relates To Your Goals.

A personal way of how I record cardio is something similar to my lifting routine. I know which day cardio should be done, how much to do per session and the desired intensity. Let's say my plan is to cut down and I need to do this for 4 months, I would create a chart that includes all the days of the week.

On each day that I do cardio a highlighted amount of time is written down. There's a checkbox and at the end of the week I can see how many times a week I did cardio and how long the time was. When I compare my results to the desired results I can always look back and tweak things for the next time I'm tracking my cardio process.

The goal is to learn from mistakes and grow from each mistake. Knowledge is power, and every one's body is different so making mistakes is something normal and motivational, think of it as constructive criticism. Here is an example of a cardio routine, as you can see it has a detailed record of everything during the cardio session.

  • Monday - 40 minutes/3.5 mph; uphill +2/ average pulse: 135 bpm/
  • Tuesday - 40 minutes/ 4.5 mph/ average pulse: 140 bpm/
  • Wednesday - OFF from Cardio
  • Thursday - 30 minutes/ 4 mph; uphill +3/ average pulse: bpm/
  • Friday - 45 minutes/ 3.4 mph; uphill +1/ average pulse 140bpm/
  • Saturday - OFF from Cardio
  • Sunday - HIIT Cardio/ 30 minutes/ average pulse 160 bpm/

What Does BPM Mean?
Beats per minute (BPM) is a unit typically used as a measure of one's heart rate. You can track your bpm with a heart rate monitor.

Strapless Heart Rate Monitor Reebok Presents:
Strapless Heart Rate Monitor

Time And Heart Rate Anytime, Anywhere Plus More Features!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

dots
Importance Of Cardio Tracking
How Important Is It For A Bodybuilder To Keep Track Of Their Cardio Progress?
dots

Bodybuilders need to pay even closer attention to their cardio than lifting at times. When getting ready for a contest, a bodybuilder must contain as much muscle as possible, while shredding down a crazy amount of body fat. The results is a chiseled physique that portrays the body like a statue.

Not an ounce of fat is found on the body. In order to do that, a serious cardio routine is needed in order to burn all those calories, and to boost up the metabolism through out the day. A bodybuilder that does cardio 'whenever he wants to' will have a hard time getting ready for a show, photo shoots, etc... Serious discipline is needed in every aspect of bodybuilding and cardio is a huge part.

RELATED ARTICLE
Discipline!
[ Click here to learn more. ]
Discipline!
We all know real champions are those who push their physiques to the limit and accept nothing but the best from themselves. Their success can be isolated to one point. Discipline!
Author:
David Robson

When it comes to cardio for a bodybuilder, the importance goes up even more. Let's take aside the fact that bodybuilders need a successful routine in order to shed body fat and step on stage. Cardiovascular health is also very important. Carrying all that extra muscle is taxing to the heart and cardiovascular health.

Have you ever seen an obese person get winded just walking up the stairs? Weight and pressure put on the body is important to understand.

By keeping track of the intensity of the workout and the time it took a bodybuilder can keep his body fat low, but also keep track of his cardiovascular health, which is very important for successful muscle development.

dots
Benefits
What Benefits Can Be Gained By Keeping Better Track Of Your Cardio?
dots

The benefits of cardio are something every bodybuilder needs in order to be successful. By keeping track of your cardio you will benefit in many ways. First off, your body fat level is likely to go down overall, because of the increased activity and motivation, chances are that you will end up doing more cardio that you have before. We usually don't stop to think how many times we've skipped on cardio.

Cardiovascular health is something else that will benefit by keeping track of your cardio. By comparing the times and intensities of each sessions you will be able to tweak your routine in order to get the best cardiovascular health. If that's good, then workout in the weight room will also improve. Oxygen is very important when it comes to lifting heavy.

dots
Conclusion
dots

In conclusion, cardio is very important to any bodybuilder. A person with no direction won't go far, and if you don't have a set cardio routine you will most likely skip or cut cardio sessions short.

A good cardio routine will produce results. Lower body fat levels, a healthier mind state and improved heart health. Any body looking to improve in their bodybuilding journey must take serious note when it comes to understanding cardio and applying the basics!

Cardio
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
A Good Cardio Routine Will Produce Results.


3rd Place - ahaedicke
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

dots
Track Your Progress
dots

Tracking the progress of your cardiovascular fitness is similar to the way you log your strength training exercises. The first thing that I would do is to start a MS Excel spreadsheet or find a spare note book to start logging your cardio regimen the same way you log your strength training regimen.

When tracking one's cardio progress it is important to know that there are essentially two ways of ensuring that you are progressing in your cardio:

  1. Run the same distance in a shorter period of time.
  2. Run a longer distance at the same or faster pace.

That being said, I would start my log by picking goals and set up weekly advances base on either time or distance. When doing cardio it is important to have the training session planned out ahead of time. Why? Because you're working your heart, breaking a sweat, busting your @ss... all reasons why it's easy to say, "That's good enough for today."

But the fact is just doing "some cardio" isn't gonna cut it. As with strength training one needs to constantly raise the bar. Having goals and distances laid out ahead of time and MAKE you improve rather than just going until your tired or something ridiculous like that. Of course you're going to be tired, that's the point of cardio isn't it? To improve one's stamina and/or endurance? So, a sample log that I would use would go like this:

Date: 10/1/08 10/8/08 10/15/08
Distance: 2 miles 3 miles 2 miles
Predicted Pace: 8:20 8:20 7:50
Actual Time: 16:30 24:37 15:00

Here you see the weekly progression that I was talking about. The distance from week 1 to week 2 increases, therefore increasing the difficulty, also between week 2 and week 3 the distance is shorter but the pace is considerably increased also increasing the difficulty of the session.

As for planning ahead you should plan the dates, distances and paces, but leave the distance open until you actually complete the training session. Hence "actual time." Your actual time should be a touch shorter than your predicted pace.

Jamie Eason
Cardio Fanatic: Jamie Eason
Jamie Is No Stranger To The Stair Stepper!
Photo By SecondFocus.

1600x1200 - 1280x1024 - 1152x864 - 1024x768 - 800x600
480x640 - 320x240 - 240x320 - 160x160 - 160x120 - 128x128



dots
Importance Of Cardio Records
dots

It is incredibly important to all athletes and bodybuilders to track the progress of their cardio training. Would you ask a bodybuilder if they bothered to keep track of their lifting progress? Of course not. It is assumed that people who are serious about fitness and training will keep track of their records in an attempt to constantly better themselves.

Tracking your progress does two things:

  1. It makes sure that you are constantly improving. Pardon my language but, there is no half @ssing it when it comes to cardio.
  2. It you think you're in good shape now, try keeping track of your cardio for a couple months, then look back and see how far you've come.

FEATURED CARDIO VIDEO


Cardio Video!

High Octane Cardio (HOC) Training. Get an intense cardio workout with Jim Britain!

Click The Play Button To Start The Video.
Or Download Here:
iPod Video (89 MB)
[ Video Series Main Page ]

dots
Benefits
dots

The benefits of cardio are an entirely different story, however the benefits of keeping track of your cardio have been stated throughout this article if you've been paying attention.

**IMPORTANT NOTE - the example log I used was for long distance running. Keep in mind during your cardio session that there are many types of endurance/conditioning, all of which have excellent articles on this site. "Cardio" doesn't have to be running miles upon miles, all cardio is strength training for your heart.**

    "It always hurts when you go as hard as you can" - Mark T. (Gym Jones)