Of the three levels of cardiovascular workout – low, medium and high intensity – the medium intensity or anaerobic threshold workout is the one most likely to be missed in people’s training programs. Medium intensity workouts are also known as threshold workouts. This is because the aim of a medium intensity workout is to work just below your anaerobic threshold.
We all have two types of metabolism. Our aerobic metabolism uses oxygen to transport energy to our muscles. When we run low on oxygen, our anaerobic metabolism takes over to provide extra energy for a short time. However, this extra energy will only keep us going for a few minutes before lactic acid starts to build up in our muscles and we start to cramp.
Threshold training gets your body working at the maximum level it’s capable of whilst still in the aerobic zone. It trains your metabolism to work at a faster rate so is a great form of exercise for weight loss and will also help you to perform better when you’re exercising.
A medium intensity workout should last for about 15 to 30 minutes. You need to work at the fastest rate that you are able to sustain for this period of time. If you find that you are able to work for more than 30 minutes then your aerobic metabolism is not at its peak and you should work a little faster. To get the most benefit from this type of exercise it’s important that you work at the maximum rate possible for the duration of the session.
As your threshold workouts get your metabolism working faster, you will find that your athletic performance improves. You’ll find that exercise that previously got your heart really pumping will now be much easier and you’ll be able to do it at a lower heart rate. And the work that now gets your heart pumping will be at a higher level than you were capable of before.
You’ll also find that, as your metabolism increases, weight loss will become easier. This is because the faster metabolism helps you to burn more fat right throughout the day, not just when you’re exercising.
To make sure that you are working at the correct intensity, it is advisable to use a heart rate monitor while doing your threshold workout to ensure that you are working at your optimal heart rate. The personal trainers at Live Lean Today can work with you, developing an exercise program just for you. Your trainer can monitor your heart rate throughout your program and make adjustments as required. This makes your program much more effective and will give you the greatest benefit possible.