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High Intensity Anaroebic Threshold Training
"The Secret to First Quarter Strength, Speed, and Stamina in the Fourth Quarter"
Improve Core Stability. Improve Stamina. Maximize Performance.

By John D. Serafano, Exercise Applications Specialist,
Training Mask Research and Development

Introduction:

We have all heard the old adage that the secret to excellence is that there are no secrets. Although this piece of conventional wisdom may hold true in most cases, there are instances where there are training methods that can, indeed, amplify training efforts. Fatigue is a major obstacle in almost all sporting and fitness endeavors. This article is going to unveil how RRT (Respiratory Resistance Training) principles, and the use of the Training Mask during preparation/practice, can decrease the role fatigue plays during your competition. This training session is a circuit of four activities that are intended to push your anaerobic threshold limits (The Anaroebic Threshold is the point at which lactate begins to accumulate in the blood stream...the burning feeling telling you to stop the activity). Lastly, we will be using the concepts of heart rate monitoring, and perceived exertion to benchmark the workouts so that progress can be recorded.

  • Activity Circuit: (Uphill Sprints, Rhythmic Rope Oscillations, Jump Roping, Bear Crawl Sled Pulls.)
  • RRT Recovery/Preparation Protocols: (Pre set breathing - Post set recovery breaths.)

Warm Up: (The use of a heart rate monitor is recommended throughout all the activities. If you don't have access to a heart rate monitoring device, just use the perceived exertion table to set each activities intensity level)

Description/Protocol: Choose a mild form of full body activity such as a light jog. Using the PE chart below as a guide, do a 15 minute warm-up at a PE of 3/10. The target heart rate for this activity is around 60-70% of your max (To find your max heart rate subtract your age from 220). Try to maintain deep rhythmic breathing throughout the entire warm-up with exhales that are around two times longer than each inhalation. Make sure that you focus on trying to completely expel all of the air from your lungs on each exhalation. This will increase your lung volume for the following breath. (Heart Rate Chart and PE chart on following page).

calc-max-heart-rate.jpg perceived-exertion.jpg
http://www.cardiotennis.com/feel-the-beat/heart-rate-training/

Exercise 1: Uphill Sprints

Description/Protocol: The first consideration that needs to be addressed is finding a hill with an adequate grade (20-30 degrees should suffice). Next, pace off your starting and ending boundaries at 25-30 yards apart. After you have finished the setup, begin the uphill portion of the sprint. The goal is maximal exertion on each ascent (PE of 9/10), with a slight decrease of intensity on the descent (PE of 7/10). Perform as many sprints as you can in three minutes. Take note of your heart rate pre, during, and post activity for logging purposes. Over time, we want to see more sprints per block of time with a corresponding decrease in heart rate. Moreover, we would like to have a lower heart per unit of perceived exertion as well. In other words, with regular training, the objective is to make high exertion efforts easier physiologically. After you have completed the 3 minute sprint, move directly to exercise two. We will end up doing this exercise three times throughout the workout because the circuit will be completed three times. The first two bouts of this activity will be 3 minutes in duration, and the last set will only be 2 minutes long.

man-running.jpg
http://www.mensjournal.com/expert-advice/the-hill-sprint-workout-20121017

RRT Pre-Exertion Respiration Primer: Before you begin the sprint, place your hands on your hips and get into a comfortably erect standing position. The most important postural considerations to focus on here are shoulders back, neutral lumbar curve, and relaxed traps (muscles on top of your shoulders). Once you have assumed a neutral and biomechnically sound postural allignment, you can begin your warm up breaths. The respiration primer will only be performed once during this workout in lieu of performing a recovery protocol between exercises.

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We will be using all of the resistance settings for this workout. The first time through the circuit will be completed using 3,000 feet resistance, the second time through 6,000 feet resistance, and the final time through the 9,000 feet resistance setting will be utilized.

