There are so many benefits to high intensity exercise, but is it the right type of training for you? In this report I am going to give a brief outline behind high intensity exercise as well as the benefits and I will also give a few examples of some programs you can follow.
When I talk about high intensity exercise I am talking about exercise where your heart rate is at, or above 80%. To work out your maximum heart rate (MHR) you minus your age from 220. Then multiply that number by.80 and you get your 80% figure.
For example 220-21 = 199
199 X.80 = 159
Therefore a MHR for a 21 year old is 199 beats per minute (bpm). The 80% figure (which is what we need to be higher than for high intensity exercise) is 159 beats per minute.
Here is a list of benefits associated with high intensity exercise;
o Increase in maximum heart rate (resulting in a lower resting heart rate)
o Increase fitness
o Increase in metabolism (after exercise)
o Increase fat burn (while maintaining muscle mass)
o Increase cardio output (lung capacity)
o Delay the onset of Lactic Acid
o Increase in bone density (especially when doing plyometrics)
o Increase in muscle tone
o Increase co-ordination, re action time and awareness.
There are many different programs you can do for high intensity exercise. You can do:
– Interval training
– Sprints (down hill or up hill)
One great aspect of high intensity exercise is because it is so intense you do not need to do any more than 30 minutes of exercise due to the fact that you are pushing your body so hard for a short period of time.
If you are going to do high intensity circuits you can use body weight exercises as well as dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls, sandbags etc. Just remember that you can not keep up 100% intensity for one whole hour so you must work out a work to rest ratio. For example do a 5-minute circuit then have a 3-minute break and repeat 5 times. This way you are fully recovered in between circuits and can really push yourself.
For some really good circuits try combining body-weight exercise, compound weight movements and a cardiovascular machine (rowers are great.)
Just remember when choosing weights exercises try to choose composite movements and limit the amount of isolation exercises. This is because full body exercises are going to tire you a lot more than isolation exercises.
Interval training is one of my most favorite ways to get fit on any piece of cardio machine. Just choose the interval program, and get going. Interval training can be done anywhere and usually follows the following format.
– One minute of intense effort followed by a one to two minute recovery (depending on where you are in your training cycle). Do this fifteen times and you will definitely be getting tired.
The great thing with interval training on a cardio machine it is really easy to monitor your heart rate and calories burned as well as distance traveled. A great way to keep up intensity is to stay above a certain row per minute (RPM) for the full minute.
Sprints are just another way to do interval training. The great thing about running is that you do not have to go to the gym to do it. The local park has everything you need for high intensity sprinting session.
You may like to challenge yourself (and build the leg muscles) by completing sprints uphill, or try pulling a sled or tire along for added resistance. Piggy backing a partner is another great way for you to do sprints up a hill.
Here is an example of a hill sprint workout.
– ten hill sprints with walk back recovery.
– Five piggyback or sled pulls with walk back recovery
This sort of program will really have your heart rate increased and lactic acid all through the legs. If you are going to be doing a lot of hill sprints it may be wise to read up on recovery.
If you are not keen on hill sprints then you can just do flat sprints. A good program would be:
80m, 90m 100m, 120m, 100m, 90m, 80m, Followed by 5 repetitions of 40m sprints.
Who is this training catered for?
This training is awesome for athletes and experienced trainers. High intensity, short duration exercise is great because you can really push your body to the limit for a short amount of time, which gives you such fantastic results.
High intensity exercise is not good for the elderly, inexperienced trainers or trainers who are just getting into training, for the simple fact that their body is not conditioned to hard exercise and they may injure themselves.
It is important that you are an experienced trainer (or have an experienced person eg a Personal trainer) close to help out if need be.
What sports is this type of training good for?
High intensity exercise is great for sports where you have an intense couple of minutes and then the intensity dies down again, for example sports such as rugby, soccer, hockey as well as boxing, wrestling, judo and karate. Due to the short duration of this type of exercise it is not suited for endurance sports like marathon, triathlon, swimming, running etc. In saying that although endurance athletes still perform interval training but it is different to the short duration sports.