I believe those who do sports believe that cardio means those running machines or elliptical ones (girl area definitely) and then weights and everything else is for guys:)
Cardio means that you are making your heart to work,blood is pumping trough your body! You can use any equipment you want to! You can do cardio just stepping up and down one step you have at home, you can make your push up and core routine be your cardio at the same time!
There are different techniques for cardio training - long distance/same pace, interval training(with hundreds of variations), Fartlek etc.
They all can use change in times, speed, resistance, but they all are using your heart rate changes to make them efficient!
Heart rate is measured in number which shows us frequency of your heart beats per minute. And there is formula which can help you calculate your optimal HR during your workout.
In most of the gyms you can find this formula on cardio machines, some machines has results, without formula, so you know that 60% for you is for example 130 beats per minute. Ok good job, but what now?!
There is no explanations on these machines what you can do with those numbers. And most often gym users decides that more percent the better results, even if the goals for everyone is different.
So basic explanation:
- If you are a beginner and you don't want to play with your health start with 50-60%
- If you are going for long distances 60-70% is yours
- If you want to improve your cardiovascular system you should go with 70-80%
HR over 80% is high intensity training (You should double check your health before this and also understand how often your body can take it). It is usually included in your workout in small amounts at one time or with little rest periods between!
How to control HR?
For most effective results you need to have Heart rate monitor
It may seem as a waste of your money, but it will make your workouts more precise, effective and honestly more fun as well. Price I believe is starting from simple ones 20 pounds and up of course:)
Important - if you are not sure about all numbers - have a session with a trainer! Qualified trainer will explain you why and what are you doing to get yourself to your goals and trainer will also make sure that you don't harm yourself!
P.S. Just do a little background check before you choose your Guru, ok!