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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
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must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
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This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

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Interval Training - Which Protocol?
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Average Al

The topic of whether or not it is advisable to do some cardio in addition to strength training has been thoroughly discussed here, and isn't something I personally want to rehash. However, as someone who has chosen to add some cardio to my training program, I am interested in understanding the pros and cons of the different forms of cardio that are typically used. In particular, there seem to be a wide array of interval protocols being promoted, which leaves me with the question of which one to use.

Recently, I came across this review article, written for medical professionals, which talks about the pros and cons of various kinds of interval training, both for healthy individuals, and for those who have established medical issues. It seems pretty thorough, and I found it worth my time to read. So I offer it up for consideration, for those of you who like that kind of thing:

High-intensity interval training for health benefits and care of cardiac diseases - The key to an efficient exercise protocol

Shigenori Ito, Division of Cardiology, Sankuro Hospital, Aichi-ken, Toyota 4710035, Japan

https://www.wjgnet.com/.../v11/i7/171.htm



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entsminger

Virginia, USA

==Scott==
As I just said in another thread I prefer to use a concept 2 rower. You are using your legs, back and arms but if you do it right mostly legs. It's a very low impact exercise and you can get to breathing very hard in a very short time. My next favorite exercise would be on an exercise bike as it's pretty low impact as well. I have a torn meniscus and can't run but have no trouble cycling. Next would be swimming but I find it just too much trouble to do with going to the pool and all and it's just to boring.
If I did squats to get as winded as I get on a rower I could hardly walk afterwards.My legs would be sore for days. Minutes after a hard row I feel very little weakness in my legs.
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Average Al

I am very much in the low impact camp at this point. Running just pounds my joints too much. So I use an elliptical for longer, low intensity stuff. Then a bike or rowing machine for more intense interval stuff. Main limit on the rower is that when I start to pull really hard, I have gotten back pain. With the bike, I can go all out, safely. None of that leaves me with any soreness (except for back pain from rowing, which more typically involves muscle spasms).

However, I wasn't really thinking of the type of exercise, so much as the details around how an interval workout is constructed: how intense should the work interval be, how long should the work interval be, how long the rest period, how many cycles, etc.

Right now I do a modified 4x4 routine:
- 4 minutes at the fastest pace I can sustain.
- 3 minutes complete rest
- repeat 4 times.

I typically reach a heart rate that is 85%-90% of my peak heart rate for the last 2+ minutes of each work interval.

But there are other ways: REHIT, SIT, multiple different HIIT schemes. Gibala's book has a couple dozen as I recall.

Is 4x4 better than 10 rounds of 1 minute sprints, or 20 rounds of 30 second sprints? And when doing these things, how long should you rest between intervals: short to keep average heart rate high, or long to be able to push harder on the next interval?

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entsminger

Virginia, USA

However, I wasn't really thinking of the type of exercise, so much as the details around how an interval workout is constructed: how intense should the work interval be, how long should the work interval be, how long the rest period, how many cycles, etc.

==Custodian==
That's a hard thing to answer as it depends so much on your condition and many other factors. I generally don't rest more than 30 seconds to a munute between any exercise be it REHIT or whatever but that's just me and what I'm used to. I usually would do the cardio after a HIT type workout and start off with a minute or so warm up then an all out row for 30 seconds to a minute and then rest about a minute and do this several times. When I'm in good shape this is easy to recover from but now I'm in terrible shape so the hard pull isn't quite so hard and the rest periods may be longer.I think you just have to experiment and see what works best for you.
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epdavis7

entsminger wrote:
However, I wasn't really thinking of the type of exercise, so much as the details around how an interval workout is constructed: how intense should the work interval be, how long should the work interval be, how long the rest period, how many cycles, etc.

==Custodian==
That's a hard thing to answer as it depends so much on your condition and many other factors. I generally don't rest more than 30 seconds to a munute between any exercise be it REHIT or whatever but that's just me and what I'm used to. I usually would do the cardio after a HIT type workout and start off with a minute or so warm up then an all out row for 30 seconds to a minute and then rest about a minute and do this several times. When I'm in good shape this is easy to recover from but now I'm in terrible shape so the hard pull isn't quite so hard and the rest periods may be longer.I think you just have to experiment and see what works best for you.



I guess it depends on your objectives. Health? Specific task oriented performance? Athletic event? If so, train like you fight.
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Average Al

epdavis7 wrote:
However, I wasn't really thinking of the type of exercise, so much as the details around how an interval workout is constructed: how intense should the work interval be, how long should the work interval be, how long the rest period, how many cycles, etc.
-----

I guess it depends on your objectives. Health? Specific task oriented performance? Athletic event? If so, train like you fight.


