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March 17, 2011
NOW that we're approaching
a quarter of the way through
the year, trainers may start
considering upping their
training regimes now they are get-
ting stronger and fitter.
There's no problem with that. The
body has a remarkable way of adapt-
ing to incremental changes in stresses
on the body.
In fact, all the health benefits of
exercise will increase with enhanced
training -- such as blood circulation,
cardiovascular gains, physical repair
and strength -- and the chances of bad
things will diminish.
The important thing to remember
is that the accepted wisdom on ramp-
ing up to the next fitness level is that it
should not increase more than 10 per
cent in either volume or intensity at
any given time.
The two best ways to do this are to
either split your training sessions or
begin to use your rest days for active
recovery sessions -- small doses that
increase the total weekly training
This is probably the most effec-
tive way of marginally increasing
your training effort. If you are already
putting in one big session a day, then
splitting the sessions is the most prac-
Rev it up, slowly...
tical method of going to the next level
in your training.
Take weight training for instance.
If you complete a bicep and back ses-
sion on a particular day, split those
into two. Do the back training in the
morning and the biceps in the after-
You can still engage the muscular
areas while training in each effort to
provide that extra benefit, or slightly
extend the back training -- or both.
Either way, make sure it is with-
in the 10 per cent parameter and you
will be fine. Again, the body's innate
recovery mechanism will look after
The second way to marginally
increase the amount of training you are
engaged in is to begin using a rest day.
If you are factoring in two to three
days out of seven for rest then you
can introduce some exercise on one or
more of those days.
If it is cardiovascular exercise
you're mainly interested in then do a
light boxing fitness or gym session.
Take it easy with intensity and volume
and you will be fine.
Alternatively, you can take the dog
for a walk or do an easy walk around
the lake on the weekend to get that
extra benefit from your weekly train-
If you're frequently involved in
upper body resistance training then
spend some time on the rowing
machine to introduce some extra spe-
cific load upon the body.
Increasing intensity is simply
a matter of elevating your perceived
exertion for longer or whatever gets
the heart-rate indicator up within the
estimated extra 10 per cent.
Increasing the speed or incline on a
treadmill is fine. Doing the intermedi-
ate class rather than the beginners class
is another option.
Increasing the pace of your walk,
run, cycle, etc, or adding another kilo-
metre will achieve your aim of pro-
gressively and marginally pushing
your training to a new level.
To allow for the least risk of injury
on the way towards the best increase
of training efforts, just make sure that
your training is planned, progressive
and regular and your body will easily
adapt to your new fitness demands.
There's nothing wrong with upping your
training regime. But CPL Dean Cook says it
has to be planned and progressive.
Photo: LCPL Mark Doran
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