I’m often asked what I do for training off the court. I wanted to share the following with you in hopes that you’ll consider working these into your weekly regime for fully optimized fitness.
Please note that these are pretty intense recommendations and you should consult with your professional trainer and/or physician. Personally, I recommend you get a yearly physical in order to develop a well thought out training program. Remember - this is a journey that, when well crafted, can result in very positive lifelong benefits.
If you want all parts of your human biology to work well from a cardiovascular standpoint, add these three tips to your workout protocol.
Oxygen is important for training because it breaks down the carbs, fats and proteins in your body to make it into usable fuel. What happens if you have less oxygen than is required? Your body will find other ways to fuel your muscles, often producing more lactic acid, which will slow you down. More oxygen into the bloodstream equals less lactic acid - and that’s definitely a good thing.
Maximum Oxygen Uptake (or VO2) is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption measured during exercise of increasing intensity. Interval training is the best way to train your lungs to work most efficiently. My recommendation is to do the following 1-2 times a week:
- Choose an aerobic activity that you enjoy (e.g. bicycling, jogging, swimming, etc…)
- Work at maximum effort for 4 minutes
- Rest 4 minutes
- Repeat for 4-6 rounds
During aerobic exercise, most of the energy your muscle cells need is supplied by the mitochondria, a cellular component often referred to as the "powerhouse" of the cell. Mitochondria do all the heavy-duty work to keep your muscles moving. In other words, the more mitochondria you have, the more energy you can generate during exercise and the faster and longer you can exercise.
To increase mitochondrial density, do this once or twice a week:
- 30 seconds of HARD exercise (cycling, running sprints, etc)
- Rest 4 minutes
- Repeat for 4-5 rounds
The final component is Tabata training. Tabata is a timed interval method that alternates between 20-second intervals performed at maximum effort and 10-second stages of rest, repeated eight times for the ultimate exhaustive four-minute workout.
You can do pretty much any exercise you wish, whether it’s squats, push-ups, burpees or any other exercise that works your large muscle groups. Kettlebell exercises work great, too.
With less than an hour a day, you can maintain extremely high levels of fitness with some of these protocols. For more detailed information, you can check out Ben Greenfield’s Biohacker Summit talk. He has a vast amount of knowledge and experience that he shares.
In the meantime, tell me what you do for your cardio fitness by leaving a comment below or emailing me directly. If you liked what you read, be sure to share with your friends and family so they can learn more about cardiovascular training options to improve their overall health!