Support - Quick Start / Fitness Levels

This support page covers the technical aspects of USING Cardio Coach™. For support on technical aspects of downloading, extracting and importing, click here

Assessing Your Fitness Level

While the Cardio Coach™ Guided Workouts are designed for anybody to use*, the following fitness levels are provided to help you better understand how the workouts will work best for you and your level of fitness. To continue with the Quick Start Guide, select (click) the category that best describes your current level of fitness.

Beginner Level

If you have not exercised for 6 months to a year, consider yourself a beginner. Beginners should use caution and have one goal in mind: get to a point in which you can get through the entire workout, even if it means your level of intensity is low to moderate and remains the same throughout the entire workout.

Tips for Beginners:

  • TIP #1: Build up your ENDURANCE before you begin taking on the Cardio Coach™ challenges. Beginners should work carefully to keep their heart rates below the ORANGE ZONE.

  • TIP #2: Wear a HEART RATE MONITOR while exercising. As you become better conditioned, your heart rate will serve as a tried and true gauge to confirm the intensity LEVEL at which you are working. Keep in mind, however, that there are several outside factors that can raise or lower natural heart rate readings. This is why Cardio Coach™ uses heart rate training as a secondary method for gauging your PERCEIVED EXERTION. (For more information on heart rate training, make sure to visit the HEART RATE ZONES section.)

  • Tip #3: Go into your workouts knowing that consistency is the key factor to your success. Cardio Coach™ is designed to offer you a safe workout, pass the time more quickly, entertain you, and, most importantly, keep you coming back time after time.

  • TIP #4: How quickly you move to the next EXPERIENCE LEVEL is completely up to you and your dedication to consistency. If you are relatively consistent, you'll be there in no time at all!

    Intermediate Level

    This is a category for individuals who have been somewhat consistent with their exercise routines but have not really pushed themselves too far out of their COMFORT ZONE.

    Intermediates are invited to participate in the Cardio Coach™ challenges; although, it is recommended that you not exceed your LEVEL 3 EXERTION until you have mastered your workouts. Cardio Coach™ encourages monitoring your heart rate as an supplementary method to using LEVELS of perceived exertion. (See more on HEART RATE ZONES.)

  • Tips for Intermediate Participants:

  • TIP #1: Use a heart rate monitor and begin paying closer attention to how you feel (perceived exertion) at each of the different HEART RATE ZONES.

  • TIP #2: Start to experiment with using different types of stationary exercise equipment to avoid hitting training PLATEAUS.

  • TIP #3: Experiment with the SETTINGS on your equipment. If a CHALLENGE calls for you to climb a hill for 3 minutes, don't use the same speed and resistance settings every time. Part of the magic of the workouts is that you get to be an artist; you experiment, design, and create a unique system for you and by you!

  • TIP #4: Have fun and improve!

Advanced Level

Advanced participants are ready to take on the LEVEL 4 CHALLENGES and are encouraged to get their heart rates into the RED ZONE. There are no excuses for an advanced participant to say "the workout wasn't hard enough"! If you find your appropriate levels and train using a heart rate monitor, the Cardio Coach™ workouts will provide you with a tough, fun and challenging adventure.

Tips for Advanced Participants:

  • TIP #1: Use the first few sessions to become familiar with the CHALLENGES in the Cardio Coach™ workouts. There's nothing worse than going too hard and not having enough energy to finish. Set your settings a little lower than what you think you can do and as you become more familiar with what's next, go crazy!

  • TIP #2: Use the KARVONEN method to calculate your HEART RATE ZONES. This method is more personalized than the one given in this tutorial because it accounts for your resting heart rate in the formula.

  • TIP #3: Repeat different PHASES of the workout to make them longer. Most Cardio Coach™ workouts will be 30-45 min., but that doesn't mean you can't go a little longer.

ANYBODY can become a Cardio Coach™ Advanced participant. This category does not mean that you are ready to take on the Alps with Lance Armstrong. But, it does mean you have worked hard enough to get to a place where you can start stressing both your muscular and cardiovascular strength and endurance.