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Interval Training for Anaerobic Fitness
Old 10-18-2010, 07:03 PM   #1
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Interval Training for Anaerobic Fitness

Hi there!

All my life wind sprints, sprints in swimming, power 10s in rowing or on a Concept 2 have been a major part of my fitness routines. Then I experienced big change about 5 years ago from a car crash, and musculoskeletal problems and the pain from that made me stop going all out. So for the past 4 1/2 years my main exercise is walking up and down hills around my home, and dancing. Tango dancing is great for core fitness, but it does little for your wind. Most of the places that I went for fast swing dancing are only wood or vinyl tile directly over concrete and this stinks for an aging body.

Recently though I bought some light kettlebells-15,20,25 #. I started out trying the Tabata Protocol which I used to do before crash, but I no longer have the extreme desire to withstand this much torture, so I have modified it downward to 1 minute on, 45 sec off. My goal is 8 sets, so far I am only at 6 with my lightest bells. Even after 6 you feel like crap. I use two separate electronic kitchen timers- one set to 1 minute, the other to 45 sec. I use two exercises- kettlebell swings, and kettlebell snatches, switching from one hand to the other as I go on the swings, and just using a bell in each hand for the snatches. So in 6 sets, 3 are swings, and 3 snatches. I pace around the room in the 45 sec off periods, and take a walk afterward to cool down completely before I shower.

For progression I will first try to make it to 8 sets, then start again at 6 with the next bell weight.

I basically hate to do it, it is extremely tiring, but I think it is helping me build better wind.

Anybody else use weights for an interval training regime? What do you do?

Ha
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:15 PM   #2
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Are you sure you don't want to give the Concept 2 another chance? I love that contraption and bought one last year while nursing a bad back. I use it for core and only occasionally for serious aerobics. Combined with walking or running -- say on alternate days -- it feels great. Not the best for bulking up but smooth, no impact, gets shoulders, arms, legs, abdominals. Maybe combine with focused free weights if you want to be like Governor Arnie.
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:20 PM   #3
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My personal trainer says the best machine in the whole gym for us to use on our off days is the Concept rower, FWIW.
We incorporate weights into our training, but not in any specific routine as you've described.
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:51 PM   #4
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Are you sure you don't want to give the Concept 2 another chance? I love that contraption and bought one last year while nursing a bad back. I use it for core and only occasionally for serious aerobics. Combined with walking or running -- say on alternate days -- it feels great. Not the best for bulking up but smooth, no impact, gets shoulders, arms, legs, abdominals. Maybe combine with focused free weights if you want to be like Governor Arnie.
Rich, I love the Concept 2. I rowed lightweights in college and C-2 is a great simulation of the real thing. But it would really overcrowd my miniature apartment. If I move, it may become a possibility. Out on a covered porch or deck is excellent! That is why I am trying the weights, I can tuck them into a corner.

Ha
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:58 PM   #5
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Honestly, I think the only way to get your wind is by interval training on soft surfaces like a cushy track.
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Old 10-19-2010, 02:43 AM   #6
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The kettlebells are great for explosive hip power if you use heavy ones, but they have a built in rest period as you lower the weight before you swing it up again. Also, the swings don't really use your arm muscles or your leg muscles that much, just glute ham back area, likewise a proper kettlebell snatch doesn't really use your arm to press up much, it's mostly just a little push into lockout at the top of the swing.

There's another exercise you could do that would recruit more of your arms and legs to create more overall effect, and that is thrusters. For those you hold a weight in each hand racked at your shoulders and then do a full squat and as you reach standing it turns into a push press to get the weights overhead to lockout.

Also, you might want to try some burpees! See how fast you can do 100 of em.

For me the very best(worst) wind exercise is double unders jumping rope.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:43 AM   #7
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There's another exercise you could do that would recruit more of your arms and legs to create more overall effect, and that is thrusters. For those you hold a weight in each hand racked at your shoulders and then do a full squat and as you reach standing it turns into a push press to get the weights overhead to lockout.

Also, you might want to try some burpees! See how fast you can do 100 of em.

For me the very best(worst) wind exercise is double unders jumping rope.
Thanks for the suggestions. Double unders are killers-rope jumping might be too noisey in my apartment though. I might be OK as to noise and back if I try roping on one of those bounce platforms.

