Aerobic Training ___________________________________________________________
Aerobic training is a method used primarily for enhancing cardiovascular fitness, which was devised by Kenneth Cooper. It is probably the most widely used method in the United States, and is by far the easiest method to follow. According to Cooper, to get a training effect, several conditions must be met. First, you must elevate your heart rate to 180 beats per minute minus your age. For instance, if you are 40 years old your target heart rate would be 140 beats. If you are 50 years old, your target heart rate would only be 130 beats. This is one place were getting old is an advantage. You must then keep your heart rate at that level for at least 5 minutes in order to attain a training effect. Within limits, the longer the exercise exceeds the five minute period, the greater the cardiovascular development. Cooper suggests that you train 15 to 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Again, any exercise can be used as long as you are getting a training effect.
Interval Training _________________________________________________________
∞ WELLNESS FOR LIFE ∞ Interval training is a __________________________________________________________________ cardiovascular training method that requires you to exercise maximally for a given period of time, rest The Glycogen Depletion Technique. and engage in maximum exercise again. This cycle is then repeated a defined number of times. This The glycogen depletion technique or carbohydrate loading (they are two ways of saying the same thing) is a training method is so easy to use that your paperboy training method that is used by endurance athletes to increase could do it…if he happens to be Carl Lewis. the glycogen stored in muscle tissue. In this training method, the Running is often the exercise used in athlete first exercises until the glycogen in the muscle tissue is interval training, but other exercises such as completely depleted. Immediately afterwards, the athlete eats a swimming or bicycling can be used if they are large meal of foods rich in carbohydrates. This procedure may performed vigorously. A sufficient exercise is one enable an athlete to triple the amount of glycogen the muscles that will elevate the heart rate to your training can store. Since endurance depends, in part, on the amount of sensitivity zone for at least 10 minutes. In track, this glycogen the muscles can store, the more the muscles can store, is usually achieved by sprinting 220 yards; in fact, the greater the endurance. The amount of exercise needed to deplete the this distance is considered ideal for interval training. glycogen level varies from individual to individual and from There is no set time period for rest between each muscle to muscle. An indication of glycogen depletion is when exercise heat. The individual starts exercising again the ability to coordinate the muscles is impaired and they begin as soon as his heart rate comes down to about 120 to ache. This is similar to the effects of “hitting the wall.” The beats per minute. It should be noted that the more complete the glycogen depletion, the greater the glycogen minimum heart rate required for a training effect storage from carbohydrate loading. would vary with the age of the individual. Older It has also been found that the more an athlete uses the individuals can achieve a training effect at lower technique of glycogen depletion, the more proficient the body heart rates than younger individuals. becomes at “burning” fat. For reasons yet unknown, glycogen depletion “teaches” the muscles to burn a greater percentage of It has been shown that an athlete using fat during work, thereby preserving more of the muscle interval training can train longer and more glycogen for later use. According to Mirkin and Hoffman in thoroughly than if he trained continuously at a their book Sport & Medicine, burning fat with muscle glycogen maximum level for four or five minutes. Depending is up to thirteen times more efficient than burning glycogen on individual needs and type of activity, there are alone; they refer to this as “burning fat on the flame of numerous adjustments that can be made to interval glycogen.” training routines. According to Jim Bush, a former United States track and field coach, the following variables should be assessed and modified in order to achieve optimal benefits: (1) distance or duration of the activity, (2) speed or intensity, (3) duration of the recovery period, (4) nature or type of recovery period, (5) number of repetitions of the cycle and (6) frequency of the interval training sessions.
Circuit Training ______________________________________________________
Generally speaking, weight lifting is not a good method for developing cardiovascular fitness and losing body fat. When lifting weights, the individual usually fails to elevate his or her heart rate sufficiently for the required period of time to get a cardiovascular training effect. There is an exception to this rule. It’s called circuit training. Circuit training is basically a muscular endurance training procedure. However, some muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness can be developed if the program is designed properly. Simply, the program consists of a number of different exercises that the individual tries to complete (non-stop) in a given amount of time. The first thing that you need to do is set up a number of exercise stations, usually ten. Each exercise station should consist of only one exercise. For example, at your first station you might do squats, at your second station bench presses, at your third station deadlifts and so on and so forth. Usually, a ten repetition maximum (10-RM) is used for the load on each exercise. Once you have established an exercise and resistance for each station, you then determine how long it takes you to go through the entire circuit without stopping. You then take three fourths of that time. This new time becomes your “target time” or the time in which you want to complete the circuit. Once you can complete the circuit within your target time, you increase the resistance and establish a new target time. Any number of exercises, repetitions, or for that matter, the number of times one goes around the circuit, can be used in a circuit training program. Generally, it’s a good idea to change the routine in order to avoid staleness. The circuit can be designed so that special emphasis can be placed on certain body parts. Usually, it’s good to stagger the exercises so that the same muscle group will not be worked twice in a row. For example, you could first do an upper body exercise, move on to a lower body exercise and continue to alternate throughout the circuit. Just one more thing you need to know here…if someone is doing circuit training and they pass out, don’t go near them. The first thing they’ll do is wake up, then sit-up, and then throw-up. You don’t want that all over your new Reeboks, do you? Seriously though, this method has become more and more popular at fitness centers, especially for people who do not go the gym every day. You are able to tax all the various muscle groups and the cardiovascular system in one workout. You might want to try this method and intersperse it with other activities as suggested earlier. Vary your workouts to avoid boredom. Remember too, that you don’t have to design your program in order to develop cardiovascular fitness. Like the other activities we talked about, circuit training can be used to simply burn calories…and develop a little muscle here and there.
