I’ve often seen it written that relative to how long it takes to build muscle or lose fat, it doesn’t take all that long a period of time to build up one’s cardiovascular conditioning.
First off, do the majority of you agree with this??
Second, is cardiovascular capacity best built by continuing to increase the duration of one’s training, or does there come a point where increasing intensity is best?
Yes and no.
I think people just set the bar lower with CV training, mostly because there aren’t a lot of clearly established standards for people who aren’t distance athletes (i.e., for people who weigh more than 160 pounds). It’s REALLY easy to see an improvement in work capacity in a workout or in cardio circuits, but if you pick a cardio ‘event’–a set circuit, a 400m sprint, a mile run, etc.–it’ll work just like anything else–you make quick progress to begin with and slower progress as you go along.
Too simple a question. Do you want to run a faster 400? A faster mile? Row a faster 2k? 5k? Complete a given cardio circuit faster? There are different ways to pursue each of these goals. If you really care about one of them, and it’s a sport (e.g., sprinting, rowing, distance running), the thing to do is to find a coach or a reliable resource oriented towards athletes of that sport and do what is says to do. If you don’t care about it that much or if you’re cardio isn’t equivalent to a sport, just practice variety and hammer it hard: Jack up total volume one day, jack up intensity the next, reduce rest periods on a third day, perform the cardio fatigued or pre-exhausted on the fourth.
Or, if you want the one-sentence answer:
Get a stopwatch, and will yourself go faster next time.