RRT Recovery Protocol: The recovery breathing technique is going to be similar to the respiratory primer described in the previous section. After you have completed your work-set assume the neutral postural alignment highlighted above. One of the first things you need to be aware of is how much tension is in your trunk muscles post exertion. Stored tension in the muscles post exertion is a waste of energy (it is also a surefire sign that fatigue is setting in). We are going to illicit a relaxation response in our trunk muscles by using controlled breathing mechanics. From the neutral postural position, inhale at...1001...1002...1003...RELEASE (let your muscles relax slowly with the initiation of the exhalation portion of the breath). Then exhale at...1004...1005...1006...1007...1008...1009...1010. Continue this breathing cadence for 90 seconds. After the 90 seconds is complete, move onto exercise two.

Exercise 2: Rhythmic Rope Oscillations

girl-ropes.jpg
http://www.omgtoplists.com/health/top-9-fitness-crazes-of-2013/

Description/Protocol: This exercise is superb at increasing upper body stamina. The beauty of this exercise lies in its simplicity. First grab one end of a rope or chain with each hand (note: this exercise is easier if the opposite end of the rope is anchored down). Next, flex your arms up and down to create rhythmic waves in the rope. This exercise must be performed up-tempo at a PE of 8/10 (i.e. heart rate of 90%+ of max) throughout the entire duration of the set. Execute this activity for 3-5 minutes for the first two circuits, and 2-3 minutes on the final exhaustion circuit.

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Use the 3,000 feet resistance/elevation setting for the first circuit of four exercises, 6,000 feet elevation/resistance setting for the second bout, and 9,000 feet resistance/elevation setting for the final exhaustion round of the four exercise circuit.

RRT Recovery Protocol After you have completed exercise two, place your hands on your hips and get into a comfortably erect standing position. The most important postural considerations to focus on here are shoulders back, neutral lumbar curve, and relaxed traps (muscles on top of your shoulders).. One of the first things you need to be aware of is how much tension is in your trunk muscles post exertion. Stored tension in the muscles post exertion is a waste of energy (it is also a surefire sign that fatigue is setting in). We are going to illicit a relaxation response in our trunk muscles by using controlled breathing mechanics. From the neutral postural position, inhale at...1001...1002...1003...RELEASE (let your muscles relax slowly with the initiation of the exhalation portion of the breath). Then exhale at...1004...1005...1006...1007...1008...1009...1010. Continue this breathing cadence for 90 seconds. After the 90 seconds is complete, move onto exercise three.

Exercise 3: Bear Crawl Sled Pulls

man-bear.jpg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNF-CuNaM0k

Description/Protocol: This phase of the workout is intended to emphasize sustained power output over a fixed low duration time interval. The illustration makes it clear that this exercise is a nuts and bolts approach to building full body power/torque. Once you have secured your harness, and your sled is loaded with the appropriate weight, you can start the work-set. There are two biomechanical considerations for the execution of this exercise. The first of which is maintaining a low center of gravity. The second consideration is that 75% of the driving force for the exercise should originate from the lower extremities. RRT Component: Try to remain vigilant throughout the set about your breathing rate and depth. If your breathing starts to get shallow and rapid, you will begin to lose leverage quickly. The name of the game is keeping your breathing deep in your abdomen. This will allow you to produce forceful exhalations which will allow you to inhale more air during inspiration. The intensity benchmark for this exercise should be at least a PE of  8-9/10 for the entire set. Perform the first two cycles of this exercise for 2-3 minutes, and the last bout at 1-2 minutes.

masks3.jpg

Use the 3,000 feet resistance/elevation setting for the first circuit of four exercises, 6,000 feet elevation/resistance setting for the second bout, and 9,000 feet resistance/elevation setting for the final exhaustion round of the four exercise circuit.

RRT Recovery Protocol After you have completed exercise three, place your hands on your hips and get into a comfortably erect standing position. The most important postural considerations to focus on here are shoulders back, neutral lumbar curve, and relaxed traps (muscles on top of your shoulders).. One of the first things you need to be aware of is how much tension is in your trunk muscles post exertion. Stored tension in the muscles post exertion is a waste of energy (it is also a surefire sign that fatigue is setting in). We are going to illicit a relaxation response in our trunk muscles by using controlled breathing mechanics. From the neutral postural position, inhale at...1001...1002...1003...RELEASE (let your muscles relax slowly with the initiation of the exhalation portion of the breath). Then exhale at...1004...1005...1006...1007...1008...1009...1010. Continue this breathing cadence for 90 seconds. After the 90 seconds is complete, move onto exercise three.