Yes... likely depends on your objectives.

In my case, I don't care about athletic performance per se. I don't race, I don't compete in sports. I just want to improve health. I do cardio to improve the health of my heart and circulatory system. I hope that a secondary benefit is improve metabolic health (better blood sugar control) from additional physical activity.

The reason I posted the link to the study was that it focuses on the health benefits of interval training, by reviewing studies which are currently available.

The article suggests that medium intensity, steady cardio (MCT) is the "gold standard" approach. So most of the interval studies involve comparisons between a particular interval routine and MCT. It is much rarer to find direct comparisons between two different kinds of interval routines.

Of the interval routines tested, the 4X4 style seems to have been most thoroughly investigated, i.e., it is the most thoroughly proven alternative to MCT.

Overall, there is just a much smaller body of evidence to evaluate the health benefits other kinds of interval programs. In other words, there is a lot that still isn't known about the questions that I posed.

The other take-away is that with all these programs, compliance with intensity targets seems to be a potential issue. If you start to slack off, and fail to perform the work intervals at a sufficiently high intensity (i.e., high enough heart rate), then the results won't be as good as advertised. So it seems like it could be easy to fool yourself into thinking you are doing more than you really are.




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iflyboats

I will add my totally unscientific two cents based on experience. Note that I can no longer do interval training due to joint problems, but I did half a decade ago. Sprinting intervals was my favorite form of physical training, and like a recreational activity to me. I hit the track once a week in addition to my weekly BBS-style HIT workout. Running hard intervals provides a deeper form of metabolic conditioning than is possible through weight training, without the muscle damage. I?m not sure what actual benefit this has in terms of one?s health and well-being. All I can say is that nothing got my heart beating or muscles burning like those sessions. It had, for me, no noticeable impact on body composition beyond what weight training alone provided.
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1958

Texas, USA

iflyboats wrote:
I will add my totally unscientific two cents based on experience. Note that I can no longer do interval training due to joint problems, but I did half a decade ago. Sprinting intervals was my favorite form of physical training, and like a recreational activity to me. I hit the track once a week in addition to my weekly BBS-style HIT workout. Running hard intervals provides a deeper form of metabolic conditioning than is available through weight training, without the muscle damage. I?m not sure what long-term benefit this has to one?s long-term health and well-being. All I can say is that nothing got my heart beating or muscles burning like those sessions. It had, for me, no noticeable impact on body composition beyond what weight training alone provided.


And then what happened to your joints?
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entsminger

Virginia, USA

iflyboats wrote:
I will add my totally unscientific two cents based on experience. Note that I can no longer do interval training due to joint problems, but I did half a decade ago. Sprinting intervals was my favorite form of physical training, and like a recreational activity to me. I hit the track once a week in addition to my weekly BBS-style HIT workout. Running hard intervals provides a deeper form of metabolic conditioning than is available through weight training, without the muscle damage. I?m not sure what long-term benefit this has to one?s long-term health and well-being. All I can say is that nothing got my heart beating or muscles burning like those sessions. It had, for me, no noticeable impact on body composition beyond what weight training alone provided.


==Scott==
I would think hard sprints would "damage" the muscles in use just as much as a HIT workout?
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MikaelPR

So, I probably have no business posting this as I haven?t done any form of ?pure cardio? training in over 20 years , but here goes. I have owned and operated a moving business for the past 15 years, the last 2 years concentrating on small deliveries from furniture stores, less on whole house residential moves. My biggest customer is located in a strip mall 2 stores down from
a successful CrossFit gym, where I am able to watch their clients train (in the parking lot) on an almost daily basis. While I disagree with almost everything I see these people do in the pursuit of ?fitness?, one exercise they perform seems like it could be very worthwhile- and safe. That is the pushing of the sleds (Prowler?). It seems to me that if you loaded up the device then pushed it while walking, always with at least one foot on the ground, then after a predetermined distance, turned and pulled it in the other direction, that would provide for a fairly low impact form of interval training involving a lot of large musculature. I?m guessing some here train that way(?).
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iflyboats

1958 wrote:
iflyboats wrote:
I will add my totally unscientific two cents based on experience. Note that I can no longer do interval training due to joint problems, but I did half a decade ago. Sprinting intervals was my favorite form of physical training, and like a recreational activity to me. I hit the track once a week in addition to my weekly BBS-style HIT workout. Running hard intervals provides a deeper form of metabolic conditioning than is available through weight training, without the muscle damage. I?m not sure what long-term benefit this has to one?s long-term health and well-being. All I can say is that nothing got my heart beating or muscles burning like those sessions. It had, for me, no noticeable impact on body composition beyond what weight training alone provided.

