Fitness, Health and Exercise Fact for October

Hello everyone!  Are you an athlete or would just like to train like one to help rev-up your fitness and conditioning? Here’s my latest tip on how training like an athlete can help you.  Please enjoy!  And as always, feel free to share this blog link with your friends, family and co-workers!
In Health and Fitness,


Use Work-to-Rest Ratio Training to Rev-Up Your Fitness Level!

In the world of Sports Conditioning and Training I use work-to-rest ratio training to help athletes address their specific conditioning needs for the sport they play, and to improve their overall performance. But this type of training can be used for challenging and improving the fitness level of anyone – athlete or not. So, what exactly does this type of training involve, and how do the principles of work-to-rest training help athletes and non-athletes alike? I’m so glad that you asked!

Work-to-rest training methodology requires me to take a look at the duration of the typical work performed by the athlete that I am training and then targeting their training to those needs. For example, your typical basketball or tennis athlete will run a series of short, quick sprints, stops and starts during their competition.  Yet, all too often I see some of these same athletes who are involved in this type of high-intensity, quick movement sport, spend all or most of their cardiovascular training by performing steady-state, long distance training such as jogging. In fact, while this type of long distance training will help them with their overall endurance, it does very little to address the type of cardiovascular conditioning that they need in their actual sport. The ‘roller-coaster’ type of cardio conditioning (where they may sprint-jog-walk-sprint etc.) that their sport requires is not well suited by steady-state jogging. This is where looking at the specific work-to-rest ratio of their sport is useful.  High intensity training that simulates the action on the field of play or court will be helpful here. So, for example I will have a tennis player perform a higher intensity cardiovascular work for a shorter duration (say 15-30 seconds, similar to a tennis point) and then allow them a short recovery of say 10-20 seconds (the typical time between points). By training this way, the athlete will develop the ability to not only work at a higher intensity, but also to recover faster so that they are ready for action sooner.

While I use this type of training specificity with athletes, this concept can be used with general fitness clients who, for example, I want to have burn more calories, or otherwise challenge their cardiovascular system in a different way. While it’s true that not everyone is involved in a high-intensity sport, it’s also true that few things in life always occur in a steady state.  Have any doubt?  Think about the time that the elevator is broken and you have to walk up several flights of stairs, or hike up a broken escalator, or run for the bus; these are all daily life events that may challenge your steady state conditioning. By programming a few higher-intensity, short duration exercise bursts into my client’s training program I can challenge their conditioning beyond its normal steady-state capacity for just such occasions.  In addition to adding variety to your regular cardiovascular workout, this type of training can result in the burning of more calories per unit of exercise time – more work in shorter time for those of you short on time.

A WORD OF CAUTION:  Because this type of high-intensity interval training carries a higher potential risk of injury, and may not be for everyone, I highly recommend having an experienced certified personal trainer or sports conditioning specialist help you design a program that is suited for your specific needs and fitness level.

ALWAYS consult with your physician or healthcare provider BEFORE you begin ANY exercise to ensure that exercise is appropriate for you!

This Fitness, Health and Exercise Facts publication is brought to you courtesy of LEC Fitness, LLC

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