Introduction to Interval Training
Victor Tringali MS, CSCS, PES, CPT
In part one I discussed working towards achieving the minimum levels of physical activity. Now that you are able to maintain 30 minutes of exercise I thought it would be appropriate to introduce you to an efficient protocol for improving cardiorespiratory performance.
High-intensity interval training is a time-efficient strategy to induce rapid adaptations in skeletal muscle. Furthermore, high-intensity interval training has also been shown to reduce risk factors associated with the metabolic syndrome compared with moderate-intensity continuous exercise in a variety of patient populations. [i]
During this phase of training you will complete a two day rotation that consists of a lower intensity day followed by a higher intensity day.
Day one will consist exclusively of performing lower intensity training (65-75% of maximum heart rate) for 30-60 minutes. Day two will begin with a 5-10 minute warm-up of lower intensity training. You will then perform a one minute interval at higher intensity (80-85% of maximum heart rate) followed by a 3 minute recovery period at lower intensity. You can repeat this 1:3 rotation for 20-60 minutes. As your conditioning progresses you may increase the time in the higher intensity zone until you achieve a 3:3 ratio.
Performing your cardio training on equipment such as a Smooth Treadmill, Elliptical, or stationary cycle will reduce impact and stress and provide a more enjoyable workout.[ii]
Train Smart and good luck!
[i] Jonathan D. Bartlett, Graeme L. Close, Don P. M. Maclaren, Warren Gregson, Barry Drust, & James P. Morton; High-intensity interval running is perceived to be more enjoyable than moderate-intensity continuous exercise: Implications for exercise adherence; Journal of Sports Sciences, March 15th 2011; 29(6): 547–553
[ii] Michael A. Clark and Scott C. Lucett, 2008 NASM Essentials of Sports Performance Training pp163-164