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NCSF Personal Training Study Guide Chapter 14 – Cardiorespiratory Fitness 1

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    Chapter Goals:

    • Know the many methods used for assessing cardiovascular fitness.
    • Find ways to gauge intensity during cardiovascular training with the use of heart rates.
    • Know the role of the RPE scale and the talk test.
    • Find the benefits of low vs high-intensity training.
    • Understand the role of energy expenditure and METS and how to apply them to cardiorespiratory training and weight loss.
    • Know how age, sex, and genetics work with cardiovascular fitness.

    Cardiorespiratory Fitness

    Cardiorespiratory fitness is well documented to enhance lifespan and quality of life.

    Many Americans are at risk of dying from cardiovascular or related diseases, so it is a good idea to train aerobics so that the aerobic system functions as efficiently as possible.

    Assessing Cardiorespiratory Fitness

    Test selection for CRF will be based on:

    • The client’s specific characteristics
    • The knowledge and experience in testing that the exercise professional has
    • Other logistical information.

    Submaximal tests are far more common in the usual personal training atmosphere. These are a category of assessment methods in which test protocols do not reach the max ability of our systems.

    The details of each of the Submax testing methods:

    Step tests:

    • Easy to use with limited equipment
    • Valid for the general population
    • Metronome-paced testing is considered to be superior to non-paced testing
    • Unsuitable for moderate to high-level obese individuals
    • Leg strength is a relevant factor, like rhythm during cadence testing

    Walk/jog tests:

    • Easy to use with limited equipment
    • Viable for deconditioned people and those with no experience
    • Validity is affected by motivation, tolerance to exercise, and accuracy of the chosen distance
    • Over-predicts the fitter individuals

    Run tests:

    • Easy to do with limited equipment
    • Viable and useful for fit and conditioned people only
    • Validity affected by test experience due to pace, motivation of clients, the economy of running, and accuracy of distance.

    Bike tests:

    • Relatively difficult to use as it requires special equipment and expertise
    • Viable for multiple populations, but a moderate level of fitness needed
    • Validity is high with strict adherence to the protocol
    • Leg strength is highly relevant

    Heart rate is the ideal method for determining the intensity of work as it has a linear relationship with aerobic work.

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    The heart rate training zone is a heart rate range relative to someone’s heart rate max that needs to be maintained in cardiovascular training to obtain targeted adaptations.

    A graded exercise test is an evaluation of the capacity of the cardiorespiratory system where periodic increases in intensity are used to achieve max or Submax workloads.

    The max heart rate formula is 220 – age = max HR.

    Ratings of perceived exertion are two different scales that the client uses to show how hard they believe they are working.

    There is a 6 – 20 scale and a 0 – 10 scale.

    The numbers on the scales also represent a close estimate of the percentage of max heart rate.

    Heart rate training zones can be found with various formulas. The two most widely known formulas are the MHR formula and the HHR method.

    The heart rate reserve method is another form of prediction that is used when describing training zones. It factors in the resting heart rate of the individual, and this makes it superior to MHR.

    The recommended training intensities for deconditioned people based on the 3 typical formulas and zones are 40 – 60% VO2 max, 50 – 60% Heart Rate Reserve, and 60 – 70% Heart Rate Max.

    The recommended training intensities for healthy people are 60 – 80% heart rate reserve or VO2 max or 75 – 90% heart rate max.

    Types of Aerobic Training

    There are many aerobic training modes that can be used for the desired responses.

    High intensity is going to optimize the cardiorespiratory system for performance and contribute to caloric expenditure.

    When compared to moderate-intensity work, moderate levels can be better for achieving health, expending calories, disease prevention, and a major emphasis on reducing the risk for injury.

    Moderate levels of intensity are better for longer duration workouts due to the inverse relationship between intensity and duration.

    Energy expenditure of 200 – 400 calories per day marks cardiorespiratory fitness improvements consistent with other aerobic prescription guidelines for health.

    METs are a way in which we can express energy expenditure and predict how much work is being done.

    One MET is the equivalent of 3.5 mL per kg per minute and they can be used to reflect the time of activity, the kg present in body weight, and mL of O2 used.

    METs may also be used in the energy balance equation for the identification of daily caloric expenditure.

    Modes of Aerobic Training

    The most common training systems include lactate threshold training, tempo training, cross-training, cardio-circuits, and Fartlek training.

    Lactate threshold training used tactics that vary the amount of anaerobic contribution in the aerobic exercise bout. The lactate threshold is the point where lactate production is equal to the rate of lactate clearance.

    Tempo training is when the exerciser attempts to train right below the lactate threshold.

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    Cross-training uses different modes of exercise for the improvement of aerobic aspects. The exercise mode will often vary with each session.

    The benefits of cross-training are:

    • Reductions in levels of boredom
    • Reductions in the risk for overuse injuries
    • Increases in tolerance to greater training volumes
    • Improvement in recovery inside the exercise session
    • Conditioning of different agonist muscle groups
    • Improvements in mental focus during the exercise session

    Cardio circuit training is aerobic conditioning that uses different exercises, usually total-body contribution, during the exercise session.

    The cardio circuit has some form of training stations where the clients do exercise at different stations and then move to the next.

    Fartlek training is a method of training that mixes both interval and aerobic training by use of unstructured fluctuations of higher and lower intensity efforts.

    Aerobic Training Considerations

    Genetics play a big role in Vo2 max and cardiorespiratory ability and other abilities that differ in certain people like:

    • Larger stroke volumes
    • Greater concentrations of type 1 muscle fibers
    • Greater density of mitochondria and capillaries
    • Higher concentrations of myoglobin
    • Greater efficiency of the neural and metabolic pathways

    Age is a differentiator when it comes to aerobic training as sedentary individuals decline by approximately 1 percent per year in the max capacity following the age of 25.

    Environmental factors play a role in the ability to perform in aerobic training. The human body cools itself via radiation, convection, conduction, and evaporation. The external environment may influence all of these in some ways.

    Altitude has a great effect on exercise due to higher altitudes not having as much oxygen available and causing poorer performance.

    Biological sex factors play a role in aerobic training performance. Females usually have smaller hearts, lower stroke volumes, lower concentrations of hemoglobin, less muscle mass relative to their size, and higher values of body fat compared to men.

    Recovery needs to be a consideration any time the body performs work at higher intensities due to the damaged tissues and changes in the cell environment that comes with higher intensity metabolic work.

    Detraining is also possible with aerobic training. This is when the body is not stressed, so it slowly returns to pre-exercise routing levels.

    In the first few weeks of detraining, we typically see reductions in blood plasma, increased reliance on carbs for fuel, decreases in insulin sensitivity, and reductions in stroke volume and left ventricle mass.

    It is important to prevent overuse injuries like what happens with anaerobic training

    Some common variables that contribute to overuse injuries are:

    • Previous injury
    • Poor technique
    • Lack of flexibility
    • Poor joint alignment
    • Muscle imbalances
    • An abrupt increase in foot impact repetitions during exercise
    • Improper footwear
    • Uneven gait caused by running on an uneven surface
    • Inadequate warm-up protocol

    Some significant injuries to note are plantar fasciitis, iliotibial band syndrome, lower back pain, and shin splints.

    NCSF Personal Training Study Guide Chapter 14 – Cardiorespiratory Fitness 2
    NCSF Personal Training Study Guide Chapter 14 – Cardiorespiratory Fitness 3
    NCSF Personal Training Study Guide Chapter 14 – Cardiorespiratory Fitness 4

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