Lab 10 (week 11) – Experience interval training

Lab Overview
Learning Objectives

  1. Experience and reflect upon using interval training for conditioning
  2. Recall and use the % HRR equation to determine intensity of a conditioning workout

Lab Tasks

By the end of the lab today, you should:

  1. Create an appropriate interval training workout for yourself (i.e., consider ability and current training)
  2. Record your HR and RPE for the prescription

Interval Training:

Involves alternating high-intensity training and low intensity active recovery. Interval training is very stressful and should not be performed until the client has a firm base of aerobic conditioning (i.e., not a beginner). Interval training is associated with an increased VO2max and anaerobic metabolism.

Interval Training Examples:

Involves work of approximately 2-5 minutes per interval. The goal is to work toward affording equal amount of time for rest (periods of low-intensity exercise; i.e., work to rest ratio of 1:1). Clients complete 3-8 sets.

This type of training is stressful and should not be done more than three times per week.

Level

Work:Recovery (Minutes)

Intensity (work)

Progression

Beginner:

No intervals

Steady State below LT

Pre-Intermediate or Intermediate: (intermittent tempo training)

5:1 x 3 sets

(start with less work if necessary; i.e., 3 min work and 90s recovery)

@ 75% HRR

(start with lower if LT is lower)

Build to continuous at @ 75% HRR (or at client’s LT)

Intermediate:

4:1 x 3 sets

@ 80% HRR

Build to 5-8 sets of 5:1 or 8:2

Advanced:

3:2 x 3 sets

@ 85% HRR

Build to 5-8 sets of 4:2 (i.e., 2:1 ratio)

Sport Specific:

2:3 x 3 sets

@ 90% HRR +

Build to 5-8 sets of 3:3, 2:2 (i.e., 1:1 ratio)

*Help your client reach the prescribed intensity with a combination of incline/resistance and speed/cadence*

** Recovery is done at low intensity to allow HR and breathing to recover sufficiently for another interval. Ensure your client is recovered to a point of at least <70% of HRR (or less than their LT) **

Repetition Training (REPS):

A form of interval training to develop speed and endurance. Repetition training involves short bursts of very high-intensity (nearly VO2max or above VO2max). The work intervals are between 20-90s with the work:rest ratio varying between 1:3 and 1:5 (or more rest if needed). The physiology adaptions associated with REPS include improved running speed and economy and increased anaerobic metabolism. This type of training is reserved for clients with a firm base of aerobic conditioning and a VERY GOOD level of CV fitness.

Repetition Training (REPS) Examples:

The work intervals last about 20-90 seconds; the work to rest ration varies between 1:3 – 1:5, or more rest if needed. Clients complete 3-8 sets.

This type of training is very stressful and should not be done more than once or twice per week.

Level

Work:Recovery (Minutes)

Intensity (work)

Progression

Beginner:

No HIIT

Steady State prescription

Pre-Intermediate:

No HIIT

SS prescription

Intermediate:

60s:4min x3

Hard

Build to 5-8 sets of 60s:3 min

Advanced:

30s:3min x3

Very Hard

Build to 5-8 sets of 45s:2.5 min

Sport Specific:

20s:2min x3

Very Very Hard

Build to 5-8 sets of

30s:2 min

  • *Help your client reach the prescribed intensity with a combination of incline/resistance and speed/cadence*

** Note, 20s is hard to complete on a treadmill – this is generally done on a field/track.

Other General CV Prescription Reminders:

