Interval Training

So, wipe that cappuccino off your chin, get outta your chair, and get some exercise. The best way to improve your cardiovascular ability and circulatory health is through sessions of interval training. So, what I mean by interval training is being active in phases of high intensity followed by phases of in low intensity for about 20-25 minutes or so.

In general, interval training follows a ratio of “Work : Active Rest”. Work being the demanding exercise portion and Active Rest being the recovery or easy portion. This premise follows a strict ratio of 1: 3 for the beginner, 1: 2 for the intermediate, and 1:1 for the elite. The reason a ratio is used for guidance is because it allows more flexibility across different activities. For instance you could use time as a cadence which would look something like 1min work : 3min active rest. Or distance 150m : 450m, or something arbitrary like flights of stairs, city blocks, or laps in the pool. Use your imagination.

You decide the length or distance of the interval, but remember to keep to your cadence, and to give it your all in the work phase of training.

Why Intervals you say?

In a nut shell … the key limiting factor (among a few things) in your cardiovascular ability is the amount of blood your heart pumps with each beat. This is called the stroke volume or ‘Q’. The only way you can improve your stoke volume is by pushing yourself hard at the high end of your ability… and then reward yourself with the rest phase. At times it can seem tough, but if you push through, over time you will cause a positive physiological adaptation to your heart. This adaptation to your heart is 1) a larger heart volume 2) an increase in heart musculature that will pump a greater volume of blood to your working muscles. These two things sum up to an enhanced level of aerobic fitness and a healthy cardiac muscle…. Kapish?

Ok, now that you’ve got the info… Do you have the drive to follow through on this once a week??? If you think maybe not, that’s a great reason to hire a personal trainer. They will inspire you, they will make it interesting for you, and they will commit to regularly wiping those cappuccinos off your chin.

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