NASM Chapter 8 Cardiorespiratory Fitness Training

Cardiorespiratory Fitness
The ability of the circulatory and respiratory systems to supply oxygen rich blood to skeletal muscles during sustained physical activity.

Cardiorespiratory Training
Any physical activity that involves and places stress on the cardiorespiratory system.

Integrated Cardiorespiratory Training
Cardiorespiratory training programs that systematically progress clients through various stages to achieve optimal levels of physiologic, physical, and performance adaptations by placing stress on the cardiorespiratory system.

•NOTE: One of the most common errors made by personal trainers in understand the necessary Rate of Progression in context of a client’s cardiorespiratory training

•An individuals Cardiorespiratory system is one of the strongest predictor of morbidity and mortality- Conversely, an improvement in Cardiorespiratory fitnes is related to a reduction in premature death from all causes

•Each Exercise session should include the following phases:
1. Warm-up Phase
2. Conditioning Phase
3. Cool-down Phase

General Warm-Up
1. Consists of movements that do not necessarily have any movement specificity to the actual activity to be performed.
2. Low-intensity exercise consisting of movements that do not necessarily relate to the more intense exercise that is to follow.

Specific Warm-Up
Low-intensity exercise consisting of movements that mimic those that will be included in the more intense exercise that is to follow. (Example: Body qeight squat or push-ups before weight training)

•NASM recommends that the Cardiorespiratory portion of a warm-up period last 5 – 10 minutes and consists of Whole body, Dynamic cardiovascular or muscular movements (Well-below the anticipated training intensity threshold for conditioning)

•New clients who live a sedentary lifestyle may require 1/2 their entire workout time dedicated to warming up, at least initially




•NASM recommends for individuals who possess MSK imbalances to first perform SMR


•At rest only 15-20% of circulating blood reaches skeletal muscle, but during intense vigorous exercise it increases up to as much as 80 to 85% of cardiac output.

•During prolonged exercise, Plasma volume can decrease by as much as 10 to 20%. Cool-down period helps gradually restore physiological responses to exercise close to baseline levels.

•Flexibility training should be included in the Cool-down phase


•NOTE: When used in warm-up, static stretching should only be used on areas that the assessments have determined tight or overactive- Each stretch should be held for 20-30 seconds.

•Trainers must know how to use the FITTE


The number of training sessions in a given time frame- for improved fitness levels frequency is 3 to 5 days per week at higher intensity.

The level of demand that a given activity places on the body.

The length of time an individual is engaged in a given activity. -Adults should accumulate 2 hrs and 30 mins of moderate intensity aerobic activity or 1 hr 15 mins of intense aerobic activity.

The type or mode of physical activity that an individual is engaged in. – For exercise to be considered aerobic it must be rhythmic in nature, use large muscle groups, and be continuous in nature.

The amount of pleasure derived from performing a physical activity.


Oxygen Uptake Reserve (VO2R)
The difference between resting and maximal or peak oxygen consumption.

•NOTE: Moderate exercise typically represents an intensity range of less than 60% VO2R


nasmtable8.7 nasmtable8.6


Methods for Prescribing Exercise Intensity
1. Peak VO2 Method – VO2max is the maximal amount of oxygen that an individual can use during intense exercise.(This method is considered the gold standard, however- it is impractical for personal trainers because it requires sophisticated equipment.

2. VO2 Reserve Method (VO2R) – Preferred method by the American College of Sports Medicine.
The Formula: = VO2R = [(VO2max – VO2rest) X intensity desired] + VO2rest

3. Peak Maximal Heart Rate (MHR) Method – The most common formula = 220-Age. Never use this method to design a cardiorespiratory fitness program. Estimating heart rates from mathematical formulas can produce results ± 10 to 12 BPM off the actual maximal heart rate

4. HR Reserve(HRR) Method AKA Karvonen method – Establishing training intensity based on difference between predicted maximal heart rate and resting heart rate. Most common and universally accepted method of establishing exercise training intensity.
The Formula: = THR = [(HRmax – HRrest) x desired intensity] + HR rest

•NOTE: VO2rest = One MET- This means, one MET = 3.5 ML O2 per KG per Min, or equivalent of average resting metabolic rate for adults.

•NOTE: METS and physical activity act linearly – running that requires 7 METS means the individual is exerting 7X the Resting energy rate (METS are measured by the Peak Metabolic Equivalent (MET) method)

THR = Target Heart Rate

Ventilatory Threshold
The point during graded exercise in which ventilation increases disproportionately to oxygen uptake, signifying a switch from predominately aerobic energy production to anaerobic energy production.


Perceived exertion method
A client’s subjective rating on how they perceive their exertion levels during and before physical exercise- Measured using the BORG scale.


Cardiorespiratory training (Stages 1, 2, and 3.)
Stage 1– Designed to help improve cardiorespiratory fitness levels in apparently healthy sedentary clients using THR of 65 to 75% of HRmax or approximately 12-13 on the rating of perceived exertion (Scale zone). In stage 1 clients should gradually work up to 30 – 60 minutes of continuous exercise in zone 1.

Stage 2– Designed for clients with low to moderate cardiorespiratory fitness levels whoa re ready to begin training at higher intensity levels. Focus on increasing workload(speed, incline, level)  in a way that will help clients alter heart rate in and out of zone 1 and 2.
Stage 2 helps increase cardiorespiratory capacity needed for workout styles in strength level of OPT model. Interval training, intensities varies throughout workout.
1. Start by warming up in zone one for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Move into 1-minute interval in zone two. Gradually increase workload to raise heart rate up to zone two within that minute. Once heart rate reaches zone 2 of maximal heart rate, maintain it for rest of that minute. (It may take 45 seconds to reach that HR which means the client will only be at the top end for 15 seconds before reducing work load.
3. After 1 minute interval return to zone one for 3 mins.
4. Repeat this, most important part of interval is to recover back to zone one between intervals.
Stage 2 it is important to alternate days of the week with stage 1 training. Alternating sessions every workout.

Stage 3 For advanced client who has moderately high cardiorespiratory fitness level base and will use heart rate zones one, two, and three. The major focus of this stage is increasing workload of (Speed, incline, level)
1. Warm up in zone one for up to 10 minutes.
2. Increase workload every 60 seconds until reaching zone three. Require slow climb through zone two for at least two minutes.
3. After pushing for another minute in zone three, decrease workload. One minute break is important to help gauge improvement.
4. Drop client’s workload down to the level he or she was just working in, before starting zone 3 interval.
5. As improvements are made during several weeks of training, heart rate will drop more quickly. Faster HR drops, stronger heart is getting.
6. If client is not able to drop appropriate heart rate during 1-minute break, assume he or she is tired and about to overtrain. Solution is stay in zone one or two for rest of workout.
7. If heart rate does drop to a normal rate, then overload the body again and go to next zone, zone three, for 1 minute.
8. After this minute go back to zone one for 5-10 minutes and repeat if desired.
NOTE: it is vital to rotate all three stages, low stage(stage 1), medium(stage II), and high-intensity(stage III) to help minimize risk of overtraining.

Excessive frequency, volume, or intensity of training, resulting in fatigue (which is also caused by a lack of proper rest and recovery).

Circuit Training System
This consists of a series of exercises that an individual performs one after another with minimal rest.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s