  • Light Intensity Physical Activity results health benefits (despite not often having CV training benefits)
  • Exercise intensity is inversely related to duration
  • Low and Moderate intensities will improve endurance and maximum oxygen uptake in undertrained or moderately trained individuals but is less effective in well-trained athletes, who require higher training intensities in order for additional physiological adaptations to occur.
  • Note, long slow distance training is necessary for endurance athletes, where more mileage per week is almost always better (there is data to suggest a diminishing effect around 60 miles/wk).
  • Moderate intensity SS is also good for active recovery, muscular endurance, thermoregulatory function, muscle oxidative capacity, and fat utilization purposes
  • Generally, your client is at a VG level of initial fitness before they can tolerate continuous vigorous intensity exercise (i.e., a 20-30-minute tempo exercise bout). Also, your client is at a VG level of initial fitness to be doing repetition training (REPS; anaerobic interval training).
  • Pace/temp training can also be done in an intermittent fashion (i.e., intervals) still using a training intensity at about LT but employing a series of intervals with recovery. This allows clients with a moderate fitness base to experience vigorous intensity exercise in a tolerable way.
  • Beginner clients should do their CV training on non-consecutive days. Similarly, the introduction of vigorous intensity should happen on non-consecutive days.
  • Interval training and repetition training can be an effective way to change body composition, increase fitness, and make exercise fun; however, as a trainer, you have to find an appropriate equipment, intensity, and duration to suit your client. If you are not careful this type of training could cause injury, negative affect, a decrease in exercise adherence, and a decrease in your client’s self-efficacy.

Intensity Description Reminder:

Intensity

% HRR

%HR max

RPE (6-20)

RPE (1-10)

Talk test

Duration

Light

20-40

55-70

10-11

2-3

No problems talking

Can continue forever

Moderate

40-60

55-70

12-13

4-6

Sentences

Can continue for hours

Vigorous

60-85

70-90

14-16

7-8

1-2 words

Becoming uncomfortable

Very Hard

>85

>90

17-19

9

Cannot talk

Difficult to maintain

Maximum

100 or higher

100

20

10

Completely out of breath

Unbearable to continue

References:

Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. (2013). Physical Activity Training for Health (CSEP-PATH) Resource Manual. Ottawa, ON: CSEP.

Coburn, J. W., & Moh, H. M. (2012). NSCA’s Essentials of Personal Training. National Strength and Conditioning Association. Human Kinetics: Windsor, ON

Peterson, D. D. & Rittenhouse, M. A. (2019). A Practical Guide to Personal Conditioning. Jones & Bartlett Learning: Burlington MA.

Charts From: Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. (2013). Physical Activity Training for Health (CSEP-PATH) Resource Manual. Ottawa, ON: CSEP.

Lab 2 (week 3) – Experience CV Exercise Intensities

Lab Overview
Learning Objectives

  1. Experience several CV exercise training intensities
  2. Recall and use the %HRR equation to determine intensity of CV exercise
  3. Describe how various CV exercise training intensities feel
Lab Tasks

By the end of the lab today, you should:

  1. Have a partner get your Resting HR and Resting BP values
  2. Find your HR training zone (using %HRR) for each of the intensities below
  3. Complete the training as a client so that you experience each level of intensity. Enter your HR and description on the worksheet. Also work as a trainer; assist and watch client’s experience each of the intensities. Assist clients in changing speed/incline/resistance to maintain HR range. Watching various people experience CV exercise will help you create good prescriptions.
  4. Complete the lab quiz (Quiz #1, worth 2.5%). The following topics will be covered on the quiz: Screening and CV Exercise Intensity (i.e., lab info from weeks 1 & 2). You may use your course notes for this quiz; however, the quiz should be an individual effort.

A major variable of exercise prescription is intensity. Most clients will require a CV prescription in the moderate and vigorous intensity range; however, clients with initial fitness levels in the ‘poor’ and low-end of ‘fair’ ranges can experience CV improvement working below moderate intensity.

It is important to remember that a CV prescription is based on numerous factors: current ability (i.e., VO2max, lactate threshold [LT], risk/prescreening), goals, enjoyment, and other aspects of the prescription (i.e., resistance training, week outlook). For example, a general guideline is that continuous vigorous intensity exercise is saved for clients with Very Good or Excellent levels of fitness.

From today’s experience, recognize that working at a given intensity (i.e., moderate/vigorous) will take a different resistance/speed for each client. Also, depending on a client’s lactate threshold (LT), a given intensity (i.e., 75% HRR) will not feel the same or be sustained for as long. LT defines your upper limit in terms of a sustainable pace. After blood lactate starts to accumulate above resting levels, it becomes impossible for the muscles to sustain that pace thereby resulting in fatigue. Importantly, two clients with the same predicted VO2max will require different exercise intensities due to differences in their LT.

