Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Progressive anaerobic cardio conditioning

Short-duration and high-intensity!
I’ve previously shared how I’m currently doing two gym workouts a week during my busy work season. Both training days end with short-duration and high-intensity (anaerobic) cardio conditioning.

I’ve also previously shared the details but here they are again:

Anaerobic cardio conditioning workout #1
Currently I’m completing 10 rounds of kettlebell one-hand snatch work using a 35-lb. kettlebell.  One round consists of 10 reps with my right hand and then 10 reps with my left hand.  I complete these 10 rounds as quickly as possible. 

Anaerobic cardio conditioning workout #2
Basically what I do on this day is high-intensity interval training running on a treadmill.  After a two-minute walking warm-up, I’ll perform 8 rounds of running work lasting 60 seconds and then recover by walking for 60 seconds.  I run each round faster than the previous one. 

I'm an analytical fitness dude who measures each workout's performance to determine if I'm getting better. Better must be measured rather than perceived because there’s deception in my perception.

There are several ways to measure better; let me explain how I measure mine.

I measure a better kettlebell workout by completing it in less time.  I measure a better high-intensity interval running treadmill workout by increasing the work time and decreasing the recovery time of each round. 

For example, currently I start a new round of kettlebell snatch work every 90 seconds.  It takes about 50-55 seconds to complete the work part (20 total snatches) so that leaves 35 to 40 seconds of rest.  If the work part remains relatively constant for each workout, improvement will be made by reducing rest time such as, for example, by 2-5 seconds each workout if all goes well.

It took me 14:01 to complete 10 rounds during my last workout.  As my conditioning improves, for example, it may only take 50 seconds on average to complete the work part and 20 seconds of recovery for each round.  This would calculate to a total time to complete of about 11:20 or a 20 percent improvement.  

I've used this same approach in the past with a 35-lb. dumbbell instead of a kettlebell and was able to complete 10 rounds in under 9 minutes.  I was in better condition then than now and it takes me longer to complete this workout when using a kettlebell.  

Here's a video demonstration using a 40-lb. dumbbell.

Now let’s look at the high-intensity interval training running workout.  Currently I’m running for 60 seconds and walking for 60 seconds with each round of running being at a faster pace than the previous one.  Last Saturday my running speeds were 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, 9.0, 9.5, 10.0 and 10.0 (all in miles per hour).

I’ll gradually start the first round speed higher with a goal of completing more rounds at the highest speed of 10.0 mph.  Eventually I might be able to complete all 8 rounds at 10.0 mph.  If and when I do that then the next progression plan would be to maintain the 10.0 mph speed for, say, 70 seconds and only have a walking recovery duration of 50 seconds.

Planned progression may be calibrated any number of ways but for best results, it should be done in very small increments so that my brain and body “believes” it can complete the work at a higher-level of performance.

This measured coaxing approach works best for me because it fools my body and brain into believing it can work at a higher level.  It cultivates a mindset that shouts to me while I huff and puff with an internal message of Yes I can do it and I will!” 

My proof is in the improvements I’ve made in the past and will make again.  Give it a try for three months.  For best success, select two different cardio conditioning exercises you enjoy.

Be diligent and map out a progression plan that’s challenging and then watch your fitness improve by leaps and bounds from doing progressive anaerobic cardio conditioning.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

No comments: