Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Raise Your Workout Intensity… Go Ahead and Throw the Weights

By: Monty Moran

High intensity training bouts have now been shown to be more effective than steady state traditional cardio training for improving body composition. So what is high intensity training? What exercises are involved? What's the difference?

Take a look at Track & Field athletes, in general most people would say that, aesthetically, the sprinters and all around athletes (e.g. heptathalon through pentathalon) look to be in the best shape. What do they do? They run as fast as they can, jump as high or as far as possible and they throw for distance. Their efforts are high intensity. What do the distance athletes do? Run at a manageable pace, which hopefully will be faster than the others. Their efforts are limited to a pace or steady state cardio.

High intensity training or as some of my younger clients say, "hardcore training," involves activities such as sprinting, heavier weight lifting, jumping and throwing objects.

When training at a steady state (or a traditional "cardio" workout), the heart increases from its baseline rate to an elevated rate of generally 55-70% of maximum beats per minute. By doing this, the metabolism increases and more calories are burned during the workout session compared to not working out. However, as soon as the workout session is over, the heart slows down and metabolism returns to normal.

When incorporating high intensity training the rules change. 80-95% maximum heart is achieved but for short time periods (varying from six to sixty seconds). Rest between bouts is required because of the inability for the majority of people to sustain such a pace. The heart rate will climb towards a peak or maximum rate and then will (if in shape) quickly fall to 45-60% of max heart rate. This series of fluctuations requires greater quantities of oxygen and burns a greater amount of calories than steady state cardio training for any period of time. In addition, when the workout is finished the body goes into recovery mode; during which the metabolism stays elevated for at least 4 hours after the training session.

Make your next workout an intense experience. Run faster, jump higher and / or farther, lift heavier, throw farther. Talking during your workout should be the last thing on your mind, while trying to catch your breath may suddenly take top priority.

About Monty Moran

Monty Moran is the Director of Training for Cormax, a fitness consultant, entrepreneur and business coach. Visit and see how he actually has his clients throw the weights when lifting.


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