CV exercise intensity can be described in a number of ways (i.e., % of HR max, % of HRR, RPE [10pt. scale], RPE [BORG scale], Talk Test). Predicted maximum heart rate (HR) is often described as 220 minus the client’s age (220-age). Be cautious when using HR based measurement because it is known to be off by 10-15 beats per minute (bpm) or more. Keep in mind that several factors impact HR (i.e., medications, recovery, emotion, environment, stress). Be sure to pair your HR based measurement of intensity with another measurement (i.e., talk test or RPE)

Percent of heart rate reserve (%HRR) is thought to be a better calculation of exercise intensity compared to %HRmax, especially for trained clients, because it takes into account a client’s resting heart rate. Using the %HRR method is also handy because it is thought to be a fine prediction of %VO2max; hence, using the %HRR equation you can estimate to what % of VO2max the client is currently working.  The calculation is: %HRR = [intensity x (HRmax – HRrest)] + HRrest.

Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) is a commonly used method to determine exercise intensity. It is non-threatening for the client to estimate a number on a scale. RPE isn’t influenced by medication; however, is known to be influenced by exercise enjoyment, emotion, stress. Commonly used scales are the 1-10pt. scale and the BORG scale (6-20pts). The BORG scale was originally created to approximately match a 20 year old’s heart rate data (i.e., 200 = age predicted HR max = 20/20 on the scale; 60 = typical resting HR = rest, 6/20 on the scale).

The Talk Test is an easy, non-invasive, method of gathering how hard the exercise session is for the client. A client can talk easily during light intensity exercise (i.e., sing even), a client can talk in short sentences when working at a moderate intensity, can say only a few words in vigorous intensity and cannot talk while engaging in vary hard and maximal effort. A vigorous effort is uncomfortable for a client; whereas, a client feels a moderate effort as purposeful, the client is getting warmer, but moderate effort wouldn’t be associated with discomfort.

Intensity Description ​Examples:

Intensity

% HRR

%HR max

RPE (6-20)

RPE (1-10)

Talk test

Duration

Light

20-40

55-70

10-11

2-3

No problems talking

Can continue forever

Moderate

40-60

55-70

12-13

4-6

Sentences

Can continue for hours

Vigorous

60-85

70-90

14-16

7-8

1-2 words

Becoming uncomfortable

Very Hard

>85

>90

17-19

9

Cannot talk

Difficult to maintain

Maximum

100 or higher

100

20

10

Completely out of breath

Unbearable to continue

The intensities that we are going to experience and describe today are:

  1. LIGHT = 30% HRR, maintain for 5 minutes
  2. Mid MODERATE = 50% HRR, maintain for 5-10 minutes
  3. Low to Mid VIGOROUS = 60-70% HRR, depending on fitness maintain for 5-10 minutes
  4. Mid VIGOROUS = 70-​75% HRR, depending on fitness maintain for 5-10 minutes
  5. Very Hard to Maximum = > 85% HRR, intensity and duration depends on fitness

Lab 4 (week 5) – YMCA bike protocol

Lab Overview
Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize the strengths of using a submaximal fitness assessment similar to the training you will prescribe to a client to determine your client’s aerobic fitness
  2. Recognize factors that impact validity and reliability of aerobic fitness assessments
  3. Asses and predict a client’s aerobic fitness and HBR using the YMCA ​Cycle test
  4. Begin to recognize which assessment is appropriate for an individual client
Lab Tasks

By the end of the lab today, you should:

  1. Review the protocol for the ​YMCA Cycle Test
  2. Complete the test as a client and submit your data on the lab website
  3. Complete the test as a trainer and submit your lab report to your class professor or technician

The purpose of the YMCA cycle test is to estimate a client’s VO2max (aerobic fitness). This is a sub-maximal, heart rate dependent, fitness assessment. This test involves minimal upper body movement so is ideal for clients needing BP data collected during exercise. It is non-weight bearing (seated) so there is less joint trauma and risk of the client falling. It is also more applicable for measuring performance of cyclists and translates well to those wanting to use cycling in their exercise program. This test has been validated in people aged 15-69, with balance/coordination difficulty and those who prefer cycling over walking/jogging/running.

