Everywhere you look there seems to be countless advice on the benefits of having a strong heart. You see controversy everywhere of whether intense cardio workouts or moderate cardio is the better way to achieve and maintain optimal health.
Hundreds of thousands of books are written on the benefits from medical journals to fitness magazines extolling the benefits of putting a powerful cardio routine into your exercise to keep you and your heart healthy and strong.
But few seem to mention the benefits of relaxing the heart quickly from intense beating and training it to have an elastic quality – and elastic resilience.
It's elasticity of the heart, arteries, and capillaries that will give you super strength, stamina and energy from your youth well into old age.
Many think that just doing quick sprints or intense spurts of bodyweight exercises, super sets of weights, or kettlebells will automatically give them this elasticity. But it doesn't come automatically for everyone.
You must train your heart to relax quickly from extreme tensions just as you would train your muscles to relax quickly after a quick jab or punch so you have maximum recoil and elasticity.
A quick release to muscular contractions in a punch or kick gives you greater snap, strength, and speed. The same goes for the heart. But intention and purpose must be there for it to happen. It doesn't always happen by itself.
I train with a heart rate monitor no matter what I do in the gym. I watch it constantly to monitor not only how fast my heart rate goes up but how fast it comes down.
As unusual as it may seem, my aim is not to get my heart rate up to a highest number every time for maximum cardio benefit. When your intention is to get it to a certain number, your body usually responds – and responds faster each time with regular training. Thus you train your body to respond to get to a high number – faster. Your body follows your brains commands – its intentions.
I think it's much smarter instead to intend on LOWERING the heart rate every time while INCREASING the workload. I don't always succeed but the point is that I try to increase my speed and resistance, while lowering the heart rate mentally by intending it right from the start instead of setting a goal to get to my “maximum heart rate” as quick a I can and to keep it there.