Anaerobic Interval Training Essay, Research Paper
Anaerobic Interval Training
Except for the occasional intramural basketball game or a quick trip to the cafeteria before it closes the doors, most people have little to do with anaerobic activities. Most spend the majority of their day going up and down stairs, doing moderate tasks and enjoying a moderate aerobic workout. Despite this fact, since the people of this class are preparing to be coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists or doctors, it is important to know and understand the benefits of anaerobic training.
To understand why interval training is successful, an understanding must be found of how much energy is necessary to perform a certain amount of work. Whether this work is continuous or done intermittently is an important difference in how we use energy and how efficiently it is used. The key to these questions lies in the interaction between the ATP-PC system and the anaerobic glycolysis during intermittent exercise as compared to continuous exercise. During short-duration, intermittent exercise, the energy supplied by the anaerobic glycolysis is less than what it contributes during more continuous exercise. The ATP-PC system contributes more to energy production during intermittent exercise. Ultimately, there will be less lactic acid produced, greater lactic acid cleared, and less fatigue associated with the intermittent work. This remains to be true regardless of the intensity or duration of intermittent workouts.
Even thought supplies of ATP-PC are exhausted after only a few seconds of all-out running, between each intermittent exercise there is a period of relief. During this recovery period ATP and PC supplies are replenished by the aerobic system and thus myoglobin stores are also restored and available as an energy source. Because of this anaerobic glycolysis is not used or called upon less to produce energy, which means that lactic acid will not accumulate as rapidly. If continuous exercise would occur, ATP-PC system would be depleted within seconds and anaerobic glycolysis would be used to produce ATP causing lactic acid to build up to higher levels. Studies have shown that interval training can be as much as 2.5 times as much intensity as of continuous levels before lactic acid levels are comparable.
Now that it is shown that intermittent exercise is more effective for training the anaerobic system than continuous; it is possible to discuss the type, duration and intensity of the work interval and the relief interval. Athletes must apply an overload during the work interval that is specific to their sport. This overload principle is applied through five variables:
1. Rate and distance of work interval
2. Number of repetitions during each workout
3. Time of relief interval
4. Type of activity during relief interval
5. Frequency of training per week
Intensity for training ranges from medium-duration intervals performed at moderate intensities to hard intensities or short-duration intervals performed at even higher intensities. It is also possible to figure out the work interval by considering performance time of the work interval; the faster the time the more anaerobic the activity. Different ways of determining sufficient rate can vary. One such way is monitoring a target heart rate that is 5% to 15% above the heart rate measured at the lactate threshold. Another method is based on the number of work intervals that can be performed during the set or during the total workout. If at least five repetitions cannot be performed because of exhaustion, then the pace is too intense. But if more than eight repetitions can be performed then the pace is too easy.
A method has been worked out for easy application at the track, at the pool or at the skating rink. For distances in between 50m and 200m times should be 1.5 to 5 seconds slower than best time. For distances of 100m and 200m add three to five seconds to best times. For 400m, the rate of work should be one to four seconds less than one-fourth the time required to run a 1600m. For swimming, training distances should be one-fourth those used for running.
Not only is the work interval important to the ATP-PC systems and the anaerobic glycolysis but also the type, duration and intensity of the relief interval. Two important considerations for the relief interval are duration and type of activity during the relief interval. The recovery pulse rate after the work interval is a good indicator of whether the athlete is ready for the next set. The pulse rate should drop to at least 140 bpm between repetitions and 120 bpm between sets. Also, a work-relief ratio can be used to determine proper relief periods. For work intervals 800m and over, a 1:1 or 1:1.5 work-relief ratio beneficial. For work intervals 400m to 600m, a 1:2 ratio is used. For work intervals less than 400m, a 1:3 ratio is used. Because of these work-relief ratios pulse rates have to be taken less often and proper relief is still maintained.
The type of relief interval is just as important as the type of work interval for replenishing the energy systems. A rest-relief program should be used when trying to modify the ATP-PC system, which predominates during short-term exercise. Rest-relief helps to replenish ATP-PC systems more quickly so intense exercise can be repeated again. When training to improve anaerobic glycolysis, work-relief intervals should be used between work intervals. Mild workouts can partially block complete ATP-PC restoration. Therefore, anaerobic glycolysis will have to provide more energy during work intervals, strengthening the system.
Many studies have been done in the anaerobic interval area. Such studies include research done on female speed cyclists showing that work-relief help build up anaerobic glycolysis during races and improved times overall. Another study done on glycogen and pyruvate acid production showed that individuals with less glycogen produced pyruvate acid and were less efficient causing more lactic acid. A study done on ATP rates during high-intensity exercise continually declined until glycolysis took over and provided energy for continual exercise. A study done on oxygen intake during moderate exercise showed that oxygen intake helped replenish anaerobic forms of energy. These studies all helped support the principle of anaerobic training today.
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