Saturday, 26 February 2011

Clarification on Interval Types at Pedal Studio

Master Instructor Mark Tickner takes time out to give clarification as to what each session means and the Interval Types at Pedal Studio.

In the Spinning Programme there are 5 Energy Zones to give variety and structure to the general public trying to keep/get fitter and healthy.

• Endurance
• Recovery
• Strength
• Interval (an-aerobic & aerobic mixed)
• Race day

The one energy zone we hardly use is the recovery zone as not many would turn up to ride an easy class. And in reality there would not be many instructors (even with great experience) that could teach a 'proper' recovery session. Besides it's really only athlete's that 'need' recovery sessions... everyone else needs more endurance.

With regards to intervals there are 3 important sessions we can do and each are completely different in their goals and intensities.

These are:

Aerobic intervals: The key here is to work your fat burning metabolisms by staying under your LTHR so that we use oxygen better to be able to burn fat. As a heart rate this is basically anything under 5 beats or more under your LTHR... or as a very rough guide under 80% mhr... or staying in the green and half of the yellow zone with the heart rate system in the studio. The recovery should be short as the intensity is not too hard and we should measure how fast our recovery drops to say 10-15beats below our working aerobic heart rate and then not let it drop lower than this. In doing so we then keep building our aerobic function by staying in the endurance zone through the recovery and lifting our aerobic fitness and over time burn more fat calories at the same heart rates.
Time wise aerobic intervals can be anywhere between 5-20 min in length with 1-5min recoveries. Basically a 2-1 work to rest ration is advisable for the general public.

Lactate Threshold intervals: These are done at 5 beats below your LTHR... at your LTHR... and 5 beats over your LTHR. So you have a 10 beat range in which to work with. The key is to shift your aerobic function and fitness up and raise your LTHR intensity / speed / pace / power / confidence at this crucial transition point. Above your LTHR you start to go into anaerobic metabolism and this is where our fat burning mechanisms and aerobic function stop.

Recovery wise you want approx 1-1 or 2-1 work to rest ratio so that you allow the recovery to take place but not too much to allow a full deep recovery as the goal is to trigger our response to try to lift our aerobic function and fitness here by adapting to the intensity / pace / speed / power better over time.
Time wise LTHR intervals are approx. 3-8min long with 1-3min recoveries for general public.

Anaerobic intervals: These are the very hard short intervals we do. There value is low for most people but the tendency to do them is very high as most think that’s what we need to go faster or improve our fitness. I can guarantee most people that train regularly train way too hard and is the sole reason why they don’t lose weight and actually can gain fat as a result.
When we do Intervals the interval length should be closer to 30sec - 3mins with a long full and deep recovery at back into the blue zone for a proper recovery to take place. This should take approx 2-5min to recover properly.

How does Pedal Studio link up to these Zones as we seem to have so many names for classes ! In truth, there is not much difference at all, it is us trying to make the 5 spinning core training zones more exciting!

If you look at our classes the 5 Spinning principals are there.

Interval (an-aerobic & aerobic mixed)
Race day

The key overriding factor is periodise your training (i.e. plan it for your goal) and no matter the class ride your ride!

We have tried to bundle up the creative names into the 5 core spinning classes that also link to the heart rate zones.

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