Old 01-19-12, 04:01 PM
  #14  
Enthalpic
Killing Rabbits
 
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Originally Posted by graphs View Post
There is a downside though, right? Isn't the common belief that while very intense training like that can produce results quickly, it can only be sustained for a relatively short time?
Of course, all forms of training involve some form of tradeoff or downside.

Highly intense exercise is very effective at improving fitness but it has downsides if used chronically.

There appears to be an intensity threshold around 80% of VO2max where the fight-or-flight response to stress is strongly activated (sympathetic nervous system, catecholamines, adrenocorticotropic hormones, cortisol, yadda yadda). While these changes temporarily give you “superhuman strength” prolonged activation leads to negative health effects and hampers recovery (insufficient parasympathetic activity, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal/gonadal system disregulation, etc).

Since we know that exercise at intensities between 50 – 80% VO2max can increase fitness for prolonged periods without screwing you up too much it should probably make up the majority of your training except for particular periods. Of course you can mess yourself up with too much volume too…
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