The YMCA Cycle Ergometer Test is a multi-stage cycle test. The client will complete a minimum of 3 workloads (stages). This includes a warm-up workload (the first stage). This test is designed so that a client’s heart rate is between 110bpm and 85% HRmax for two consecutive workloads; such that, a ‘valid test’ yields two consecutive workloads/stages (not including the warm-up) in this 110bpm – 85% HRmax zone. The closer a client’s heart rate gets to 85% HRmax the more accurate the aerobic fitness prediction. The intensity can continue to increase after the third workload but, for comfort, you can stop your client after two workloads within the 110 bpm and 85% HRmax range.

Lab 6 (week 7) – Wellness-Fitness Initiative (WFI) Treadmill Protocol

Lab Overview
Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize factors that impact validity and reliability of aerobic fitness assessments
  2. Asses and predict a client’s aerobic fitness and HBR using the WFI Test
Lab Tasks

By the end of the lab today, you should:

  1. Review the protocol for the WFI Test
  2. Complete the test as a client
  3. Complete the test as a trainer and submit your lab report to your class professor or technician

Similar to the other assessments we have been discussing, the purpose of the Wellness-Fitness Initiative (WFI) treadmill protocol is to estimate a client’s VO2max. This test, used by several Fire Protection Agencies, is a heart-rate reliant, submaximal, assessment which predicts aerobic fitness. Like all submaximal aerobic fitness predictive tests, this test is known to underestimate VO2max of highly trained individuals and overestimate aerobic capacity of less fit (most) individuals (Dolezal, Barr, Boland, Smith, Cooper, 2015).

The WFI aerobic fitness assessment is a predetermined prescription of walking/jogging/running speed and treadmill incline; hence, the oxygen cost of the exercise is known. The client should complete the prescription until their heart rate reaches 85% of max. It is important to record the client’s BMI and the time (in minutes) when their HR reaches 85% of their HR max.

A strength of this assessment is that the trainer/client does not have to determine an appropriate workload speed for the client (pre-determined). It is also a more challenging protocol than the George Test so it will accommodate a client with greater aerobic fitness; however, athletes with Excellent levels of fitness may still max-out this test (complete 18 minutes) before reaching 85% of their HR max. Weaknesses include: length of time for clients with VG/E level of fitness, still HR dependent, and the incline can be intimidating for some clients.

It should be noted, the preferred protocol for most people is a single stage protocol. For more athletic clients, remember, watching a client run on the treadmill for 18 minutes is not a good use of time with a client. For some athletes (i.e., cross country runners), wanting a prediction of their VO2max, a more appropriate test would be the 1.5 mile run field test (will be discussed in class).

Lab 3 (week 4) – Single Stage Treadmill Walking Test

Lab Overview
Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize the strengths of using a sub-maximal fitness assessment similar to the training you will prescribe to a client to determine your client’s aerobic fitness
  2. Recognize factors that impact validity and reliability of aerobic fitness assessments
  3. Asses and predict a client’s aerobic fitness and HBR using the ​Ebbeling Walking Test.
  4. Begin to recognize which assessment is appropriate for an individual client

Lab Tasks

By the end of the lab today, you should:

  1. Review the protocol for the ​Ebbeling Walking Test
  2. Complete the test as a client and submit your data on the lab website
  3. Complete the test as a trainer and submit your lab report to your class professor or technician

Aerobic fitness is the ability of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels to get oxygen to the working muscle. The more efficient your heart, lungs, and blood vessels are at getting oxygen to muscles that need it (to do work) the more aerobically fit you are. Assessing your client’s aerobic fitness is important to build an appropriate CV prescription for the client and to see aerobic fitness change over time (i.e., to see if your prescription is effective). The type of CV training you prescribe to a client (steady state, interval, tempo training, fartlek, circuit) and the intensity you prescribe (light, moderate, vigorous, maximal) are directly related to their initial aerobic fitness; it should be noted that you would also consider your client’s goals, likes/dislikes, limitations, body composition, and experience with your prescription choices.

