Training Design and Progression

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Now you are ready to design your aerobic workout! When designing a cardiovascular routine there are a few questions you must answer. These are:


What are your goals?

Are your interests health, fitness, or performance related? Be specific.


What do you enjoy?

Do you prefer team or solitary activities? List 3 activities.


What are your time limits?

Be realistic about how much time you can devote.


What gear do you need?

Plan and budget to get the gear you need.

You want to tailor your program to realistically meet your goals and time demands, so answer the questions honestly (see Chapter 17 for more information on setting goals).

♦ If you have been sedentary, begin by increasing your physical activity by performing more daily activities, found in Level 1 of the Physical Activity Pyramid (Figure 4-2).

♦ Once you can easily perform these activities, add 5-10 minutes of Level 2 activities two to four days per week.

♦ Gradually increase the duration of the Level 2 activities by 10% per week until you can perform 20 to 60 minutes continuously. Your training intensity should be between 60% and 75% of your max HR (see Worksheet 5-1).

♦ Exercise at 80% to 90% of maxHR should only be performed by individuals in excellent physical fitness.

The golden rules of training progression are:

♦ Increase only one FITT component, i.e., frequency, intensity, time, or type, at a time.

♦ Increase your training by no more than 10% each week. Allow yourself time to adjust to this new routine before you increase your workout again. Increasing too fast will lead to injury and overtraining (see Chapter 13).

♦ Signs of overexertion include pain in your chest, breathlessness or gasping for breath, nausea, and dizziness. If you have any of these symptoms, stop exercising immediately!

Based on your answers to the questions above and your current fitness level, set up a weekly routine with moderate to hard workout days and rest days (Appendix B). You will add a strength training workout to this schedule in Chapter 7.



In this chapter you will learn to:

♦ Design a walking program.

♦ Design a running program.

♦ Design a swimming program.

Walking, running, and swimming all provide excellent aerobic workouts. These three types of exercise will be discussed in this chapter for two reasons: 1) walking and running are the most common types of exercise that people engage in, and 2) all three modes of exercise can be used to test your level of physical fitness on the Navy PRT tests.

Walking and Running Gear

To maintain or improve your fitness and avoid injuries while walking and running you need to use the right exercise gear. Below are some tips and information to help you purchase training gear.

♦ Shoes provide shock absorption, cushioning, motion control and durability. The proper shoes will help correct biomechanical problems, such as foot pronation (inward roll of your ankle) and arch height. Specialty stores, magazines, and web sites have a lot of information about the latest footwear and what footwear is best for your foot type. Do not buy shoes based on their brand name!

♦ Orthotics are shoe inserts that provide additional foot support and control for people with biomechanical conditions that

may cause pain while running. They can be purchased as over-the-counter inserts or custom-made. Consult a sports medicine specialist or podiatrist.

♦ Heart Rate Monitors gauge exercise intensity by continuously monitoring heart rate. These consist of a wrist watch and a chest strap: the chest strap detects your heart beat and transmits it to the watch which displays heart rate in beats per minute. This allows you to check and maintain your heart rate within your target training zone (see Chapter 5) while you exercise.

♦ Reflectors and portable beverage containers are great for your safety and health when exercising outdoors. Other gear, such as walkmans, can provide entertainment, however, consider your training environment to determine whether they will hinder your safety by decreasing your awareness of your surroundings.

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