By Jenny Rowe, Founder of Xercise Lab
One of the most common approaches for athletes to quickly and effectively build strength and endurance is interval training. Interval training utilizes short, high intensity bursts of speed followed by either moderate intensity or a brief recovery and then repeated. One of the earliest forms of interval training came from Sweden and was called “Fartlek” which means “speed play” in Swedish. Fartlek training was developed in 1937 by Swedish coach Gösta Holmér for the beleaguered Swedish cross-country team. Fartlek was an unstructured form of interval training where athletes would increase and decrease intensity at will. While today’s’ athletes use a more structured approach, the basic principles of the Fartlek method remain.
Interval training has survived 75 years because it is one of the only forms of training that works both the aerobic and anaerobic systems. During high intensity, the anaerobic system uses the energy stored in the muscles for short bursts of activity. Anaerobic metabolism works without oxygen, but the by-product is lactic acid. As lactic acid builds, the athlete enters oxygen debt, and it is during the recovery phase that the heart and lungs work together to correct the oxygen debt and break down the lactic acid. The aerobic system uses oxygen to convert stored carbohydrates into energy.
Many exercise physiologists believe that by performing high intensity intervals that produce lactic acid, the body adapts and burns lactic acid more efficiently during exercise. This would mean athletes could exercise at a higher intensity for a longer period of time before experiencing fatigue.
Interval training has also shown that it increases both cardiovascular efficiency as well as increased tolerance to the build-up of lactic acid. Interval training also helps avoid repetitive use injuries and allows athletes to increase training intensity without overtraining.
The American College of Sports Medicine says the fastest way to burn calories and achieve weight loss is to use the interval training method.
The newest fitness program to adopt the interval training method and incorporate it into a prechoreographed class is Xercise Lab. Xercise Lab offers two 45-minute programs for adults and one 45-minute program for children that all use interval training to make for a high-intensity, calorie-burning workout. See www.xerciselab.com for more information.
CLASSES AT FLORIDA MANIA:
XERCISE LAB™ CALORIE LAB with Jenny Rowe
Friday 4:00pm - 5:30pm FR5B
XERCISE LAB™ MUSCLE LAB with Josef Matthews
Saturday 7:30am - 9:00am SA1C
XERCISE LAB™ RECESS LAB with Jenny Rowe
Sunday 1:00pm - 2:30pm SU4B