Working a general population client to maximal intensity is neither necessary nor advised: the risk of injury is high, they will not be able to push themselves hard enough, and they will not enjoy the experience or the pain following the experience. Maximal fitness tests are reserved for clients who are able to work at maximal intensity without injury or psychological losses (i.e., an athlete, superior fitness levels).

Submaximal fitness assessments (stop at 85% of predicted HRmax) are simple, relatively quick, non-invasive tests to determine aerobic fitness using a client’s heart rate to measure exertion of a known workload. Aerobic fitness can be predicted using submaximal fitness assessments because heart rate response to exercise is related to fitness; such that, if the oxygen need for a task is known (standardized) a client’s heart rate response to that workload is predictive of aerobic fitness. There is a linear relationship between Heart Rate (HR) and Oxygen Cost (amount of oxygen needed to complete a task). With this, if your client does anything to alter their HR during the test (i.e., hold on to railing, work harder/less hard than prescribed [signing, flapping arms], caffeine consumption or other exercise prior to the test, physical/mental health on test day) the results will not be valid. Also, if your client is on a beta blocker medication (medications which keep HR artificially low) they are not suitable for tests predicting aerobic fitness using HR.

Keep in mind, submaximal aerobic fitness assessments tend to over predict VO2max for sedentary clients and under predict VO2max for highly trained clients. This is due to the standardized protocol of the stopping the test at 85% of HRmax. Stopping the test at 85% of HRmax may actually be a point beyond where a sedentary client is using oxygen. Similarly, a highly trained client may still be working with oxygen beyond 85% of HRmax Working a client to a point just before they are no longer using oxygen yields the most accurate prediction.

Submaximal exercise tests, which are relatively safer and require less time than maximal fitness tests, are also practical in a variety of settings. Other advantages of submaximal exercise testing include:

  • It is known that most client’s do not enjoy maximal fitness and often cannot push themselves to work at a maximal intensity
  • These tests provide an opportunity to observe client’s responses to exercise similar to that which will be prescribed. Ideally a fitness coach will choose a fitness test similar to the type of training they plan to prescribe so that they can watch the client experience the training modality for a short period of time.
  • These tests provide an opportunity to teach client about rate of perceived exertion and intensity of Moderate/Vigorous exercise so that you are on the same page with prescription discussion.
 Prior to any aerobic fitness test, you should complete the pre-screening process with your client, organize the paper work to prepare for the test, explain the purpose of the test, explain the procedure of the test, and ensure your client understands and is comfortable with the instructions.

Lab 5 (week 6) – Single Stage Treadmill Jogging Test (George Test)

Lab Overview
Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize the strengths of using a sub-maximal fitness assessment similar to the training you will prescribe to a client to determine your client’s aerobic fitness
  2. Recognize factors that impact validity and reliability of aerobic fitness assessments
  3. Asses and predict a client’s aerobic fitness and HBR using the George Jogging Test.
Lab Tasks

By the end of the lab today, you should:

  1. Review the protocol for the George Jogging Test
  2. Complete the test as a client
  3. Complete the test as a trainer and submit your lab report to your class professor or technician

Working a client to a point just before they are no longer using oxygen (i.e., 80-85% HRmax for most clients) yields a more accurate prediction of aerobic fitness than being future off from that target. Submaximal exercise tests, which are relatively safer and require less time than maximal fitness tests, are also practical in a variety of settings. Other advantages of submaximal exercise testing include:

  1. It is known that most client’s do not enjoy maximal fitness and often cannot push themselves to work at a maximal intensity
  2. These tests provide an opportunity to observe client’s responses to exercise similar to that which will be prescribed. Having your client jog for 3-5 minutes with you will help you gain insight as to what they will actually do in an exercise prescription.
  3. These tests provide an opportunity to teach client about rate of perceived exertion and intensity of Moderate/Vigorous exercise so that you are on the same page with prescription discussion.

