Smart Aerobic Training – HICT. Personal Trainer Chichester
Want to be as fast, powerful and strong in the last 10 minutes of your match as you are in the first 10? Find you hit a wall 60 minutes in where no matter how hard you try your legs feel slow and lethargic? Maybe you could do with some HICT in your personal training.
I know what you’re thinking; aerobics for my personal training? You’re telling me I don’t have to push myself through vomit-inducing workouts to get fitter…surely you can’t be serious?
Well… I am.
And don’t call me Shirley.
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If you’ve been keeping up with my blog and various social media outlets, then you have an idea of the benefits of performing aerobic training, be it for your sport or general well being. If you haven’t then please refer back to these posts (quick go now). There are various ways to perform aerobic based training, not just the traditional long winded slog on a bike/rower/your feet. Although this type of aerobic training has it’s place, today we are going to talk about something a little more exciting, HICT.
HICT (High Intensity Continuous Training) is a method of training that focuses on developing the aerobic abilities of your fast twitch muscle fibres. Those fast twitch muscle fibres that are responsible for running fast, jumping high, and lifting lots of weight. But here’s the problem most of us run into:
I’m sure you know someone who can move slowly for a long period of time, and someone can be powerful and explosive for a short period of time. But how many people do you know who can do both? Individuals who demonstrate great levels of power and explosiveness for extended periods of time. The list is probably rather short. The problem most of us have is that the oxidative abilities of our fast twitch muscle fibres is lacking, and by the 70th minute we have run out of energy and are relying upon those slow twitch muscles to get us around.
So why add HICT into your personal training? The answer is simple, it addresses the aforementioned problem; generating better aerobic capacities of those essential fast twitch muscle fibres! By combining high intensity (level of resistance/output) with high volume (lots of repetitions).
How Do I HICT?
To perform HICT you will need a heart rate monitor (at least for the first go). And a form of exercise you can do repetitively whilst generating a high level of force without worrying about breakdown of form and risk of injury. Something like a Watt Bike, medicine ball throw,
bicep curls or high box step-up work perfectly; avoid complex movements like Olympic lifting and high impact movements like jumps. The Watt Bike is my go-to method up here in our Chichester RFC location.
The premise is simple; perform fast, powerful repetitions as frequently as possible for a 8-12 minute stint, whilst keeping your heart rate between 140-160 bpm. The number/frequency of reps will be dictated by your heart rate. Aim for 20-30 rpm (revolutions per minute) on something like a Watt Bike, but base it off your heart rate for true accuracy.
Initially those who are more powerful/stronger will find themselves at a lower rpm; they are generating more force with each step/rep, so their aerobic system has to work harder to recover between bouts.
Here’s an example of HICT (only 60 seconds worth) performed on a Watt Bike with myself and Sam.
I recommend starting with adding HICT to two of your weekly sessions. It can be performed on the back-end of a personal training session, or performed as a stand alone workout. Start with something like this:
Week 1: 2 sets of 8 minutes (4 minutes rest between sets).
Week 2: 2 sets of 10 minutes (5 minutes rest between sets).
Week 3: 2 sets of 12 minutes (6 minutes rest between sets).
At this point you can see the pattern (I hope!), but at some point there’s a level where it’s probably not worth going over. If you can maintain good levels of power output for 2 sets of 20 minutes, then there’s no dying need to go to 25-30 minutes of HICT.
Aerobic training doesn’t have to revolve around long-winded, often dull exercise. Jogging and cycling slowly has it’s place by all means, but it’s not the only way to improve your fitness & conditioning. At Elitas & Chichester RFC we are blessed with access to large field space, but you can improve your aerobic fitness with little-to-no space at all!
Flogging yourself to the point of exhaustion can feel rewarding, but to truly improve your level of preparation you must TRAIN SMART. When you do that you’ll realise that training SMART, is also training HARD.
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