INTERVAL TRAINING

Interval training is an intense repetitive workout involving short periods of vigorous exercise and breaks, on repeat. This helps in achieving high intensity work out goals. The basic purpose of this is to mediate the load on cardio-respiratory system. This technique is used to train and build power endurance athletes.

  • Guiding principle-
  • Strength+Confidence+Flexibility = Strategy (the ability to use it).

    POWER ENDURANCE

    This term is used to hard and rapid lasting efforts up to 20-30 minutes, which is usually a short period (because genuine endurance sustains much longer than that). It is cardiovascular in nature, although the cause of stress in oxygen system may also arise from other activities like running or jumping. Energy is provided by equal levels of aerobic and anaerobic sources during this intense effort which requires spasmodic power production over long period.

    CIRCUIT

    It’s a sequential repetition of a set of movements (exercises) done back-to-back, in a fixed time frame. Formally, a circuit doesn’t include any rest period, and any rest taken during this time is summed up in the total measurement of that circuit. These must be executed at high intensity so as to achieve the goal in the set time.

    STRENGTH

    These workouts are aimed at increasing maximum force production (the maximum level of muscle strength), involving slow and grinding movements like deadlift, squats, pull-ups. As explosiveness is not a considering factor here (explosiveness means the ability to exert maximum force in minimal time), loads are great enough that repetitions are restricted to less than 5 per set with a maximum of 25-30 reps of one particular movement, increasing it gradually.

    POWER

    The type of workouts in this are centred around fast and explosive movements (e.g. Olympic lifts). “Power” workouts are defined at aiming to increase the rate of force production – or the ability to turn on muscle fibers instantly in a coordinated manner. These movements are heavy enough to restrict them to approx. 5 per set. Box jumps, depth jumps fall under this category.
    As the central focus is to evoke explosive movements, the cardiovascular stress is imposed for a short period, usually 30-90 seconds.

    TAG TEAM

    It’s a team workout method (usually comprising of 2-3 or more people) having one movement of fixed distance/duration and other movements scaled to that.

    ENDURANCE>90

    Endurance sessions last longer than 90 minutes. 90 minutes is used as a marker because it’s around this time that fuelling, and hydration become a critical component of the effort, i.e. where many collapse. Up to this point one can work hard without food and liquid. These are likely sport specific efforts, rarely done in the gym. As the ‘Endurance>90’ sessions increase in duration (>3/4 hours) the HR declines towards what we might call ‘ultra-endurance pace, something that might be maintained forever.

    IWT

    Developed by Pat O’Shea in 1969 and further refined, a typical IWT session involves a set of 8-12 reps of an “athletic lift” immediately chased with two minutes of free aerobic exercise at 90-95% of capacity, followed by two minutes of rest. That is repeated for a total of three sets after which the athlete is rewarded a 5-minute break.

  • The first phase is repeated though the ‘lift’ and the ‘free’ exercises are changed, having the same recovery period.
  • Phase three involves a circuit of complementary movements, often using bodyweight, with 4-12 reps and 3-10 rounds.
  • IWT workouts may be scaled towards a particular fitness characteristic.

    ~For a lasting emphasis, we increase the duration of the free exercise period to 3 minutes and reduce the rest period, all lifts are done with lighter loads and higher reps.
    ~To focus on *power development* we increase loads for the athletic lifts and reduce the reps, scale back the chasing aerobic exercise period and increase the rest periods to endure ‘full’ recovery.

    SM

    Single move: like it sounds, this involves a single movement repeated for long duration and essentially mentally inspiring and exhausting at the same time, though the physical stress may also be significant.
    Examples might be 100X get ups, the One-mile Tire drag, body weight plus age deadlifts (add the two together to determine load and reps, e.g. 155+45= 200 pounds for 200 reps.)

    This interval progression illustrates our emphasis on going increasingly harder or faster as the workout evolves rather than the common opposite – slowing down, taking more rest, shedding weight etc.