Exercise 4: Jump Rope (Preferably with a heavy rope if available)

Description/Protocol: Jumping rope is a good finishing exercise for this training circuit. The act of jumping rope takes a certain amount of total body coordination...and at this juncture of the workout, coordinated action will be a struggle because of fatigue. You are going to jump rope for 4-6 minutes for the first two cycles of the circuit, and 3-4 minutes for the last series of exercises. Shoot for a PE of 7/10, and a target heart rate of 85-90% of your max. Also be sure to track your errors, because our ultimate goal is to master fatigue by minimizing coordination errors while under duress.

man-jump-rope.jpg masks4.jpg
http://www.pouted.com/increase-vertical-jump-12-inches-days/

Use the 3,000 feet resistance/elevation setting for the first circuit of four exercises, 6,000 feet elevation/resistance setting for the second bout, and 9,000 feet resistance/elevation setting for the final exhaustion round of the four exercise circuit.

RRT Recovery Protocol After you have completed exercise four, place your hands on your hips and get into a comfortably erect standing position. The most important postural considerations to focus on here are shoulders back, neutral lumbar curve, and relaxed traps (muscles on top of your shoulders).. One of the first things you need to be aware of is how much tension is in your trunk muscles post exertion. Stored tension in the muscles post exertion is a waste of energy (it is also a surefire sign that fatigue is setting in). We are going to illicit a relaxation response in our trunk muscles by using controlled breathing mechanics. From the neutral postural position, inhale at...1001...1002...1003...RELEASE (let your muscles relax slowly with the initiation of the exhalation portion of the breath). Then exhale at...1004...1005...1006...1007...1008...1009...1010. Continue this breathing cadence for 90 seconds. After the 90 seconds is complete, move onto exercise three.

Summary:

Now that we have the exercises, and the RRT (Respiratory Resistance Training) highlighted, we can finish up with the workout structure. You are going to move from Exercise 1→Exercise 2→Exercise 3→Exercise 4. Secondly, make sure that the only rest breaks you take are the 90 RRT recovery periods between exercises. The last series of four exercises in the circuit is going to emphasize surpassing, and working within your anaerobic threshold break point. With that being said, your only goal on the last time through the circuit is to complete the full sequence of exercises with the 9,000 feet resistance/elevation caps at max exertion. If fatigue gets too overwhelming, take the mask off during the RRT recovery periods between sets to maximize oxygen re-uptake. Then put the mask back on when you start the next exercise. Do to the high intensity nature of this workout, we recommend that you only perform this workout once per week, and at least 5-6 days out from any competition. Good luck, and let RRT with the Training Mask, take your workouts to new heights.

References:

Caillaud, C., Anselme, F., Mercier, J., & Préfaut, C. (1993). Pulmonary gas exchange and breathing pattern during and after exercise in highly trained athletes. European journal of applied physiology and occupational physiology,67(5), 431-437.

Paulus, M. P., Flagan, T., Simmons, A. N., Gillis, K., Kotturi, S., Thom, N., ... & Swain, J. L. (2012). Subjecting elite athletes to inspiratory breathing load reveals behavioral and neural signatures of optimal performers in extreme environments. PLoS One, 7(1), e29394.

Serebrovskaya, T. V., Karaban, I. N., Kolesnikova, E. E., Mishunina, T. M., Kuzminskaya, L. A., Serebrovsky, A. N., & Swanson, R. J. (1999). Human hypoxic ventilatory response with blood dopamine content under intermittent hypoxic training. Canadian journal of physiology and pharmacology, 77(12), 967-973.

Taoutaou, Z., Granier, P., Mercier, B., Mercier, J., Ahmaidi, S., & Prefaut, C. (1996). Lactate kinetics during passive and partially active recovery in endurance and sprint athletes. European journal of applied physiology and occupational physiology, 73(5), 465-470.