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Strength And Conditioning

CARDIO-INTERVAL TRAINING

CARDIO-INTERVAL TRAINING
Published: 2021-01-25

John Graham, Senior Network Administrator in Network Development at St Luke’s University Health Network demonstrates how to implement and increase the effectiveness of a cardio training program for athletes by incorporating intervals.

Cardio Training can be an excellent training tool for athletes if implemented with the goal of increasing energy system development. Traditional Cardio pieces such as a treadmill, rower, elliptical trainer, stepper & stationary cycle can be utilized for sports that may not require running (skiing, wrestling, volleyball, combat sports, golf) but require a high level of energy system development. These pieces can also be utilized for sports that do require running for those training days with inclimate weather, injury reconditioning or to ensure properly timed intervals are performed by the athlete when training without coaching or instruction.

 

When selecting a Cardio piece to utilize for Cardio Interval Training, select a piece of equipment that most closely mimics the muscle groups utilized in the sport the athlete is training for. It is essential that there be some carryover from the training to the athletic arena and enhanced sports performance.

For maximal sports performance enhancement train the energy system with the appropriate higher intensity work interval combined with recovery intervals that is most predominantly utilized during the sport the athlete participates in. For example, a sport that requires 15 seconds or less of sustained exercise intensity would primarily be utilizing the Phosphagen Energy System and should utilize work intervals of 10 – 15 seconds at 90% – 100% maximal capacity workloads with 30 – 45 second recoveries at workloads of 60% - 70% maximal capacity. Below is a Table that provides simple guidelines as to workload intervals based on duration of sustained exercise in sport. For sports that utilize multiple energy systems the use of more than one interval training program can be utilized. The use of Heart Rate Tracking during training can be beneficial in assessing if the correct workloads are being selected and provide for adjustment when needed.

SPORT DURATION

EXERCISE

INTENSITY

EXERCISE

WORKLOAD

% HRMAX

DURATION

RECOVERY

WORKLOAD

% HRMAX

DURATION

5 – 15 SEC

VERY HIGH

95% - 100%

10 – 15 SEC

60% - 65%

30 – 45 SEC

30 – 90 SEC

HIGH

85% - 95%

30 – 45 SEC

70% - 75%

60    – 90 SEC

> 120 SEC &

MODERATE

80% - 85%

120 SEC

75% - 80%

120 SEC