    CHIPPER

    Most chippers contain a minimum of 3 exercises up to a maximum of 10, lasting for 30-60 minutes.
    The chipper usually follows one of the several rep schemes:

  • Same number of reps for all exercises i.e. 50-50-50-50
  • Pyramids i.e. 10-20-30-40-50-40-30-20-10
  • Increasing reps i.e. 10-20.….80-90
  • Decreasing reps i.e. 100-90….20-10
  • RECOVERY

    This technique is an easy and smooth effort usually 30-60 minutes long, undertaken at a low heart rate to move circulate around, flush by products of previous day’s effort and create demand for food.

    PROGRESSION

    It’s an “open-circuit”, meaning that it’s composed of non-repeating movements executed at low to moderate loads and high reps with emphasis placed on metabolic stress over muscular stress. This type typically lasts for 15-25 minutes.

    BREATHING LADDER

    A ‘big’ movement (KB Snatch, KB Swing, Thruster, Clean etc) executed using a ladder style rep structure with the rest period determined by how long the athlete can make a fixed number of breaths. (like, do 1 thruster: breathe once, do 2 thrusters: breathe twice). Breathe as much as you want during the work interval, be strict during the rest intervals. The longer it takes to breathe the necessary number of “reps”, the more rest you get between sets. Rest is taken standing, not lying down. Use any rep structure: 1-10 waves, 1-30 open ladder (i.e. go on until you cannot do the work on the limited number of breaths), 1-20-1 pyramid, it in any way to get the result you want.

    ACCUMULATION

    A series of short, hard workouts combined to make a whole new session. This involves adequate rest between segments allowing high intensity to be attained and maintained during successive efforts.

    ✓ The following guidelines were taken from Michael Yessis’ 1992 book titled “The Kinesiology of exercise”. Figures will affect you differently depending on your age, existing fitness level, sex, the phase of the annual cycle you are in, as well as the volume and intensity of the training you’re doing.
    In general –

  • 1-4 reps increase pure strength but do not increase muscle mass.
  • 4-9 reps increase strength together with muscle mass.
  • 10-15 reps increase muscular strength, muscular endurance, and muscle mass.
  • 16-30 reps increase muscular endurance with little to no increase in muscle mass.
  • 31-50 reps increase muscular endurance with no effort in muscle mass.
  • 50-100 reps increase muscular endurance, cardio-respiratory endurance, there will be a possible loss of muscle mass (or fat), and absolutely no increase in strength.
  • The illustration above suggests that ‘POWER’, ‘STRENGTH ENDURANCE’, ‘MUSCLE ENDURANCE’, and ‘SPEED-STRENGTH ENDURANCE FLEXIBILITY’, comprises of both static and dynamic aspects.
    Static notion suggests an isometric exercise involving static contraction of a muscle without any visible movement in the angle of joint.
    Dynamic notion suggests the movement of muscles that bring forth a stretch but are not held in the end position.

    While doing our regular and basic workout, we often tend to overlook the minute precision that is required to do a specific exercise flawlessly. Here are some pro-tips to master the perfectness of your mundane exercises:

    Pull-ups: elbows must pass behind the centerline of the body if this happens the entire head rises above the bar, active shoulder position at the bottom (as opposed to full dead hang)

  • Push-ups: chest touches the floor first, active shoulder and full extension at the top, body held as a solid plank, the hips do not
  • Squats: thighs must be parallel to floor (at minimum) in the bottom position, full extension at the top of the move
  • Lunges: trailing knee must touch the ground but may not support any we
  • Push-Press and Thruster: arms must lock out overhead, hips displace horizontally to the rear to initiate recovery of the weight, Thruster includes all attributes of a proper squat
  • Kettlebell or Dumbbell Swing: weight must be raised higher than the head (arms about 45 degrees)
  • Box Jump: once established on the box the athlete must stand up completely, whether jumping for reps or max height taking steps to gain momentum is not permitted
  • Ball Slam: full extension at the top with hips forward, ball must actually be slammed catching it on the bounce is better style, rounded back not permitted during recovery
  • Burpees: includes a proper push-up, explosive finish (jump), overhead clap, and feet remain together throughout the movement to ensure maximum hip displacement
  • Wall Ball: full squat required, ball must hit the target
  • Dips: upper arm must be parallel to the floor (at minimum) in the bottom position, arms lock out in full extension at the top
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