Monday, 8 August 2011


For a long time now Interval training has been recognised as being great way to improve performance and help promote fat loss. Its diverse nature has resulted in it being used in some form or another by a large majority of people. The fact that there are so many different types of interval training including a vast variety of exercises on limitless pieces of equipment has really helped bring it to the masses.  

N.B It is advisable to have built up a reasonable CV base through endurance training before attempting to commence a period of Interval Training.
I am going to specifically focus on High-intensity interval training (HIIT) in this post allowing you to gain insight into one type of intervals. HIIT is a specific interval training which is intended to help progress performance and reduce recovery times with short training sessions. HIIT focuses on cardiovascular exercise (CV) which is beneficial to burning fat in a short and intense workout. A stereotypical HIIT session may vary from 10–30 minutes.
Advantages of HIIT
1)      Allows for a short effective work out on days where gym time is tight.
2)      These short intense Intervals are a very effective way to burn calories.
3)      Adds variety to your work out helping prevent plateaus.
4)      Stresses and shocks the body in new ways.
5)      Helps reduce recovery times after high intensity bursts.
6)      Great for reducing body fat; football players are a great advertisement to the benefits.
7)      Will help increase Vo2 Max and body’s overall ability to sustain higher level work.
8)      Progression maybe accelerated compared to when focusing solely on endurance work.
9)      Causes your body to use a variety of different energy systems throughout your workout.
10)   Increases the body ability to work with lactate acid present and remove it after build up.
11)   Intervals allow you to spend more time at an intense level with lower blood lactate levels.
Disadvantages of HITT
1)      Unless motivated to push hard workouts will not have intended effects.
2)      Risk of injury when training at higher intensity can be slightly increased.
3)      Requires an initial established CV base.

Different Examples of HIIT Workout
1)      30-30 HIIT Interval (Short Intervals)
    30 seconds of work @ 90% Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) /Maximum Power Output (MPO)
                                 30 seconds of recovery @ 50% MHR/MPO
 This should be repeated for set time of 10minutes -30minutes or until you cannot maintain the 90% MHR/MPO.

2)      3min-3min HIIT Intervals (Long Intervals
                                                3minutes of work @ 90% MHR/MPO
3 minutes of recovery @ 50% MHR/MPO
This should be repeated for set time of 10minutes – 30 minutes or until you cannot maintain the 90% MHR/MPO.
Differences between Long and Short Intervals
Shorter Intervals Create a Larger O2 Debt (When you train at an intense level you can't supply o2 at a fast enough rate to fuel the muscles… and you build up a O2 debt which must be repaid to return the muscles to normal) shorter interval had a greater oxygen uptake than the longer intervals. This larger oxygen debt meant it would take longer to repay this in turn means that more calories would be burned for a longer after exercising.
On the other hand longer intervals help to increase your VO2 max (Vo2 max is a way of assessing how efficiently your body absorbs transports and uses oxygen) People with a higher VO2 max will burn more calories doing the same activity as someone with a lower VO2 max. With this improved Vo2 max you will be able to push harder and get out of shorter intervals.

So try injecting some into your training and receive real benefits in many different aspects of your fitness. For anymore help or advice please feel free to approach the fitness team.

Dan Byrne

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Bootcamp Update

Our new Bootcamp classes have been going from strength to strength, quite literally, since there launch on 7th June. We now have around 10-15 participants at each session which has made for a great atmosphere and there is still more than enough equipment-and indeed space- to continue this growth over the coming months.

Despite the relatively intense reputation of Bootcamps nationwide, both in terms of the outdoor exposure and the nature of the exercises performed, the sessions have been well-recieved by a varied range of our members and both of our instructors (Graham Green on Tuesdays and Emma Cotton on Thursdays) have done an excellent job of providing fun and diverse workouts suitable for all ages and abilities.

Often run in circuit-format, the Bootcamps offer a range of both cardio-vascular and resistance based exercises (and more than often the two disciplines combined!) which makes for a total body workout to compliment any regime.

So even if you don't think flipping tyres or dragging large chains is your cup of tea, why not give it a go and see if Grham and Emma can convince you otherwise!