Watts are responsible for measuring the rate at which energy is converted. The watt measurement is defined as one joule per second. In the case of cardio workouts, watts are defined as the power that you are producing when you’re doing your cardio workouts. The more energy that you are creating, the tougher the rate is at which you are exercising.
The greatest way to describe this power is in calories:
- When you are generating power, you are consuming more calories. This is an essential way to design your exercise programme as well as progressions if you are trying to shed a few extra calories.
- Much like strength training, it is necessary for you to slowly overload your muscles and have a recovery period before overloading them again. Over a period of time, you will produce increased levels of power.
For athletes, watts are a vital cog in their efforts to become better at their sports. This is because the more power that you can generate, the faster you can accelerate in a play. Also, the more weight you can push for in a rugby tackle or scrum or, alternatively, the higher you can jump in lineup. Training your cardiovascular energy system to create this power is very important in achieving your results throughout the game.
How to keep yourself motivated in your cardio workouts
Cardio can be incredibly dull however it’s a fundamental necessity for maintaining your cardiorespiratory health and wellness. Here are several ways to help keep you motivated during your cardio workouts.
Have a Reason for Doing Cardio
Have a goal in mind for why you want to do cardio in the first place and get your heart rate pumping. Give yourself a chance to be able to stick to your cardio regimen by deciding why you want to get – as well as remain – active.
Schedule a Workout Prior to You Having to be Somewhere
Are you in a hurry to be somewhere? This could be optimal time to fit in a cardio workout. Plan a workout in the half-an-hour before you have to be somewhere because you know you’ll have to get it in quickly and be done with it.
Listen to Music to Keep Your Momentum Going
Music motivates us to get up and keep moving during our cardio workouts. If you’re seriously not a fan of cardio workouts, music can help to distract you from thinking that you want to throw in the towel and press the emergency stop on the treadmill. You’ll be so busy enjoying your tunes that you’ll forget where you are!
Another way to motivate yourself during your cardio workouts is by using watts. For example, if you are using an indoor bike, you will most probably ride the bike for a certain amount of time as well as focus on little more than the distance that you cover or the time it takes you to complete the workout.
A more innovative approach would be to give yourself a target wattage to obtain and/or maintain for a specific amount of time. For example, your workouts might look like the following:
- Three minutes at 100 watts,
- Three minutes at 125 watts,
- Three minutes at 150 watts,
- Three minutes at 170+ watts, and
- Three minutes at 125 watts.
Here’s an example of a treadmill workout which makes use of this formula:
- After a suitable warm-up, run at what you consider a fast pace for two minutes. Determine the wattage and utilise that as a baseline.
- Based on wattage, walk or run:
- Three minutes at 50% of baseline,
- Three minutes at 60% of baseline,
- Two minutes at 70% of baseline,
- One minute at 80% of baseline,
- One minute at 60% of baseline,
- One minute at 90% of baseline,
- Two minutes at 70% of baseline,
- One minute at 90% of baseline, and
- Three minutes at 60% of baseline.
These types of workouts create a higher level of engagement and demonstrate a higher value for you. They also motivate you to push harder than you usually would, which helps you to burn more calories, work harder and achieve a higher level of overall fitness.
To learn more about fitness and exercise, consider doing a personal training course. Have a look at our wide variety of options here.