Jackie Wright " What is Periodized Training?
March 19, 2009
(Third in a Three-Part Series)
Last week we discussed how to periodically modify your cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength training programs by increasing the intensity of those programs. This week, we will discuss how to periodically modify your cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength training programs by increasing the time and type of exercise in those programs. As always, consult your physician prior to beginning any exercise program.
Cardiovascular Endurance Training – Cycling, running, fitness walking, swimming, hiking, cross country skiing, step aerobics, kickboxing or cardio boot camp.
– If you have been performing cardiovascular endurance bouts for 30-35 minutes, consider gradually increasing the time of those bouts to 45-60 minutes. To avoid lowering the intensity, increase the duration of the workouts gradually. For example, add two to five minutes to your current bout once out of three-four of your workouts per week.
– Over the following several weeks, work your way up to 45 minutes on one of those days, then gradually to three out of four days. To increase the duration up to 60 minutes or above may take several months if you are not going to lower the intensity. Be patient with yourself and enjoy the benefits of increasing duration such as improved stamina and increased caloric expenditure.
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– If you are currently cycling/swimming regularly, try incorporating a form of weight bearing exercise such as kickboxing, step aerobics, cardio boot camp, fitness walking, running or hiking on one or two of your cardiovascular endurance workout days. Cross training periodically will keep your workouts fresh, prevent overuse injuries and boredom. When beginning any new activity, do so gradually, at a lower intensity than your regular cardio workouts so that your body has time to adapt.
Muscular Strength Training – Training with body weight as well as external forms of resistance such as free weights, selectorized and plate loaded equipment and various other types of resistance equipment such as resistive tubing, kettlebells, and medicine balls.
– If you have been performing muscular strength training for 30 minutes, two to three times per week, try increasing the duration, gradually working your way up to 45-60 minutes, two-three times per week.
– Conversely, if you have been spending 60-90 minutes or more, try reducing the amount of time and incorporate some of the other periodization strategies suggested in the first and second parts of this three-part series such as increasing intensity or frequency.
– If you have been performing the same routine for as long as you can remember, it is time for a change. There are hundreds of muscular strength training exercises. Therefore, periodically varying the type of exercises you perform for all of the major muscle groups of the body may yield more effective results over time.
In summary, periodically modifying the frequency, intensity, time or type of exercise will help you to progressively improve your exercise and fitness performance and the results you seek.
Next week, learn strategies that will enable you to be efficient and effective every time you workout.
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