Hey everyone. If you have been following on social media (here and here), then you know that I recently went on vacation. As often as I can on vacation, I like to read. Mostly it’s stuff related to fitness or business, that type of thing. It doesn’t happen as often as I would like. When you have a family, you have other activities that take precedence (as they should). I wouldn’t have it any other way. But when I can (on the beach or at night) I like to read a bit. This past trip, I ended up reading some work that made a very good case for maintaining a cardiovascular base through aerobic work. If you have been following me or training with me for any length of time, then you know that I am much more a fan of HIIT training (High Intensity Interval Training). HIIT is generally much more anaerobic. That’s exercise geek speak for harder. Meaning you can’t do it for as long.
A HIIT session usually will go something like this:
Kettlebell Swings x:30-
Kettlebell Squats x:30-
Repeat for 6 to 8 rounds.
This would be a 1:1 work to rest ratio and would be on the higher end of difficulty. You could also go with a negative work to rest ratio which would look something like this:
Kettlebell Snatches x:30-
Battle ropes x:30-
Kettlebell Snatches x:30-
Battle ropes x:30-
Repeat for five rounds.
In this instance the work doubles the rest time. This would not be something you would want a beginner to go with.
In all, you want a HIIT session to last anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. Longer than that and you run the risk of not being able to go as hard as you should. And this is the type of thing that I have done for the bulk of the last ten years or so. I favor this style of training because:
- it’s more effective from a fat-loss standpoint
- your heart-rate gets higher
- it takes less time out of your schedule
- mentally, I have found the up and down nature of it to be less boring than steady state stuff
All of those things are good reasons for me to keep it in my training arsenal. And I will. But for the next six weeks, I am going to do something that’s a little different for me. I am going to focus more on long duration, lower intensity (LDLI) aerobic work. Here’s the why. In the reading I was doing, the author made a really good argument for the LDLI as a benefit when using HIIT training. That benefit being that you would recover better in those :30- rest intervals that I mentioned above for having a finely tuned aerobic system. I think there is something to that. The author also mentioned having a higher level of energy as a result. I can tell you that while HIIT is awesome for stripping fat off of you, it can leave you drained and hungry. (Hint, this might tie into why it works so well.) But with a family consisting of my spouse, two children, a dog and a back yard that probably requires a flame thrower in order for me to get ahead of, being drained and hungry all the time won’t cut it.
So here is the plan. For the next six weeks, I’m going to focus on rebuilding an aerobic base by going for longer duration cardiovascular work with some strength endurance work to compliment it. At the end of that time, I will add back in some HIIT work and maximal strength work but keep a LDLI session in the weekly menu to maintain what I’ve done. Here’s what that will look like:
Monday: 30 minute session of weighted vest walks building to 60 minutes by the end of the 6 weeks. There might be some running in there but I’ll have to check and see if hell has frozen over yet.
Tuesday: Higher rep strength endurance session, focusing on 12-20 reps on strength training exercises.
Wednesday: Another 30 minute session of weighted vest walks building to 60 minutes by the end of the 6 weeks.
Thursday: Recovery session. Foam rolling, stretching and mobility work will be the order of the day here.
Friday: A second high rep strength endurance program will take place in this spot.
Saturday: A third LDLI session here but I will leave the modality open. This could be a bike ride, weighted vest walk, or if in an act of desperation, I could use the elliptical or spinning bike.
That’s Cardio Base Building phase. What will come next is the transition phase back to my wheel-house. Here’s what that will look like:
Monday: Glorious heavy strength training. (I can hear the harp music playing and see golden light shining down on my kettlebells and barbells as I type this.)
Tuesday: HIIT makes it’s return here. I will likely do an EMOTM (Every Minute On The Minute) or something of that nature.
Wednesday: More heavy strength training, followed by a HIIT session.
Thursday: Still going to keep this as a recovery day.
Friday: Strength endurance, as in higher reps. We shall see if this needs to stay. I may be going back to a 3rd heavy strength session here. It really just depends on how my body responds.
Saturday: LDLI session for 45-60 minutes. Again, I will leave the modality on this open as it could take all kinds of forms. If as a family, we want to go for a hike or a long walk, that is a possibility here.
That will be the transition phase. Following that, I will be returning to something closer to the Trinity Training Template that I have talked about in the past at one point or another. If you haven’t seen that before, it looks like this:
So that’s what the next twelve weeks will look like for me. What are you doing in your workouts? Feel free to chime in on the comments section. Thanks for coming on this journey with me.