Doctors give patients urgent advice such as: stop smoking, eat healthy, and walk briskly for an hour every day. However, the optimal exercise intensity varies for each patient. A better method has now been developed for this.
Using “optimal strength” – the highest level at which you can perform cardio without exhausting – a team of sports scientists from Brigham Young University in the US was able to create a personalized exercise program for each study participant. . This is, they say, a more efficient way to determine the intensity each person should be exercising in order to get the best results.
It’s a common phenomenon among people who train with others to achieve a common goal: two people with similar fitness levels achieve very different results. It can be frustrating to find that your fitness and performance are barely improving, even though you’re doing your best.
Sports scientist Jason Gifford knows the feeling and has done everything he can to solve this problem with his team. And with success: they think they’ve cracked the code Formula for optimum strength This applies to every person, regardless of the health or fitness of the person concerned. Then the training program depends on it.
Sport as medicine
“One day we will prescribe a specific cardio program as a treatment,” says Professor Gifford. “In order to prescribe medication, you need to have an expected outcome for each dose. We’ve found that the same is true for exercise.” He explains that when patients are prescribed personal training based on their optimal ability, the results are predictable and measurable. Personal training improves endurance and long-term health. The team defines optimal strength as being highest in our comfort zone. “It’s the highest level we can do for a long time, before it starts to feel uncomfortable,” says lead author Jessica Collins.
When the effort is below a person’s critical strength, the body can compensate for the energy exertion and achieve a comfortable, controlled balance. However, if the effort is higher than the optimal amplitude, the body cannot fully compensate for the energy demands, leading to exhaustion.
Usually, an individual training program is created based on your maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 Max) or your maximum heart rate. But the researchers pointed out that optimal strength is the best way to train for condition. Not only do athletes get better results this way, but also the elderly, patients, and people with a more sedentary lifestyle. “This kind of research helps everyone, no matter how active you are currently,” Collins explains.
“One of the main reasons why people do not exercise as much as they should is because in the past they set an athletic goal and charted a path towards it, but during training the progress has been disappointing. They lack confidence in their own abilities or are frustrated by past experiences,” says Collins. . “The beauty of optimal strength-based exercise is that we can always accurately predict and guarantee the outcome, helping people achieve their fitness goals.”
optimum strength number
To calculate optimal strength, participants had to run and cycle as hard as possible for various distances. The average speed of all these short and long races has been entered into a formula that determines the relationship between training distance and training time, in order to arrive at an optimal power figure. Researchers have found that a person’s optimal energy output can be significantly increased through targeted exercise. This makes physical training that was previously difficult or impossible, less difficult and tiring.
“Exercise is so good for you that you will always see some progress no matter what you do,” says Gifford. “Through this research, people can make their exercise routine or training program more effective, so that they get more out of it. We are glad that we can contribute to improving the condition of everyone who is open to this.”
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