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AGONIZING INTERVALS

Been doing some “Intervals” – short, intense bursts of aerobic exercise, followed by short rests and more hard bursts – in preparation for the Head of the Charles Regatta in October. Intervals are plenty hard, if you do them right, but I have the unfortunate sense that they are the key to good aerobic shape and fitness. Lately have been rowing “ladders”: that is, going as hard as you can for one stroke, then one easy stroke. Then two hard and two easy and so on. All the way up to 17… the top of the ladder. Then down again. Trust me, it is exhausting. But I sense that it is already having a real impact on my old body.

Preliminary conclusion: Intervals are a key ingredient of aerobic exercise for just about every one.

Dreary news:  EXCEPT that it makes you feel wonderful. Eventually.

About Author

Chris Crowley

2 Comments

  1. jcareyscott

    My name is Carey Scott. I live in Panama City, FL and will turn 57 this Holloween. Yes, I was born on Holloween. And, yes again, it’s a badass birthday to have!

    Anyway, I thought you may be interested to know that I began about a year ago using both Younger and Thinner as “platforms” for what I saw as my comeback. Having been athletic and a runner until my fourth knee surgery in my later forties, I spent the following years pretending to be the dough boy.

    So, I began using a trainer and all but only half heartedly engaged. In the first part of March of 2015, I threw down the gauntlet and began in earnest. As of this writing, October 6, I have taken off over 50 pounds of fat (I call it goo) and have added around 15 pounds of muscle. I can do exercises I never thought I could, a lot of core balancing stuff and what not.

    Currently, I am cycling a ton. I have invested in indoor training gear as well as both hybrid and road bikes along with all the fun accessories I enjoy shopping for and using. I plan on beginning competition next month.

    So, to make a long story boring, it works. It has changed my life and, according to friends and family, my looks and attitude. The feeling you have waking up without the goo and the attendant worry is indescribable. On a wonderful (and ending) note, my results have positively influenced folks who have seen what I’ve been up to and want it. I suspect they have bought a some books and some bikes. Good for them. Cheers!

  2. The 20-second rule on intervals has done miracles for me. I mainly do 60-stride uphill sprints, which actually take me 24 seconds (when timed). Every now and then, I’ll do 72 or 84 strides to vary it, but that’s entirely optional and not a requirement. I might fit 11-15 60-stride sprints into a 30 to 35 minute run, or in a pinch, do 5 intervals in a 10-minute run. Something that some may not have thought about… not only does uphill sprinting increase effort against gravity (upping intensity), it lowers impact at the same time, as your legs go up quite a bit more distance than they go down with each uphill stride. So you can lower the impact of sprints by doing them on uphill stretches. Fortunately, I live in a very hilly neighbourhood in a very hilly town. Benefits? I started in April 2014. HIgh intensity work seems to be an immune system booster. I haven’t been sick in any way or had allergies in two years. A 20-year sinus infection has cleared up. My overall running time has improved 15-20%. EPOC is initiated, burning fat for up to 38 hours post-exercise. I am 66 years old, and have been a runner for almost 47 years. (Strength training added in 2005, after reading YNY, and then high intensity training added in the spring of 2014).

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