Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Cardio interval training

Since sustaining an elbow injury, I've not done any weight training at the gym. I would rather let my elbow fully recover before hitting the weight section again. Better safe than sorry. Personally, fitness is a life-long commitment and I should always take it one step at a time.

So how do I keep fit? Cardio internal training is the solution!

Cardio interval training burns more calories over a shorter period of time than a longer "steady-state" routine. This is because interval training forces you to increase you maximum aerobic capacity more than a similar "steady state" activity at an even pace. As your aerobic capacity increases, so does your strength, muscularity and fat burning capability.

When you are able to executed cardio interval training properly, you will decrease the amount of time spent exercising. You may be exercising for as little as 20 minutes but your body will continue to burn calories long after the workout session. The rewards of cardio internal training are straightforward- expend more energy, burn more calories (and fat) and spend less time working out!

Cardio interval training has 3 simple principles. First, you should limit the interval lengths to <2 mins. If you are able to sustain a longer interval, chances are you are cheating and aren't exerting hard enough. Next, intervals should not be <30 seconds to ensure you have sufficient time to expend enough energy to enable deep breathing that promotes calorie burning. Finally, a sufficient rest period is essential to exerting max or near-max effort during each cardio interval. An interval to rest ratio of 1:1 is recommended. In a nutshell, as your body adjusts and shows improvement, you should tinker with the length of the intervals, the duration of the rest periods and the number of cycles.

A sample cardio interval training routine is as follows:-

Warm-up                         4 mins
Cycling (interval 1)         45 secs
Light cycling (rest)         60 secs
Cycling (interval 2)         60 secs
Light cycling (rest)         60 secs
Cycling (interval 3)         90 secs
Light cycling (rest)         60 secs
Cycling (interval 4)         90 secs
Light cycling (rest)         60 secs
Cycling (interval 5)         60 secs
Light cycling (rest)         60 secs
Cycling (interval 6)         45 secs
Light cycling (rest)         60 secs
Cool down                      4 mins
TOTAL                           20.5 mins

1. Intervals should be at 85-90% of maximum exertion so that the same pace can be maintained during all intervals
2. The above routine can be tailored for running, swimming, stepper machine etc


No comments:

Post a Comment