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Thursday, January 25, 2007

High Intensity Training

HIIT Training

This is a great document comparing the effects of standard, moderate intensity "cardio" against high-intensity training. High-intensity training will always prevail over low- or moderate-intensity training. Running sprint intervals is more effective at improving your athleticism than is running 3 miles everyday. Traditional "cardio" work sticks solely to the oxidative pathway, neglecting the phosphagen and glycolytic pathways, the ones that contribute to power and anaerobic capacity. In fact, distance running can actually be detrimental to anaerobic capacity in favor of aerobic capacity. Unfortunately, with the exception of endurance sports such as bicycle road racing and marathons, sports take place in the anaerobic pathways. Basketball, football, boxing and martial arts, tennis, and Olympic weightlifting all are characterized by short, high-intensity bursts followed by periods of rest. Traditional cardio also tends to convert fast-twitch muscle fibers (the power oriented ones) into slow-twitch fibers (non-power oriented)...this is why most marathoners haver very little in the way of a vertical jump. If you want to maintain power and sports capacity, high volumes of aerobic work isn't the way to do it. Try some sprint intervals.