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. In response to Matt I think the MD response is your best bet but not just any cardiologist speak with and get medical approval from individual clients Dr. Also RPE instead of HR if the meds affect HR response to exercise.

  2. mboyle1959 Says:

    I know but you have a huge liability issue that you expose yourself too. I hate to cop out but, I really don’t know.

  3. I understand your “MD” reply but its funny because I haven’t got a straight answer from any MD’s.

  4. mboyle1959 Says:

    I like the Polar Team system. It is not simple to use and probably has too many bells and whistles. However, the data, even just from observation standpoint, is really powerful. If you want contact info, let me know.

  5. mboyle1959 Says:

    I’d suggest you be careful. I would talk to an MD, preferably a cardiologist. That question is above my pay grade.

  6. What would you suggest for clients on beta blockers?

  7. Mike,

    I’ve had a few sport coaches ask and request about obtaining heart rate monitors to use in conjunction with our interval training. I’ve always recommended looking into Polar Team system, but have not met anybody that had experience using it. With your recommendation, could you take a moment to describe your setup? We looked into the Polar Team² Pro system but didn’t necessarily know what is needed to facilitate conditioning sessions for a team. Is it just the base station, a single transmitter for every athlete, the transmitter charger, and the Polar Team software? Thanks Mike, for any information you could provide.

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