Free Exercise Program

The structure of this free exercise program will regularise your cardiovascular exercises which in turn will help you improve cardio fitness. Follow the recommended levels and your normal heart rate at rest will start decreasing, meaning that you are getting healthier and fitter.


The program was designed to improve the gains derived from cardiovascular exercises but it can also be used as a guideline for any aerobic exercise.

Please read our General Disclaimer before you start any new exercise program.

This is a segment from the beginner level of the cardiovascular exercise program. In this example the individual is 40 years old.


Free Exercise Program – improve cardio fitness with this cardiovascular exercises routine - www.how-to-be-organized.com


Let’s start by calculating the maximum heart rate for your age.


Maximum Heart Rate (MaxHR)

Simply enter your age into your free exercise program spreadsheet and it will calculate your maximum heart rate (MaxHR), using the following formula:

MaxHR = 208 – (0.7 x your age)

Whether you are exercising without equipment or using a cardiovascular exercise machine such as a stationary bike, rowing machine, treadmill or elliptical, you will need to have a heart rate monitor and a timer. Most of the current machines have both of those built in.

I use a stationary bike for my cardiovascular exercises which has a built in heart rate monitor as well as a freely programmable user setting allowing me to input the data from the spreadsheet.

I have put together three difficulty levels. We will work through the first level.




Cardio Beginner Level

The first tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet containing your free exercise program is the beginner level.

Enter your age in the cell next to “Your Age”. The maximum heart (MaxHR) rate will calculate and display. The target heart rates (HR) for both the “Workout” as well as the “Recover” stages for each “Set” will be displayed in the HR column.

  • Warm up for 3 minutes
    Start with light exercise to warm yourself up. 
    If you are using a machine such as a stationary bike, rowing machine, treadmill or elliptical, start at a low level of resistance. If you are exercising without equipment, start at a slow pace.
  • Set 1 - Workout for 2 minutes (at 70% of your MaxHR).
    Increase the resistance in steps until your heart rate is at the indicated HR beats per minute (bpm). It could take up to a minute to reach the desired HR and you may need to re-adjust the resistance to get to the value. After one or two sets you will have it down pat. If you have a user programmable setting, store it once you have worked it out. If not, make a note of the resistance setting that you have set. If you are exercising without equipment, then pick up and drop the pace to achieve the same result.
  • Set 1 - Recover for 2 minutes (at 55% of your MaxHR).
    Decrease the resistance gradually until your heart rate has dropped to the required HR. As you get fitter, this drop will happen quicker. Again play with the resistance levels until you have it mastered and if you are exercising without equipment drop the pace to stay at the required HR.
  • Continue with Set 2 - Workout for 2 minutes, then follow with Set 2 - Recover for 2 minutes until you have completed Set 6 - Recover.
  • Cool Down for 3 minutes.
    Continue with light exercise to cool down. If you are using a machine such as a stationary bike, rowing machine, treadmill or elliptical, select the same low level of resistance as you did for your warm up. If you are exercising without equipment, drop the pace to the level of your warm up.

As you get fitter, the time taken for your heart to return to the normal heart rate at rest, will get shorter and shorter. In addition you will have to increase the resistance to get to the desired heart rate levels (HR).

Please complete and submit this form and you will receive your free exercise program by e-mail, with my compliments.


Free Exercise Program

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Use your free exercise program as a structured base for your cardiovascular exercises and you will improve cardio fitness, lower your normal heart rate at rest and live a healthier life.


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How to Improve Cardio Fitness


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