The Fartlek Method of Training _________________________________________________________________________________________________
We know Fartlek training sounds gross. We don’t make the names up we just present the material. Anyway, this is a cardiovascular training method which is basically a combination of cross country running and interval training. The method consists of long distance running mixed with fast paced interval runs over various types of terrain. The individual begins with a fast and steady run that usually lasts from four to 6 minutes. The runner usually covers a distance of approximately one mile or more and engages in several wind sprints of 75 to 100 yards. When the runner tires, he will then walk for about 50 yards and then start running again. This cycle is continued for the entire training session that is usually from one to two hours each day. If you are planning to wear the red, white and blue in the next Olympics as a marathoner, this is probably the method for you. If not, you might want to find some other less strenuous training method. One of the most widely used Fartlek routines was devised by Don Weiskoph of the United States. According to Weiskoph, the following Fartlek schedule should be followed for one to two hours each day. 1. 2. 3.
Warm-up by slowly running for 5 to 10 minutes. Perform 5 to 10 minutes of vigorous calisthenics. Run for approximately 1 mile at a rate of 5 minutes per mile. 4. Walk at a fast pace for 3 to 5 minutes. 5. Jog for about 1 mile with four to six windsprints of 75to 100 yards in between. 6. Sprint uphill for 150 to 200 yards, or sprint 660 yards on a level track. 7. Jog slowly with several quick steps of five to ten yards now and then. 8. Walk for ten minutes. 9. Run four 440-yard sprints at racing speed on a track or level area and jog for a quarter of a mile between each 440. 10. Finish the workout by running 1 mile in 10 minutes. Although the Fartlek routines used vary from individual to individual, the principle of “running relaxed” over long distances remains the same. It should be obvious that the Fartlek training method is designed for highly competitive athletes. Still, the method could easily be modified to meet your specific needs. Here is something else we want to throw out at you. Don’t ever sell yourself short. We know a lot of people will read this and say, “Damn, they must be nuts. I would never use a method like Fartlek training.” You never know. A very close friend of ours, Susan Nelson, weighed 325 pounds when she started our program. Today she weighs 135 pounds and is a champion long distance runner. If you don’t believe us, look it up.
The Karvonen Method of Training _________________________________________________________________________________________
The Karvonen Method of training is based on the premise that in order to get a training effect, an individual must elevate his or her heart rate to approximately 60% of heart rate range. That’s right, more math. Don’t panic though, we’ll explain it in terms that even a University football coach from the Southeastern Conference can understand.
The first thing that you will need to do is find your heart beat range by subtracting your resting heart rate from your maximum heart rate. To review, you can count your own resting heart rate by palpating the radial artery and counting the number of beats in 15 seconds and then multiply that number by 4. The “rough” formula for determining your maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. Once you have determined your capability range (chill out, that’s just another name for heart beat range) take 60% of it and add this value to your resting heart rate. This gives you the heart rate that you have to maintain in order to get a training effect. For instance, if your resting heart rate is 70 beats per minute and your maximum heart rate is 200, your capability range would be 130 beats (200-70 = 130). Sixty percent of your capability range of 130 beats is 78 beats (130 x 0.60 = 78). Add the 78 to your resting heart rate of 70 beats and you get 148 beats. This is the heart rate at or above which you must exercise in order to get a training effect according to Karvonen. You should train for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Pretty simple stuff, huh?
The African Method of Training ______________________________________________________________________________________
The masochist in you will love this one! The African method of training is a cardiovascular method of training for experienced and competitive runners…Africans. Americans, don’t do this…it hurts. Ben Jipcho developed this method in 1960 to prepare for the Olympic championships. The method is still used today by many world-class runners. In case you are considering wearing the red, white and blue at the next Olympics, you may want to give it a try. Go ahead, get your jogging shorts on and try it. We will wait right here. Someone has to call 911. The daily program consists of a 660-yard sprint followed by a 300 yard “jog” (at a rate of five minutes per mile), then a 440-yard sprint followed by another 300 yard “jog.” This cycle is repeated non-stop for a distance of eight miles (or when you drop dead…whichever comes first). The distance should be covered within 45 to 50 minutes. As training progresses, the athlete should attempt to lower the time to 35-40 minutes. Did you ever see the Kenyans run? They can run longer and faster then a bobcat in heat. Now you know how they do it. We got a training effect just writing about this method.
