Ultra running champion and Virginia 50 miler record holder
POWER TIP NO. 1
High Intensity Training (H.I.T.), Part 1
As those of you who train or have trained with me know, I’m a big advocate of cardio and resistance training at higher intensities. I’ve always believed in the benefits H.I.T yields and have seen my clients achieve the best results from it especially when it involves sports. In Part One, I just want to touch on higher intensity as it relates to cardio training. Simply put, one needs to raise their heart rate to a higher level than they are used to training at. First let me state that there are definitely other methods for attaining results and for long distance and ultra runners they definitely need to keep building their endurance through long slower runs. In recent years though, those runners have added high intensity training through hill repeats, track intervals, and resistance workouts to compliment their distance training.
Still, in my opinion and many in the sport and science field, for the average person trying to get leaner and tighter, it is intensity that matters most. Why? Because study after study has shown that higher intensity exercise will lead to greater fat burning for longer periods after the exercise is completed. And that is the key. To be burning more calories, more efficiently, when you’re not working out. In fact many studies have shown that the more aerobic work you perform, the more muscle you can actually lose. We’ve all seen the individual on the elliptical trainer day in day out for an hour at the same low intensity and month after month they see no change in body composition. There is no fat loss and no improved shape or muscle tone. In our quest to be lean, strong, and healthy, we need muscle to burn fat. By performing more dynamic higher intensity cardio such as hills, sprints or playing a sport, we recruit more muscle fibers.
So remember, the next time you plan to run for an hour at a slow painful trod, try 20-30 minutes at a faster pace and intensity or throw in some 10 second sprints and hills throughout. You’ll be better for it. Of course if your nutrition is poor then it doesn’t really.....let’s leave that for another day. Next time I will give you a few specific higher intensity cardio workouts to try.
In good health,