Smooth Fitness Blog

Cardio Training Series–High Intensity Cardio (Part 3 of 4)

August 17th, 2012

Victor Tringali M.S. CSCS, PES, CPT
www.teamvic.com

 This phase of training is intended for individuals who are more advanced and have already built a very strong cardiorespiratory base. This style of training should not be used by beginners or intermediates.

In part two of this series, I described cycling training through two zones- Low intensity (65-75% max Heart Rate) and higher intensity (80-85% Max Heart rate). In this phase of training, a 3rd zone will be added that we will call a PEAK intensity zone (85-90% Max Heart Rate)

The focus on this stage will be to adjust the workload of the workout by adjusting the speed, elevation, or tension level of your cardio equipment.  This will help you alter your heart rate in and out of each training zone.

Begin the workout with a 10 minute warm-up at low intensity (65-75% max Heart rate). Then increase your workload every 60 seconds until you reach 85-90% max heart rate (Peak Intensity Zone). This may take several minutes.

Remain in the Peak zone for one minute before decreasing your workload until your heart rate returns to zone two (80-85% MHR).  If your heart rate has not returned to zone two within one minute you should remain at lower intensity for the rest of the workout to avoid overtraining. If heart rate does drop, increase your workload again and train in zone 3 for another minute.

Then reduce your workload again and return to zone 1 (65-75%). Remain in zone 1 for 10 minutes before starting over. The rotation looks like this:

zone

heart rate

duration

1

65-75%

10 minutes

2

80-85%

2 minutes or  more

3

85-90%

1 minute

2

80-85%

1 minute

3

85-90%

1 minute

1

65-75%

10 minutes

 

This type of High Intensity Training has shown to be a critical component in the training of successful endurance athletes. However, two High Intensity Training sessions per week seems to be sufficient for inducing physiological adaptations and performance gains without causing excessive stress long term.[i] Therefore, use this training protocol sparingly to avoid overtraining.

 

Train Smart and Good Luck!

 

[i] Stephen Seiler: What is Best Practice for Training Intensity and Duration Distribution in Endurance Athletes?; International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 2010, 5, 276-291

 

Other References:

Michael A Clarke, Scott Lucett, Rodney Corn ; NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training 3rd Edition 2008 


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