Posted by: Paul
Q: Is it really possible to benefit from just two to three short workouts per week?
A: YES! It is important to remember that the workout itself is only a stimulus to the body. The positive changes that occur from a high-intensity training program accrue during the rest and recovery interval between workouts. Hard training depletes a certain amount of the body's resources. Those resources must be replaced before additional adaptations will occur. In practice, this usually means two or three workouts per week.
Q: Why is getting stronger so important?
A: Every move that you make, from brushing your teeth to serving a tennis ball, requires your muscles. In the sense that only muscles produce movement, they can be said to be the engines of the body. Additionally, your skeletal muscles protect and stabilize your joints. Stronger muscles are an important asset in protecting you from injury.
From the standpoint of improving your appearance, increasing the size and strength of your muscles is very important. Even if you do not desire the gargantuan size of the competitive bodybuilder, strong well-developed muscles add a pleasing shape to the body.
Q: How will high-intensity training help me lose fat?
A: Strength-building exercise is an important part of a fat-loss program. It is important to note, however, that sound nutritional habits, including a modest reduction in caloric intake, form the cornerstone of any successful fat-loss program. Sensible diet, combined with high-intensity strength training, will produce better results in fat loss and physique enhancement than any other program.
An important issue for dieters: Weight loss is not important! Fat loss is! If the scale reflects a bodyweight loss, the loss may come from several sources: Fat, water, muscle, bone, or organ tissue. If, however, you are progressing on a high-intensity program--meaning you are getting stronger--then you can be reasonably sure that the bodyweight loss is from fat.
Q: Is a brief, high-intensity program appropriate for athletes?
A: YES! Athletes must place a premium on a conditioning program that allows for full-body strengthening without consuming excessive time. As we have told many of the college basketball players (at least one of whom is currently in the NBA) who have trained with us: If we can get you in and out of the gym more efficiently, you have more time to practice free throws.
Q: What about cardio?
A: What about it? If your strength training program is performed at a high level of intensity with minimum rest between exercises, additional exercise for the cardiovascular system is unnecessary. Also, because of the high-volume low-intensity nature of cardiovascular or aerobic exercise, adding it to your program can compromise your recovery between high-intensity workouts. Remember: If you don't recover, you won't get stronger.
Obviously, if we are working with an endurance athlete (marathon, triathlon etc.), then he or she must practice the event(s) that they will be competing in. In such a case, we would manage the strength-training program to guard against overwork. For our athletes whose sports are not quite as endurance-oriented (basketball, football, soccer, martial arts) we recommend doing the amount of running necessary to duplicate game conditions. In practice this means that a basketball player conditions by following a high-intensity strength program combined with sprints and basketball-specific drills.
For people whose primary goal is bodyfat loss, we recommend avoiding additional activity. Rest, relaxation, and full recovery between workouts are vital components of a fat-loss program. If you wish to go hiking, play tennis, take a dance class, etc. for recreation and enjoyment this is fine. Too much additional activity, however, can actually slow your progress.
For more information go to High Intensity Personal Training Online.
If you have any questions about High Intensity Training email me and I'll get back to you with an answer as quick as I can.