Prior to any aerobic fitness test, you should complete the pre-screening process with your client, organize the paper work to prepare for the test, explain the purpose of the test, explain the procedure of the test, and ensure your client understands and is comfortable with the instructions.

The Single Stage Jogging Test (George Test) is a jogging test involving a warm-up and one workload. The speed of the treadmill is determined by the client (self-selected). The warm-up speed usually ranges between 2.0 mph and 4.0 mph and the workload speed must range between 4.3 mph and 7.5 mph. Remember, your client must be jogging during the workload for this test.

If your client cannot jog they should be doing a walking protocol. On a similar note, the client should not hang on to the railings during this test – if your client is hanging on you must decide whether this test is appropriate for them or whether you have the speed of the treadmill to high. Conversely, if jogging at 7.5 mph at a 0% incline is not challenging enough for your client to experience vigorous intensity they are better suited for a more challenging test (i.e., the WFI running test which we will cover next week).

Lab 7 (week 8) – 20M Shuttle Run Class

Class Overview
Learning Objectives

  1. Recall the set-up and procedure for assessing CV fitness using 20M Shuttle Run
  2. Recognize when the advantages and disadvantages of this assessment
  3. Know when it is appropriate (which client) to use this assessment
 Tasks 

By the end of the class, you should:

  1. Attend your assigned appointment for Demo #1 (Resting HR & BP; schedule below)
  2. Review the protocol for the 20M Shuttle Run test
  3. Complete the test as a client
  4. Complete the test as a trainer and submit your data collection sheet to either Lyndsay or Sarah before you leave

Note: lab this week will be done in two parts. Be sure to attend you Demo #1 appointment on either Monday March 2 or Wednesday March 4th (schedule). Also, lab class will take place on Thursday March 5th, 4-6pm, in room C1052.

The 20m Shuttle Run was developed by Leger and colleagues in 1988. Clients run back and forth continuously on a 20M course until they can no longer maintain the pace. The running pace is set using a tone. The starting pace is 8.5 km/hr and the speed increased 0.5 km/hr each minute. Each stage takes one minute, there are 21 stages in this assessment.

Stage

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

Speed (km/hr)

8.5

9.0

9.5

10.0

10.5

11.0

11.5

12.0

12.5

13.0

13.5

14.0

14.5

15.0

15.5

The maximal speed (kilometer/hour) can be used in combination with a client’s age (in years) to estimate VO2max (ml/kg/min). Many equations have been used to determine a rough estimate of aerobic fitness from the Shuttle Run (we will discuss validity and necessity of this in class).

For example: VO2max (ml/kg/min) = 31.025 + (3.238 x speed) – (3.248 x age) + 0.1536 (age x speed)

Another example: VO2max (ml/kg/min) = 25.8 – (6.6 x gender) – (0.2 x body mass) + (3.2 x speed)

(Where, male = 0; female = 1; speed = km; BM = kg; age = years)

There are two type of warnings that a client can be given during the test: cautions (cheating; leaving before the tone, not touching the 20M line) and warnings (not making it to the 2M warning line before the tone). Clients are eliminated from the assessment if they have three cautions at any time in the test. When a client falls behind the pace and doesn’t make it to the warning line before the tone, he/she must complete the 20M shuttle (i.e., run to the 20M line) then pivot and run over the warning line on the other side before the tone sounds. The test is complete for the client when they fall behind the pace of passing a warning line before the tone two times IN A ROW. In other words, the client must miss two consecutive WARNING LINES to be eliminated from the test.

Cautions (C) and warnings (W) should be recorded on a scoring sheet. A client should be notified when he/she is given a caution or warning. Also, on your scoring sheet, record with a check-mark when your client has completed a stage so that you can easily keep track of your client’s progress. Remember, a stage is not considered complete until the client hears the announcement on the recording while he/she is running with the pace.

