I know that many large athletes, like me, find it hard to get in a good quality type of cardio workout that suits their body types and workout preferences. I know many of us larger guys find it hard (especially if your largeness is due primarily to body fat) to get in a good quality workout because frankly, we’re no good at cardio. Sure there are exceptions and we hate them for it (just kidding guys you’re still cool) but I’m sure there are plenty of guys like me who wish their fitness levels were higher.
Well, I’m here today to preach the gospel according to interval training. Now for a quick overview of what interval training is. It involves giving a maximal effort for a smaller period of time, usually under two minutes followed by a period of rest or lower activity. Usually, this is applied to sprinting, such as walk back sprints, where the runner sprints a certain distance, then walks back to the starting point, giving them ample time to recover. This is also applicable to maximal efforts in other cardiovascular activities such as working the punching bag, rowing, riding a bike, or any other cardiovascular activity where you can exert maximum effort.
Why is this the type of workout I recommend to larger guys? Let’s face it, we hate running, and interval training can be accomplished in a small amount of time compared to running three or more miles at a moderate pace (which is torture on the ankles of the larger athlete). Our larger weight can be used to our training advantage, seeing the extra body weight as a sort of weighted vest to make us stronger even faster than the lighter athletes.
Also, the effects of interval training have been shown in several studies to be more effective at burning off fat than regular plodding types of cardio workouts. The proof is in the types of bodies runners have. Sprinters have the ripped to shreds look that we long for, and marathon runners have a skinny-fat look about them (though not always!) due to their bodies trying to adapt to the strain they train for. Many larger runners tend to be sprinters, as this fits their body size easily.
These workouts are great for the boxer or martial artist who can’t quite seem to get into that place of cardiovascular fitness that they want. Training for intervals is great for the ring and real life, as you’ll want to exert maximal effort in the three minute round, or the fight you want to get out of quick. Remember that slow, plodding training creates a slow, plodding athlete, and unless that’s your goal you’ll want to adapt your training schedule to encompass that need.
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