The more time you spend on the treadmill the more calories you burn right? Well, not quite. It turns out there are different types of cardio workouts geared towards building different types of endurance. Whether you’re a crag-hungry climber or an elite mountain biker, there are specific types of workouts that will help you get the most out of your outdoor sport.
Muscle Fiber Ratios and Cardio Workouts
It turns out, not all cardio workouts are created equally. There are three main types of cardio workouts; steady state, VIIT, and HIIT. In order to pick the appropriate cardio workout mix for your outdoor sport, first, you need to understand which cardio workout produces the ideal muscle fiber ratio.
Let’s start with the three different types of muscle fibers. First, there’s red or Type I fibers. These fibers produce lean muscle and are best for long-endurance sports. You obtain these muscles with Steady State Cardio workouts. Next, there are Type IIA (also red) and Type IIX (or white) fibers. Type IIX fibers build up muscle bulk to create explosive bursts of energy. Type IIA falls in between Type I and Type IIX. Both Type IIA and Type IIX muscle fibers are built up from Variable Intensity Interval Training (VIIT) and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. VIIT workouts offer the ultimate level of flexibility, allowing you to combine strength and cardio into one workout circuit. They are our personal favorites.
Best Cardio Workouts for Mountain Bikers
When it comes to sending tough trails, you need both power and endurance. Endurance allows you to make it through those burly uphill grinds, while power enables you to move quickly and explosively over a technical move. Steady State Cardio gives you the Type I muscle fibers you need to keep moving over vast distances, while HIIT workouts keep your Type IIA and Type IIX fibers ready for fast reactions and cat-like reflexes.
How to Work Out More Effectively for Road Biking
Road biking is a repetitive sport, meaning you're more susceptible to chronic-use injuries. Steady State Cardio workouts are going to give you the long-term endurance you need for a day out on the road. VIIT cardio training helps maintain those Type IIA fibers essential for hill climbs and strength building. Be sure to cross-train with appropriate weight lifting so your joints and back remain healthy.
Cardio Workouts for Climbers and Pebble Fanatics
Since arm endurance is what you’re after you’re going to want to indulge in VIIT workouts. VIIT workouts enable you to focus on total body strength and cardio, helping you do double duty. Steady state cardio, although helpful for long approaches) won’t help you send your project. VIIT workouts give you more flexibility so you can focus on a total body cardio and strength workouts to keep your strength from your nose to your toes.
The Best Way to Build Endurance for Skiing and Snowboarding
Ski runs are typically short, meaning you want to maximize your Type IIA and Type IIX fibers. You need those strength-building HIIT and VIIT workouts in your training arsenal. A mix of these two routines builds up that anaerobic muscle performance. Focus on interval sets that place a heavy emphasis on squats and lunges for best results.
How to Cardio Train for Big Hikes and Backpacking
Hiking involves a lot of steady state endurance to stay strong over long miles. The same goes for backpacking, but since you’re carrying a pack, you’ll also want to engage those Type IIA and Type IIX muscle builders with some VIIT workouts. Focus on working your legs, shoulders, and core. All three play a vital role in carrying a pack over long distances.
What About Injuries?
It doesn’t matter what sport you love injuries are never any fun. If you’ve been battling an injury or you are overcoming one, the best thing you can do is rest. When you do feel up for a workout, keep it mellow with low-impact Steady State Workouts, such as an elliptical or bike. Remember, don’t rush recovery, listen to your body and never push yourself beyond your limits.
Overall, the best thing you can do to train for your favorite outdoor sport is to create a workout mix that best suits the type of muscle you want to develop. Keep things fresh by varying workouts and creating new goals. Train up regularly to keep muscles and joints healthy.