Update! December 2012
- Interval Training:
- As detailed in prior issues of the Master Trainer, many studies have found that interval training is a safe, efficient, and effective way to increase cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and improve many other health related measures.
Most of the interval training studies have involved use of conventional aerobic training equipment, e.g., the treadmill, and often the protocol is performed at very high intensity with multiple repeats, bringing into question the sustainability of such training. For example, 10, 1-minute repeats may be prescribed at 90% of maximal heart rate, or several 4-minute repeats may be performed at that level.
In one of the most effective but very high intensity protocols, the Tabata protocol, 8 to 10, 20 second repeats are performed with only 10 seconds rest in between repeats, with the workload for repeats at 170% of VO2max. The original protocol was developed for top competitive speed skaters racing at short distances where extreme training intensity appears warranted. However, few people are at that level or have that goal. And, for most of us, even given the high effectiveness of that protocol, it would be difficult to sustain this kind of very intense training.
- New Approach:
- In a timely and compelling report on a new approach to CRF, McRae and colleagues noted the efficiency of interval training and that recent studies suggested people enjoy this kind of training more than traditional endurance training.
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