Why bother training at all?
There lots of different reasons to train and exercise, and lots of different ways to do it. The main benefits of training include;
- To improve health and fitness
- To improve skill levels and build motivation, ambition and confidence
- To gradually build up strength and endurance
Types of training
Generally speaking there are 5 different ways to train.
- Continuous Training
- Interval Training
- Strength Training
- Flexibility Training
- Plyometric Training
This variety allows you to pick a method that is best suited for your ability, fitness levels and medical needs.
We outline the different types of training below. If you already exercise and have a training plan, think about how you can switch things up a bit.
1. Continuous Training
If you are new to training or exercise, continuous training may be a good place to start.
- Continuous training is performed at a continuous intensity and does not include periods of rest
- Typical continuous activities are cycling, running and swimming
- These activities use large muscles groups which are required to perform the same movements over a longer period of time
- Intensity of continuous training can range from low to high depending on your ability
- Also a great way to build up your cardiovascular fitness before moving onto different training methods
Lots of health benefits come from training is this way. For example, continuous training;
- Helps improve your lungs and heart as requires your body to use oxygen to create energy
- Improves heart and lung function will benefit you in day to day life – going to the shops, climbing the stairs etc
- Helps you loose weight, continuous training tends to burn a lot of calories even at a low intensity
- Is great for your mental health, allows a time for you to switch off from daily life such as work, gives you the opportunity to relive some stress
If you are not sure what insensity to train at, below has some helpful hints;
- Moderate intensity – Breathing becomes heavy but you are still able to hold a conversation
- Vigorous intensity – Fast breathing and with difficult talking
- If you are able to use a device to measure your heart rate;
- Aim for between 60% – 70% of your maximum heart rate
- How to work this out:
- (220 – Age) x0.6 = 60% = Target minimum heart rate
- (220 – Age) x0.7 = 70% = Target maximum heart rate
2. Interval Training
Interval training is similar to continuous training but involves various different intensity and speeds. The main differences are;
- Interval training generally involves quicker, tougher workouts, that are efficient in burning calories in a shorter period of time
- This is achieved through of high intensity bursts of exercise with low intensity recovery exercises
- This can help increase fitness and burn more calories in a shorter period of time
- Interval works outs are designed to be tough, therefore, it is advised for you to build up some stamina and cardiovascular fitness before taking on interval training
- A workout typically lasts from 20 – 30 minutes
The benefits of interval training include:
- Improved fitness as well as endurance
- Exposure to varying intensities including walking, jogging and sprinting
- Reducing injury risk and body become accustomed to varying demands and forces
Incorporating interval training into training sessions even just once a week can help keep your training interesting and varied. Interval training can really help those who play sports such as football, rugby and netball where there are varying intensities throughout a game.
3. Strength Training
Strength training is also known as weight training or resistance training. It is designed to increase muscular strength as well as fitness. The main principle of strength training to is load muscle and tendons so they adapt and become stronger over time. Regular strength training is beneficial for people of all age groups and can broadly be broken down into push or pull movements.
Strength training and help with achieving day to day tasks more affectively and also decreases the risk of injury.
As you progress, it is important to focus on form and slowly build on increasing weight/resistance as well as repetitions/sets.
4. Flexibility Training
Our bodies also benefit from being flexible as well as strong.
- Flexibility training stretches your muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons
- Helps improve your range of motion, which leads to an improved freedom of movement
- It can help with muscle fatigue, poor joint health and muscle stress
- One way to easily improve flexibility is through daily stretching
- By stretching and lengthening the muscles helps improve blood flow to the muscles which promotes recovery
- Pilates and Yoga are both examples of activities that help improve flexibility
5. Plyometric Training
Pylometric training is also sometimes call explosive or high impact training. It exposes our bones and muscles to higher forces and can help in conditions such as low bone density. However, impact training must be introduced slowwly and carefully to avoid injury, and ideally under the advice of a professional.
The benefits of pylometric training include;
- Increases muscles strength and power
- Allows you to run faster, jump higher and change direction quickly
- Beneficial for a wide range of sports and activities but especially explosive sports which involve jumping
- Decreases injury risk if introduced correctly as exposes the body the higher forces.
Plyometric training involves high intensity explosive movements, which lengthens the muscle and then quickly shortens it again. Examples of movements are box jumps, skipping and burpees.
The term athletic training, doesn’t necessarily involve training for something competitive. It can be incredibly usefuly just to improve your overall fitness in day to day tasks and life. Taking part in some kind of physical activity is better than none!
There is a training method more suited for everyone even if you are just starting out and there are lots of ways to adapt your training to make it more interesting. Having variety in our activty is the best way of keeping fit and injury free.