Metabolic Conditioning


There has been lots of talk about metabolic conditioning for both fitness and fat loss. In the past I have posted these workouts under the heading Real Life Intervals. It’s funny because certain groups think they have cornered the market on hard work. In my mind, the best work device in the world is the Schwinn Airdyne. Between Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning and Boston University Hockey we own about 28 Airdynes. I know, they need a little maintenance but they are worth it. This is a workout done on what we refer to as “the big fan” Airdyne with the large front fan.

FYI, the work intervals are prescribed by distance, this way no one can dog it. If you use time you need to watch people. If you use distance, they either ride harder or longer. In this case the work interval was 1/2 mi.

Rest is based on heartrate. This means that we wait for the heartrate to drop to about 60%. There is no magic to 60% but it works. For my BU athletes we use 65% as that seems to be their recovery heartrate on the bench.  In either case the entire workout stays in the theoretical aerobic range.

We now have our Polar Team System on a big screen TV so there is no hiding.

Time       Heartrate        Rest

Interval 1  .5 mi       1:25         150                   :60

Interval 2 . 5 mi      1:20        160                 1:20

Interval 3  . 5 mi     1:20        166                  1:25

Interval 4  .5 mi     1:20         168                 2:00

Interval 5  .5 mi     1:20        170                 2:00

Interval 6  .5 mi    1:20        177

I think the key measure of fitness is recovery. How fast does your heartrate go down. We train for a combination of work consistency and recovery. Try it.

14 Responses to “Metabolic Conditioning”

  1. […] Metabolic Conditioning – 6 x .5 miles work : recovery based on HR at approx 60-65 % of max.  via Michael Boyle at StrengthCoach.com […]

  2. mboyle1959 Says:

    So true, and miles are worse.

  3. There must be something psychological or physiological or both when it comes to distance intervals over time. Tabatas are killers, but you know the interval is over in 20 seconds, and you can see the clock tick. You know that you can do it. With .5 miles, it’s just different, and by different, I mean tougher. At least for me. You’re dying, you look down, and you see that you still have a quarter mile to go! You don’t dare slow down, or it will take longer to get it done. And even when you’re done, you know you have to do it all over again once the heart rate comes down enough. I really hate them, which tells me that I am probably doing the right thing.

  4. mboyle1959 Says:

    Adam- yes, base station and transmitters are all you need. There is a learning curve but I love the feedback. I can connect you with Tricia Sterland at Polar?

  5. […] Metabolic Conditioning « Michael Boyle's Strengthcoach.com Blog […]

  6. Gary and Mike, thanks for reply, RPE makes sense, sorry I was not looking for specifics I guess, I was more curious to see what other coaches like yourself think. I am on beta blockers myself and aggressively mountain bike and integrate a wide variety of training applications. The only thing I have personally noticed from the blunted HR response that my intensity kicks out a little early in the later rounds of conditioning. Using that team display with the polar system is awesome.

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