And then what happened to your joints?


I already had joint problems when I was running thee intervals. Inevitably they got a little worse over time and I decided it was necessary to be conservative about how I train.

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Average Al

iflyboats wrote:
1958 wrote:
iflyboats wrote:
I will add my totally unscientific two cents based on experience. Note that I can no longer do interval training due to joint problems, but I did half a decade ago. Sprinting intervals was my favorite form of physical training, and like a recreational activity to me. I hit the track once a week in addition to my weekly BBS-style HIT workout. Running hard intervals provides a deeper form of metabolic conditioning than is available through weight training, without the muscle damage. I?m not sure what long-term benefit this has to one?s long-term health and well-being. All I can say is that nothing got my heart beating or muscles burning like those sessions. It had, for me, no noticeable impact on body composition beyond what weight training alone provided.

And then what happened to your joints?


I already had joint problems when I was running thee intervals. Inevitably they got a little worse over time and I decided it was necessary to be conservative about how I train.



In terms of joint and connective tissue stress in the lower body, running sprints is likely the most punishing form of cardio that you can do. I've read that when elite sprinters strike the ground with their foot plants, it generates (momentarily) forces equal to 4 or 5 times body weight, applied to a single leg. That is a bigger jolt than most people will ever get from strength training. And absorbing those impacts requires eccentric actions by the leg muscles, so it can make you sore.

As MikealPR as suggested, prowler pushing is very popular in certain circles (crossfit, powerlifting) because it eliminates the impact from foot strikes, and reduces the eccentric loading on the muscles, while still working the legs and heart very thoroughly.

Stairmaster now sells an inclined manual treadmill that is designed to allow for stationary prowler pushing and farmers carries in gyms that lack suitable inside or outside space for doing such stuff. It is called the HIITMILL-X


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Chris H

as others have sad, just my 2 cents, no studies, but HIIT feels more beneficial then LSD.
Life carry over not specific sport performance to be clear, and that is very subjective i admit.
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AndyMitch

Matt Bryski and his 3x3 served me very extremely-so good in fact I stopped using it.

Once a month though as an adjunct to my regular weight lifting was all I could handle and after a 3x3 I?d need to take an extra few days of for full recovery.
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sgb2112

https://youtu.be/JHF12j1_3t8


Kipchoge finished in 1:59:40, holding a sub-4:34 pace for the 26.2 miles. First person to break what was thought to be impossible, running a marathon distance in under two hours. This man's race pace is the vast majority of people's HIIT sprint interval.
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epdavis7

sgb2112 wrote:
https://youtu.be/JHF12j1_3t8


Kipchoge finished in 1:59:40, holding a sub-4:34 pace for the 26.2 miles. First person to break what was thought to be impossible, running a marathon distance in under two hours. This man's race pace is the vast majority of people's HIIT sprint interval.


The 2 hour marathon was equivalent to the 1000lb deadlift as a ceiling for awhile. I recently saw on Runners World where a guy ran 100 miles on an indoor track at 6:48 mile pace breaking a world record of some sort which is absolutely insane...not to mention incredibly boring running that entire time on a indoor track.
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Average Al

epdavis7 wrote:
sgb2112 wrote:

Kipchoge finished in 1:59:40, holding a sub-4:34 pace for the 26.2 miles. First person to break what was thought to be impossible, running a marathon distance in under two hours. This man's race pace is the vast majority of people's HIIT sprint interval.


The 2 hour marathon was equivalent to the 1000lb deadlift as a ceiling for awhile. I recently saw on Runners World where a guy ran 100 miles on an indoor track at 6:48 mile pace breaking a world record of some sort which is absolutely insane...not to mention incredibly boring running that entire time on a indoor track.


I see that Kipchoge's feat wasn't part of a regular race, but conducted under the most favorable conditions. That isn't to diminish the feat, but it shows how difficult it was.

Even for a world record holder like Kipchoge, sustaining a running pace like that has to feel really bad for the latter portions of the run. As for pushing the limit for 100 miles - I can't even begin to imagine the psychological aspects.

At least with the 1000 lb deadlift, it is over, one way or another, in just a few seconds...
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