ENDURANCE: CONTINUOUS OR INTERVAL TRAINING?

Endurance training can be done two different ways: continuously or in blocks (intervals). These methods have the same goal: to improve your health and fitness. However, they strengthen your heart in different ways. Read on to find out more.

 

Which cardio training machine is best for endurance workouts?

What is the best way to train your endurance? The treadmill. This piece of equipment lets you run at home or at the gym at your own pace. It is also recommended for rehabilitation, and provides better cushioning than running on the pavement. You can therefore train more safely. Depending on your level and training objectives (getting fit, losing weight, boosting your performance), you have a wide range of treadmills to choose from. You could also train on an exercise bike, spinning bike or cross trainer.

 

What is continuous training?

Continuous training is the most common type of endurance training. The principle is to do long cardio sessions while maintaining the same heart rate intensity throughout the workout.

 

What are the advantages of continuous training?

Continuous training helps you improve your endurance. When you exercise at a regular intensity, your heart gains in strength and volume. Why is this? When you train your heart pumps out more blood with each contraction, and therefore sends more oxygen to your muscles. In this way, your heart beats less quickly during exercise as well as when you are resting. This makes it less tired. You don't get out of breath as much.

 

Besides developing your endurance, continuous training helps you to:

  • Maintain or lose weight
  • Improve your cardiovascular and respiratory health
  • Manage stress and sleep

 

What is interval training?

Interval training uses the heart in a different way. It involves alternating the pace throughout your training, with phases of acceleration that increase your heart rate and active recovery phases. The idea is to be able to exercise for longer at a higher intensity thanks to the recovery periods, and to improve your cardiovascular performance. The duration of the different phases, from several seconds to several minutes, varies depending on the objective: weight loss, power, etc.

 

What are the advantages of interval training?

Interval training helps you increase the amount you work out by limiting fatigue. In other words, thanks to this training method you will be able to train for longer while improving your cardiovascular capacity. Interval training helps you achieve the following endurance objectives:

 

  • Improving your ability to recover
  • Maintaining a high intensity for as long as possible
  • Putting in a large amount of effort

 

In fact, by stimulating your heart rate with a variety of paces, you will help your body to tackle lactic acid production. This will increase your anaerobic threshold, a factor that limits endurance. Interval training develops what we call your velocity at maximal oxygen uptake (vVO2max). This corresponds to the speed at which your oxygen uptake is at its highest. When you reach your vVO2max, your VO2 max (ml/min/kg) is 3.5 times your vVO2max (km/h). When you increase your aerobic capacity, you increase your resistance to exercise and your speed. The result is that you achieve better endurance performances!

 

If you are a beginner, it is best to prioritise continuous training to improve your endurance. If you are an experienced runner or athlete, you might be more interested in interval training to get you in shape faster, rather than doing moderate sessions at the same pace. Alternating walking and running helps reduce the risk of injury to your joints, and therefore protects your body while upping your endurance. It has been shown that interval training helps burn more fat, preserves muscle mass and improves your cardiovascular fitness. It is the best choice possible for losing weight and improving your health.

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Have you always wanted the endurance of a real athlete? Domyos suggests a progressive training programme on three different pieces of equipment that will perfect your endurance!

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Have you considered working on endurance? The cardiovascular system and endurance are closely connected. To improve one, develop the other!

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