The overload principle as applied to interval training is accomplished through the manipulation of five variable.
- Rate and distance of work interval.
- Number of repetitions during each workout.
- Relief interval or the time between work intervals.
- Type of activity during relief interval.
- Frequency of training per week.
There are many advantages to the interval training system as compared with other methods of training. Among these are
- A precise control of the stress.
- A systematic day-to-day approach, enabling one to easily observe progress.
- More rapid improvement in energy potential than in other methods of conditioning
- A program that can be performed almost anywhere and that requires no special equipment.
Selecting the type of work for the work interval
Interval training prescriptions for athletes employ a work interval in which the exercise is specific to that athlete’s sport. Swimmers would structure their programs in accordance with their specific swimming needs, whereas track athletes would employ running appropriate to meet the demands of their events.
The type of work chosen for general conditioning is based mainly on preference, because improving a specific sports skill might not be of primary concern. A person could select a single activity that he or she most enjoys, or several activities, such as swimming, jogging, jumping rope, cycling, or calisthenics. General conditioning takes place mainly in the off season.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed