Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The misery of HICT

Recently my coach has been having me do some HICT.

That's High Intensity Continuous Training, courtesy of Joel Jamieson.

To quote Joel on HICT . . .

"Basically it's using very high resistance combined with low frequency of movement for extended periods of time to increase oxidative capacity of fast twitch fibers."

Simple as that, eh?

Essentially you use a high level of resistance - spin bike with the resistance cranked up, a versaclimber, high step ups to a box, etc - with relatively low speed (20-30 rpms for the bike, a step every 2-3 seconds or so) - for like 10 to 20 minutes of continuous action. The result? You need to use a lot of muscular strength to complete the action, but it's not so fast or so strenuous that you need to deplete your non-oxygen using energy stores. You use your aerobic systems to power your body. This helps those muscles increase their capacity to work for a long time at a higher level of strength.

For me, recently, this has been 20 minutes of high-box step-ups, with 10 minutes "off" doing other exercises such as an ab circuit, followed by 20 more minutes of high step-ups.

The beauty of this is that it works - my ability to generate power and muscular strength after working hard for an extended period has shot up. The downside is obvious - you're miserable after 10 minutes, never mind 20, of continuous action.

But it's an interesting take on cardio - not short, high intensity work nor long, low intensity work. It's long, grueling, not-quite-too-high-intensity work.

Fun, fun. Google Joel's name and HICT and you can find out a bit more.

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