Just a quick post. People often ask me what cardio work I do. So I thought I would share my very simple routine with you all and I think you will be surprised to see what I’m doing. My entire cardio routine lasts on average just 9 minutes. Yep 9 minutes from start to finish. Sounds too good to be true right?
Exercise: 80m sprints
Effort: 100% flat out, legs burning, lungs flaming agony (but only for 9 minutes)
Rest: jog back to start and rest for 2 breaths, no stopping
Form: start as if you are doing a 100m sprint out of the blocks. Stay low and drive hard for the first 10m then start to progress into a more upright position. As you tire your start will become more sluggish, try to focus on driving out the blocks.
The reason that this type of training works is because you are limiting the amount of oxygen your body has at its disposal, this is why it is very important not to increase the rest period. If you allow yourself time to recover you will not find this difficult and will not receive any of the benefits. The idea is that by the time you get to your 6th or 7th rep the amount of time it takes you to jog back to the start is no longer enough for you to catch your breath. Depleting your oxygen supply will improve your VO2 MAX (a measure of the maximum volume of oxygen that a person can use or can physically uptake). A theory proved by Professor Izumi Tabata, developer of the Tabata training theory. He posited that high intensity training improved VO2 max (maximal oxygen consumption) by about 14% and anaerobic capacity by 28%. I developed my cardio routine from his original premise to better suit my goals and personal preferences.
Progression: I started this routine by performing 50m sprints of 8 reps. Now I do 80m sprints for 10-12 reps dependent upon my energy levels. With that in mind there are two possible ways that you can progress once you start to find the exercise easier. 1) Increase the number of sets. 2) Increase the distance. I suggest starting with a 50m sprint at 8 reps, if you don’t hate me by the end of it you aren’t working hard enough. Seriously though, a few things to mull over at the end of it are; how heavy do your legs feel? How difficult are you finding it to breathe? Are your lungs on fire? Good you’re doing it right.
I do this 2-3 times per week alongside my weights training routine. This type of high intensity training puts a huge strain on your central nervous system, so ease into the process and don’t do more than 3 sessions per week. That’s it; get your running shoes out! Actually that’s one other thing if you have a pair of football boots, doing this on grass with studs will not only give you more grip out the blocks but will be easier on your joints. Hopefully you will enjoy my routine and see some great results.