Lab 8 (week 9) – Experience steady state training

Lab Overview
Learning Objectives

  1. Experience and reflect upon using steady state training for conditioning
  2. Recall and use the % HRR equation to determine intensity of a conditioning workout.
Lab Tasks

By the end of the lab today, you should:

  1. Complete the aerobic fitness assessment portion of course assignment (can be done in after-hours)
  2. Prescribe and complete a steady state training session on at least two pieces of equipment (8-15 min on each piece of equipment depending on your fitness level)
  3. Record your HR and RPE for the prescription. Complete the reflection questions for this lab class.
  4. Complete Demo #2 with either Sarah or Lyndsay

Steady state (SS) training involves training at a fixed intensity (stable heart rate and oxygen consumption) below the client’s lactate threshold. This type of exercise is generally used for health benefits, to build endurance, for psychological benefits, for active recovery, and for Cardiovascular (CV) training effects.

Untrained clients can see CV training effects with as little as 10-15 minutes of steady state CV training, two or three times a week. As the cardio-respiratory system improves, allowing for greater perfusion of oxygenated blood and removal of metabolic waste, the client will be able to increase the duration of their steady state workouts. Beginner clients should start with this type of training to build a foundation, to increase endurance, to increase maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max), and to improve their lactate threshold. SS training effectively improves endurance and maximum oxygen uptake in under-trained or moderately trained individuals.  SS training is less effective in increasing VO2max in well-trained athletes who require higher training intensities for physiological adaptations to occur.

Intermediate and advanced clients will need longer sessions. Intermediate or advanced clients, depending on fitness, will use this training style for 30 to 90+ minutes (i.e., long slow distance exercise [LSD]). The main goals of LSD for these clients include endurance, thermoregulatory function, muscle oxidative capacity, and fat utilization. For reference, when working with a trained endurance athlete, more mileage per week is almost always better – the point of diminishing return appears to be around 60 miles/week.

SS training is done below intensity of what the client is capable of so that the training can be completed for a longer period of time (i.e., to an inverse relationship between intensity and duration). For most clients, this training is done at a moderate intensity, 50-60% HRR, 5-6 RPE (out of 10). Importantly, this pace should be below lactate threshold; the client should be able to hold a steady heart rate (oxygen consumption). Hence, a very untrained client may need to work lower than 50% HRR and a trained client could hold higher than 60% HRR for 30+ minutes. A general rule of thumb is that this type of training is prescribed at an intensity where the client can talk a sentence and not feel the discomfort of metabolic waste accumulating (while their HR is in the training zone).

Following the prescribed warm-up, once target intensity is achieved, the exercise can continue as long as the client is able to maintain their HR within the prescribed zone and as long as energy is available. Once the client’s heart rate begins to increase without an increase in workload, the exercise session is complete.

Lab 1 (week 2): Health Screening

Lab Overview
Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize important information you should gather prior to creating a CV program for a client.
  2. Be able to set-up and obtain resting heart rate using the stethoscope and radial pulse palpation.
  3. Be able to set-up and obtain resting blood pressure manually and using the automatic machine.
  4. Be able to set-up and accurately obtain a height, weight, and body mass index.
  5. Be able to set-up and accurately obtain waist circumference using various protocols.
  6. Witness HR and BP response to CV exercise.
Lab Tasks

By the end of the lab today, you should:

  1. Practice gathering information necessary to create an appropriate CV prescription. List variables you want to learn and client’s response on the worksheet provided.
  2. Review Pre-Screening done to reduce risk (client’s risk of injury and your risk of negligence)
  3. Practice taking Resting Heart Rate (RHR) and Resting Blood Pressure (RBP) and enter your client’s RHR and RBP on the worksheet provided. Indicate whether your readings are above/below the (increased risk) guidelines
  4. Using the NIH method, enter your client’s Ht, Wt, BMI, and WC on the worksheet provided. Take mental note of whether you would be above or below the (increased risk) guidelines
  5. Have client complete CV exercise at an ‘appropriate’ intensity for 10-15 minutes. Record HR every 2 minutes during exercise as well as HR during active recovery and HR & BP during passive recovery.