We all have a choice when we consider what type of aerobics program we want to do. There are two basic thoughts. One is an endurance program, steady, slow movement for over 30 minutes per day, at least five days per week. The other is called…High Intensity Interval Training.
Most people equate slow, endurance training to be a good way to improve aerobic response, increasing VO2 Max. In addition it burns calories, so it will enhance a weight loss program. You have to love this type of exercising, to put in the two or three hours per week, every week to make it effective.
Or……You can try High Intensity Interval Training. (HIIT) Which begs the question, Can exercise that is intense also be fun?
Researchers in Denmark recently began looking into just that issue and in the process developed a new approach to HIIT that could appeal even to those of us who, until now, have been reluctant to push ourselves during exercise.
HIIT usually in the form of short bursts of very arduous intervals spaced with rest, has much to recommend it. Many studies have shown that even a few minutes of this type of exercise can substantially improve health and cardiovascular fitness.
But this type of training comes with a very big drawback. It’s simple. Many people don’t like them because they are to hard and soon abandon the program.
So here is the problem. HIIT is extremely effective, but fails many who stop the programs before they get any benefits.
A professor of physiology at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, who has studied HIIT determined that hard intervals had almost invariably made people fitter. He was determined to find a program that would work, by requiring hard intervals, but for a shorter period of time.
“We wanted to create a workout that could be employed by everyone, from the no experienced person to the elite athlete, “ Dr Bangsbo said.
This is what they came up with. They call it 10-20-30
I have used this program for the past four weeks, and it is by far, my favorite program. It can and should be your favorite program too.
Here is how it works. Run, ride or perhaps row or do any activity gently for 30 seconds. Accelerate to a moderate pace for 20 seconds. Then sprint as hard as you can for 10 seconds. (It should be called 30-20-10 but that is not as catchy. Then repeat what you just did.
The best part of this program is that the grueling, part of this program, the sprint only lasts as long as ten seconds.
This is very easy to do. It is easy to remember, low-tech, does not require gym membership, no heart rate monitor needed, no flow charts, you don’t even need a stop watch…you can count the seconds, which really makes the time go by faster.
Now Dr Bangsbo had to prove this works. A study they conducted in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science set out to test this program on a very large group with a control group. I won’t bore you with the clinical results, it was all good. Many other tests, and studies were done, all with the same conclusion….this course should improve someone’s athletic endurance and health if it replaces slower training.
Here is how to do it in more detail
Warm up with an easy run, jog or row, then ease into the intervals. The 30 second portion should feel relaxed: the next 20 second moderately hard: and the final 10 seconds a full gallop. The aim is to cover as much distance as possible in those 10 seconds. Repeat the above process 5 times.
When you can do the above add another five intervals. If you want you can add another set of intervals to that, depending on how hard you want to work, and what you want to gain. Two intervals for the average person is more than enough. Do Not do this programs two days in a row. Every other day for 12 minutes is all you need.