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Archive for January, 2014

What is interval training?

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Over the past couple of years interval training has become very popular in all areas of the fitness industry, especially personal trainers.  I often get asked about interval training, what it is and what are the benefits of it for a wide variety of training goals.  I thought I would start off with a simple background to interval training and then in future articles move onto talking about some of the more advanced aspects of this interesting and highly effective training system.

What is interval training?

Interval training is a system that allows participants to improve the amount of work they can do over a period of time by using alternating rounds of higher intensity work with lower intensity recovery periods.  It has been promoted as a highly time efficient way of training that allows participants to make good cardiovascular gains in a relatively short period of time.

How does interval training work?

The basic idea is that during the high intensity periods the body starts to build up lactic acid, this makes this period difficult to maintain for a long time.  But then a lower intensity period allows for recovery and the body attempts to break down and remove the lactic acid formed.  You are basically alternating between anaerobic (faster paced, sustainable for a shorter duration) and aerobic (slower pace, sustainable for a longer duration) forms of exercise.   The stop start approach to activity is one of the interesting aspects of interval training as it allows the body to get used to recovering from high intensity activity at a increasingly rapid rate.

This method has been used to improve performance on a number of levels such as the improvement of lactate threshold and the ability to withstand training in that zone, the method also has a building effect on the cardiovascular system with a good cross over into may CV based sports and activities.  This means that many people who use interval training will be able to work cardiovascularly for a longer duration, at a faster rate than they would have been able to do without this form of training.

There is mounting amount of research that suggests that interval training may be as, if not more effective than more steady state exercise and returns the same benefits as longer durations of LSD style training.    The ACSM also suggest that in terms of calorific burn interval training burns more calories than equivalent work done at a more LSD type pace.

All in all this interesting style of training returns great results for those using it and is easy on that one thing that we all lack….time.

In my next blog post on this issue we will look at how to incorporate interval training into your current routine!

As always any question lease do let me know!


Review: Gym Boss Timer!

Thursday, January 9th, 2014


Gym Boss Timer

I have recently been using a Gym Boss timer, not used one before and 08I have always gone with the propping up of the phone and watching the clock!  This clumsy method is now a thing of the past…  I have been getting so much use out of it that my personal training clients now groan when they see it come out and even my students on the personal training course I teach are sick of the sight of it!  The gym boss timer is an excellent way of  allowing you to set a timed interval (with set rest periods) and forget about watching the time.

The timer is designed to be used when you are doing interval training, which over the last few years has become a very popular method of training…. not to mention effective!  I will be doing an article of interval training in teh next few weeks so look out for that on the blog!

As a personal trainer I have seen that it allows me to move away from counting the clock and allows me to focus on motivating the client and ensuring good form!  The deign of the device makes it perfect for the trainer too as it can clip onto the belt or any other clothing and vibrate rather than beep, making it ultra discrete!

As a exerciser it has allowed me to focus in on my workout again without having to keep checking the time, this relatively simple thing has totally changed my workouts.

All in all I can not rate the Gym Boss timer highly enough! Great product and should definitely make it into every PTs and regular exercisers kit bag!