You may have found yourself at a place in your workouts where you are not feeling as challenged as you once were, or perhaps you just want to turbo-charge things and see more results faster. If this is the case, then increasing the intensity and method in your workouts is for you. The trick is to intensify your workout routine safely so that you don’t risk injury that would side line you and defeat the whole purpose of increasing your workouts.
Combo Training: Combo training is when you combine an assortment of aerobic exercises and resistance training. This a very demanding form of intensity training and can lead to over training and/or injury, so use caution and even a personal trainer to coach you through until you gain a safe understanding of how to proceed.
You will perform a resistance training set and follow it with a short burst on moderate intensity aerobics for 30 seconds. You then repeat for another two sets. For example, perform a set of squats, and then do a 30 second burst of burpees, and then back to a set of squats/burpees. This cycle should be done in three “sets” (squats/burpees as one set). Combo training really torches fat and whips you into great cardio conditioning quickly. Here is a sample You Tube workout to get you started.
Supersets: If you are weight training, one method to increase intensity and strength results is known as Super Sets. A superset is when two exercises are completed in sequence without a break in between them. It is important to pair up two agonist/antagonist muscle groups in the set pairs. For example: quads/hamstrings or back/chest. This technique will noticeably increase muscle strength and result in your ability to train at higher intensity levels.
You will be more efficient if you set up agonist/antagonist stations before you begin so that once starting, you can go from pair sets to the next station with only a 30 second rest in between. Here is a great YouTube superset workout to get an idea of what is involved.
HIIT Training for runners: Runners who desire to increase both speed and endurance, do so with interval or HIIT training. It is important to already have solid base of mileage as well as speed work before starting this type of training.
Run nearly full out for 10 to 60 seconds, followed by a rest/walk (or jog) period. The rest period should be one to four times the length of the high intensity burst. Essentially, your rest period is just enough so that you are recovered to do the next repeat at the same speed with good form. This challenges your cardio system to get stronger and pushes oxygenated blood through your body, making it available for you muscles. Be sure you are warmed up and flexible before starting these workouts.
This same idea of HIIT training can be applied to cyclists, rowers, and even hiking.
Mixing it up challenges your body and can jump start you out of that plateau or even boredom you may have hit in your workouts. At the very least, you will find yourself in better conditioning! Do you have a tried-and-true method to intensify your workout routine safely? Please share it in the comments area below! We’d love to hear from you and share your experience with the Fit After Fifty community.