Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Intensity vs Duration

I have taught dog obedience classes for about six years now. When teaching the "stay" to my puppy class students, I always stress to the handlers to never try to work both distance and duration at the same time. Meaning, don’t move 5 feet away from your dog and expect it to say for 5 minutes out of the box. Rather I stress to stay right in front of their dog and build up duration (the amount of time their dog stays in the sit) first, then start by moving one step away. At the same time they step away, they need to lower their expectations for the time that the dog stays. So now their dog is staying for 30 seconds with them 1 step away. Now move 2 steps away….and 3 steps away…..until you can be on the other side of the room. That is my preferred way of building a reliable stay.

I think I have found something similar in exercise. We can't expect to come out of the shoot running a marathon. We have to start with something and then build on it. I have slowly built up my time on the Stairmaster, increasing the duration of time I could spend on the machine. In a previous post I mentioned that I have gone from 2.5 minutes to a total of 34 minutes. If I keep adding a minute or two to my workout, I will need two lunch hours to get through it all.

I use the setting called random, on level one so I have lots of ups and down. Well, today, I lowered my duration and increased my intensity. I still set it at random and did 15 minutes for the first interval but I bumped it up to level 2. I did an 8 minute second interval also at level 2. Let me tell you ---I had sweat running down my legs I was working it so hard. I’m talking I knocked it out of the park, left it all on the gym floor. I can honestly say I was much more exhausted doing 23 minutes on level 2 than I had been doing 34 minutes on level one. That is the only thing I changed, just the intensity.

So my plan is to increase my duration for a couple of weeks at level 2 and then I will do the same thing. Lower my time and increase to level 3. I think this will keep challenging my body and help keep the weight loss steady.

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