Marathon Training ________________________________________________________________
Marathon Training is a cardiovascular training method that was devised by Arthur Lydiard of New Zealand to help condition marathon runners. The key phrase here is “marathon runners.” If you are one of those people whom every time you feel like running, you lie down until the feeling goes away, you may want to pass on this one. Marathon, or volume training, consists of running long distances, usually 20 to 30 miles, at a steady and relatively slow pace. According to Lydiard, the ideal training load is 20 miles a day, 6 days a week. We said it right, 20 to 30 miles a day. Our car can’t go that far daily. Of course, novice runners should gradually increase their
mileage as they become more fit (as if we really need to tell you that). A reasonable starting point would be to run 2 miles a day, 6 days a week, and add one-half of a mile every 2 weeks. According to research, marathon training is the best cardiovascular training method for enhancing capillary vascularization and aerobic capacity. However, it is a very strenuous and time consuming routine.
Now we know exactly what you are thinking. “What about walking? Even doctors with Ph.D.’s after their names rave about the benefits of walking.” Remember what we said about titles? Some of the dumbest people we have ever met have Ph.D.s and some of the wisest people we every met don’t even know what a Ph.D. is. Amazingly, this time those brilliant title holders are right…well partially. Walking does have a lot of benefits. In fact, it is probably one of the best activities for burning fat, but it is a very poor exercise for developing cardiovascular fitness because walking is not strenuous enough to allow you to reach your training sensitivity zone.
“Hitting the Wall” ____________________________________________________________
Once a year we plop in front of our television screen with a big bowl of Doritos and bean dip and watch ESPN’s Ironman Championships. In case you don’t know what the Ironman is, it’s a triathlon. More specifically a 7 mile swim, a 125 mile bike ride and a 26 mile marathon all rolled into one. We like to think of it as the greatest television production of sadistic voyeurism known to man. We are serious about this. The best part from a voyeuristic standpoint is when someone “hits the wall.” This is an expression used by marathon runners and other endurance competitors to describe the feeling that occurs when muscle tissue runs out of glycogen and/or energy. “Hitting the wall” is characterized by a loss of muscle coordination, muscle cramps and extreme pain. When an athlete “hits the wall,” she or he basically resembles a cross between a motor moron and a cerebral palsy victim who has had about six Long Island Teas in the last fifteen minutes. To be honest, only a sadist could watch this hoopla. We have actually seen athletes losing total control of their voluntary muscles to the point were they couldn’t walk or crawl. Actually, some athletes will lose control of their bladder after “hitting the wall.” Furthermore, the pain experienced is excruciating. The phenomenon occurs during strenuous endurance activities, especially when they are performed in warm weather. It is believed that more glycogen or energy are required to exercise in heat than in mild or cold weather. Heat just creates greater demands on metabolic systems. Notwithstanding, the better one’s fitness level, the longer one can exercise without “hitting the wall.” It should be noted that “hitting the wall” might occur in specific extremities. Since glycogen stored in one muscle cannot be transferred to another muscle, the muscle that is being used the most will tend to run out of glycogen first. For instance, a soccer player’s legs may run out of glycogen before his arms, or a boxer’s arms may tire and cramp before his legs. Many athletes who “hit the wall” attempt to push
themselves through it. Since the body has no more glycogen to burn, the muscles will use their fat, blood sugar and eventually, their own tissue for energy. When an athlete attempts to push through “the wall,” movement is accompanied by agonizing pain. Permanent injury to muscle tissue can result, and only highly motivated athletes are capable of such attempts. Let us restate that only a highly motivated masochist would attempt going through the wall, either that, or individuals who have been mixing their medication a little too much.
Bonking is the term given to the feeling an individual experiences when the glycogen concentration in the liver becomes depleted. Glycogen that is stored in the liver is the brain’s primary source of energy. When the body runs out of liver glycogen, the blood sugar level supplying the brain drops to inadequate levels and causes the individual to break into a cold sweat, shake and become uncoordinated, confused and dizzy. When this occurs, you can experience some serious intellectual constipation. Heck, we have seen guys make Albert Einstein look like Goofy after bonking. Unlike “hitting the wall” (which is due to muscle glycogen loss) “bonking” is due to liver glycogen loss and can be relieved almost immediately by eating. In order to relieve the symptoms associated with “hitting the wall,” the individual would have to rest for approximately 24 to 48 hours, as well as eat.