Todays Lesson: Interval Training 101

Its about time I put this one up!

This is 2009, and many things have changed in terms of working out, especially “aerobic training”. (Excuse me while I wash my mouth out with soap just for saying that term!) Below is an excerpt from a great book by Lou Schuler, Alwyn Cosgrove, and Cassandra Forsythe entitled, “New Rules of Lifting for Women” -They explained aerobic training plain and simple – 
“Aerobics” is a made-up word, coined by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, a former college track star, to promote steady-pace exercise. Here’s what he wrote in Aerobics, his 1968 bestseller:
“I’ll state my position early. The best exercises are running, swimming, cycling, walking, stationary running, handball, basketball and squash, and in just about that order. Isometrics, weight lifting and calisthenics, though good as far as they go, don’t even make the list, despite the fact that most exercise books are based on one of these three.”

Cooper believed that endurance training was the key to everything. It was a counterintuitive idea, but unlike so many other leap-of-faith notions that arose in the 1960s (“tune in, turn on, drop out”), it gained a permanent foothold in science and practice. I call it “counterintuitive” because the human species isn’t really designed for long-distance runs. We evolved to walk long distances — that’s how our ancient ancestors put food on the table, before they figured out retailing — and to run really fast when we must. We’re good at start-stop activities involving lots of different speeds and changes of direction, which is why human children instinctively play games like “tag,” why human adults invent games like basketball and soccer, and why fighting sports like boxing and tae kwon do have rounds of several minutes, rather than continuous action until one fighter wins.

What we aren’t good at, by nature, is jogging or swimming at a steady pace for longer than a few minutes.
And yet, that’s what Cooper and many who followed his example have spent four decades telling us we should do.  

Doesnt that make sense???? SO – The big question -Now what to do? How do you change that? Interval training is the way to go, it is far superior to fat loss for many reasons – the landmark study on interval training is the Gibala study, this study confirms the waste of time that happens with aerobic training-

Martin Gibala’s study, in the September 2006 issue of the Journal of Physiology, compared young men doing conventional workouts of 90 to 120 minutes a day with a group doing interval training — 30-second bursts of intense cycling over 20 minutes, three times a week.

The small study involved 16 men over only two weeks, but Gabala was impressed that both groups showed similar improvements in exercise performance and the way their muscles used oxygen.

In other words – one group worked for up to 120 minutes a day, and the other group worked only 20 minutes a day, and BOTH GROUPS SHOWED THE SAME EXACT RESULTS! I dont know about you, but I would much rather be done in 20 mins than in 120!

According to Gibala, the study “confirms that interval-based exercise is indeed a very time-efficient training strategy, however the training is demanding and requires a high level of motivation.”

I have seen serious progress in a short amount of time by having my clients use interval training methods. They work like a charm, the reason most people do not work out like that is because although it is brutally effective, it is equally as difficult. Where to begin???
Interval Training Lesson #1 

Use a bike, any bike will do, stationary or recumbent – I prefer the bike because Ive never seen anyone get injured on a bike.
We will be using a scale of 1-10  – 10 is pedalling for your life as if you are being chased by a wild animal of some sort- 
Begin with a 3-4 min warm up (2-4 out of 10) – gradually increasing intensity, there is usually a guage on most bikes that says “RPM” or rotations per minute – Keep your pace steady.
Next you will perform 8 rounds of 15/45 seconds alternating work/rest periods:
Round         Time         Intensity
1              15 sec       6 out of 10
                45 sec       4 out of 10  
2              15 sec       7 out of 10
                45 sec       4 out of 10
3              15 sec       8 out of 10
                45 sec       4 out of 10
4              15 sec       8 out of 10
                45 sec       4 out of 10
5              15 sec       9 out of 10
                45 sec       4 out of 10  
6              15 sec       9 out of 10
                45 sec       4 out of 10
7              15 sec       9 out of 10
                45 sec       4 out of 10
8              15 sec       9 out of 10
                45 sec       4 out of 10
End with a 4-5 min cool down – and you are done! Imagine that actually done with your cardio session in 16 minutes????
Do this 3x a week – and do not be fooled, the first 2-3 intervals will seem very easy – then . . . (insert evil laugh here)!
No bike???? get a clock and use a jump rope.
What?? No jump rope??? Get a clock and do push ups and jumping jacks!           
Get it done!
Stay Focused,



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