Each week I'll upload some new fitness related information or question. So come back regularly for the latest update from a highly experienced personal trainer in Eaton (Norwich).
Imagine you’re facing a mugger on the street. It’s late, it’s dark and you’ve just taken £50 out of the cashpoint. Suddenly a threatening figure tries to snatch your wallet or your purse. What do you do? Here our ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response appears in all it’s glory. Freezing is an option where you just get robbed. But if you’re going to either run or fight back, your body will call on its anaerobic energy systems.
Anaerobic simply means without oxygen and describes how the body produces energy to work muscles in short, usually high intensity, bursts. So, you fight your mugger, it’s going to be intense but over quickly. You want to run, the chase will be over in 50-100 metres. No mugger is going to run a 10k to get your £50.
In essence, there are two anaerobic energy systems. The ATP-PC system which works really quickly but can only sustain itself for around 10 seconds and the Lactate system which will power you for around two minutes. If activity lasts any longer than this, we start to slow as the aerobic energy system kicks in (more of this next week).
Ok, so most people aren’t going to be faced with the ‘mugger’ situation every day, or indeed ever. But they will need to use their anaerobic energy systems. Running for a bus or sprinting after the kids to stop them running into traffic. Trying to take the stairs two at a time or carrying heavy bags of shopping to the car. So, training them is important.
But how? Will the current fashion for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is one way. But don’t believe the hype, it’s not a magic bullet and not the only form of training you need. Varying your pace for short bursts when out running is another way as is running hill repeats. Or indeed good, old fashioned circuit training. Eye-popping short bursts in other words. Make it part of your weekly routine.
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