Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Training Tip: Why We Use Cardio Intervals

If you've trained at fusion, you know we are all about cardio intervals, but maybe you didn't hear why the
cross-training structure uses intervals.

Here is how intervals work to speed the metabolism and increase stamina so fast. When you interserse
short bouts of intense exercise (above target heart rate) into a "regular" workout it causes larger uptakes
of oxygen both during and after exercise. You notice the need for more oxygen as a huff and puff after a
sprint, which mentally can be correlated as blowing air on a calorie fire. The more air you take in, the
faster and hotter it burns the calories. Over time your body adapts to this higher intensity and becomes
more efficient at burning calories, which signifies the raising of the metabolism.

Furthermore, for all those Broad Street Runners on TEAM FUSION this year, the cardio intervals at
fusion are key because they help runners break through the plateaus you will hit if you simply train at
the same intensity all the time, i.e. long paced runs/bikes. With that big oxygen uptake you improve your
respiratory capacity and aerobic endurance, so it will seem easier to take on long runs at a faster pace.

Aerobic improvements can be felt within two weeks, but significantly greater benefits are realized after
several months of training. The same goes for balance, flexibiliity and weight training so start now!
You make progress within weeks but the most noticeable and useful changes come only after
months of consistently challenging yourself in the gym.

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