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exercise trends


Keiser’s XPress circuit was created with time-conscious, non-elite members in mind


Ramping it up


There’s been a surge in interest in high-intensity interval training (HIT) among the health and fitness sector recently. In the first of a two-part series, Kate Cracknell investigates the background and benefits of this training protocol


with today’s ‘time poor’ member in mind. Women-only franchises Curves and Vivafit have for some time offered a 30-minute, circuit-based workout, but they are now being joined in this area by the likes of Fit n Fast in Australia, where ‘Quickie’ workouts are available in activities such as cycling, boxing and circuits – and


I


n the last few years, we’ve seen the emergence of a number of shorter, results-driven workout concepts, all designed specifically


where the intensity is being ramped up to challenge a younger demographic than the typical Curves member. From a supplier perspective, milon’s


award-winning concept – with eccentric as well as concentric resistance – has been designed to maximise results via a circuit-based workout that takes just a little over 30 minutes. Power Plate also showcased a 20-minute concept at LIW 2011 and FIBO 2012, combining its vibration training platform with its new


INFO PANEL 1 : Research papers A


2005 study of 38 elite cyclists, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, showed that interval training leads to improved respiratory function, including improved bloodfl ow through the lungs


and an improved oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange. In the study, HIT improved performance by improving ventilatory threshold and VO2


max, boosting the body’s


ability to take in and use oxygen to generate energy. Another study, published in the Journal of Physiology in July 2006, found improved


adaptations in muscle cells after interval training as compared to traditional steady-state endurance training. The study compared two groups of active young men over a two-week period. One group engaged in traditional long-duration training for 90–120 minutes, while the other did four to six sets of sprint intervals (30 seconds all-out followed by four-minute rest intervals). The study revealed superior adaptations in muscle tissue of the HIT group.


40 Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


powerBIKE. As Steve Barrett, programme developer and presenter, summarises: “Classes are getting shorter.”


AN ELITE HERITAGE They’re also getting tougher. Because what this is all increasingly coming down to is the emergence of HIT (high-intensity interval training). Or should we say re- emergence? After all, in essence HIT is a training method that’s been around for many years in the elite sports arena. Interval training in its modern form dates back to the 1930s, when the likes of Woldemar Gerschler (Germany) and Gosta Holmer (Sweden) used it to enhance the performance of their national teams. And in Finland, Lauri Pikhala was creating interval training programmes for runner Paavo Nurmi as far back as 1910. Holmer dubbed the approach ‘fartlek’


– Swedish for ‘speed play’ – thanks to the use of ‘faster than race’ pace. Concentrating on simultaneous speed/ endurance training, the training protocol puts stress on both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems due to the alternating pace and intensity of the exercise. It’s now used the world over to offer variation in an elite athlete’s preparation throughout the year.


july 2012 © cybertrek 2012


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