Ha
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:00 AM   #8
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Oh, and I second Igsoy's burpees. Those make me cry. And I'm pretty sure you could measure how long it takes to do 100 in days, not hours!
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:26 AM   #9
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Anybody else use weights for an interval training regime? What do you do?
Ha
Sorry, no experience here with resistance exercises to develop cardio capacity. I used to do a Tabata-based program on the C-2 and also on an elliptical trainer--both worked great, and I hope to take it up again sometime. I can stick with this a lot easier than "long slow training" (LST- Zzzzzzz). As you know, the whole intent of Tabata is to improve cardio fitness by producing an overload (and training effect) to the O2 use/lactic acid clearing mechanisms. Personally, I think if I did KB swings with good form (i.e. the KB controlled and lowered during descent) my arms would burn out before I could generate a really high pulse rate. But, if you are getting a high pulse rate and feeling "sufficiently winded," I would think you're probably getting good cardio training using the 'bells.

But I'm not an expert.
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:31 PM   #10
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Sorry, no experience here with resistance exercises to develop cardio capacity. I used to do a Tabata-based program on the C-2 and also on an elliptical trainer--both worked great, and I hope to take it up again sometime. I can stick with this a lot easier than "long slow training" (LST- Zzzzzzz). As you know, the whole intent of Tabata is to improve cardio fitness by producing an overload (and training effect) to the O2 use/lactic acid clearing mechanisms. Personally, I think if I did KB swings with good form (i.e. the KB controlled and lowered during descent) my arms would burn out before I could generate a really high pulse rate. But, if you are getting a high pulse rate and feeling "sufficiently winded," I would think you're probably getting good cardio training using the 'bells.

But I'm not an expert.
I am definitely sufficiently winded. And my hips feel like mush the next day too.

Ha
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:46 PM   #11
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The worst wind exercise. Double KB clean and push press. 50 reps of 100 pounds as fast as possible.

The protocol I follow is essentially density training using a compound exercise. Each set is a fixed number of reps and 1 minute long. The total volume stays constant.

Initially I may do 20 sets of 5. With 5 reps, a large part of the 1 minute is resting. Once that's easy, I'll switch to 16x6 (~100 total too). This leaves a little less time for rest. And so on. These will all be pretty close to the Tabata interval, so you'll get the anaerobic and the aerobic benefit. At one point I will be able to do 1 set of 50 reps. Then I'll increase weight and start over.

I prefer to do sports instead whenever possible though. One hour of mainsail trimming on a big boat in heavy wind makes for a lot of strength training and it's a lot more exciting than lifting weights Playing hockey is a lot more fun than doing squats.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:46 PM   #12
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My favorite cardio workout is the horizontal bop...
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:51 PM   #13
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Ha,

Is exercising in water an option? Plain old swimming is great for the lungs, plus you can also strap on a floatation belt and run or cross country ski in deep water.
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:09 PM   #14
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Strap-on?

What were we talking about again?
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:31 PM   #15
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Strap-on?

What were we talking about again?
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:13 PM   #16
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:38 PM   #17
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I bought an Xiser - which you use to do HIIT. I'm amazed at how quickly my heart rate gets up - I've 'graduated' to 4 sets of two 30 sec intervals with a 30 sec rest interval. combine that with a up-down movement with weights and oh boy! My quads are shaking/burning and my heart is racing. My arms are wiped out - just need to add core work and some other weights on alternate days....
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:54 PM   #18
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I bought an Xiser - which you use to do HIIT. I'm amazed at how quickly my heart rate gets up - I've 'graduated' to 4 sets of two 30 sec intervals with a 30 sec rest interval. combine that with a up-down movement with weights and oh boy! My quads are shaking/burning and my heart is racing. My arms are wiped out - just need to add core work and some other weights on alternate days....
Tnx- I'll check it out. So far I am doing T-TH-Sat, cleans one day, swings the next, and snatches on the third. It's pretty hard for an older guy.

Today I walked from home to Chinatown, then up into the financial district, then up a very steep street onto First Hill with a pack full of groceries and some lead weight ballast. Overall about 6 miles, and some good leg work but medium for breath compared to the intervals.

All the suggestions have been very helpful. I am taking the fact that I will have to get old more or less calmly, but trying to resist as best I can along the way. The main thing that reminds me that I am no longer 25 is muskuloskeletal stuff like a sore back and hip more often than I would like. Hip is fine going up big hills, but really does not like to descend steep grades.

Ha
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:06 PM   #19
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Hip is fine going up big hills, but really does not like to descend steep grades.
Well, you need to find yourself a flatter town! The midwest is full of 'em, and the cost of living is right.
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:18 PM   #20
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Well, you need to find yourself a flatter town! The midwest is full of 'em, and the cost of living is right.
Wonderful suggestion, but if it ever comes to that I'll just take the bus down.

I like it so much here that I sometimes just walk around with barely controllable joy.

Ha
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