If doing both low & high intensity cardio in the same session, does the order matter?

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Morik, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    If doing both low & high intensity cardio in the same session, does the order matter?

    E.g., if I swim for 40 minutes and jump-rope for three 3-minute rounds, is there an optimal order?

    If the two exercises are more than a few minutes apart (e.g., 15-20 minutes apart instead of one right after the other), does that change the answer?
  2. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    Normally you would warm up, do the hardest activity first which requires you to be the freshest and then the easier part of the workout.

    But I do know coaches that like to start easier and gradually ramp up intensity throughout the session.

    So either works the first is my preferred method but remember its hard and counter productive to work two energy systems at the same time, so make sure you are ready for what you are going to do and that you are working the same energy system
  3. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Do short-duration, high-intensity work before long-duration, low-intensity work. Reversing this order causes increased mechanical and chemical stress by raising blood lactate levels, and increases recovery time more than doing speed training before endurance training.

    Doing long-duration aerobic work first prefatigues slow-twitch fibres and reduces intramuscular coordination. This places more mechanical stress on fast-twitch fibres; fast-twitch fibres are structurally weaker than slow-twitch fibres. Mechanical stress damages muscle fibres and is the leading cause for muscle soreness.

    Mechanical stress is made worse by chemical damage from muscle acidosis, which is caused by the conversion of lactic acid to lactate, and an accumulation of hydrogen. Blood lactate is much less - and therefore chemical damage is less - when high-intensity effort is followed by low-intensity effort.

    That said, doing occasional workouts consisting of long-duration, low-intensity effort followed by short-duration, high-intensity effort will not hurt you and may be good for mental toughness. Some caveats to this however: 1) you must not exceed the anaerobic threshold too much, 2) you must be in good enough shape to recover from such workouts, and 3) remember that this back-to-front arrangement of efforts will reduce endurance, speed and agility in the long term if done too often.
  4. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    The only downside - to which I’ve not yet found a good answer - is that the two different training methods can confuse your muscle development.

    Anaerobic training develops fast twitch (type IIa and IIx) muscles. Whereas long-duration, low-intensity training develops slow twitch (type I) muscles.

    The best advice I’ve read so far is to periodise via focusing on aerobic training during a base phase, then transition into threshold and anaerobic training. However, I’ve not yet seen a conclusive answer to marrying the two types of training for martial arts.

    Some people (e.g. Parr) argue against undue focus on aerobic training, because martial arts tend to demand a lot of anaerobic fitness. Whereas others (e.g. Muay Thai Scholar) are more supportive of aerobic training, arguing that martial arts require both aerobic and anaerobic fitness.

    I’d welcome thoughts from others!
  5. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I do sometimes wonder about doing, e.g., shadow boxing & heavy bag work instead of spending that time swimming/walking hills/etc.
    I've heard vague things (but haven't looked into it) regarding an 'aerobic base', and that without it anaerobic gains will be hindered...

    One the one hand doing more Muay Thai instead of other cardio would increase my Muay Thai proficiency. But I'm not clear whether using Muay Thai/bag work/etc for all my cardio is sufficient...
    Also being able to use different muscles or different movements probably lets my body recover a little between Muay Thai sessions?
    If I did Muay Thai 6 days a week, vs doing it 3 days a week and other exercise 3 days a week, for instance.

    Basically my goal right now is to increase my conditioning so I'm not bottoming out by the end of class, and get to where I could do the more advanced class after the basic one without keeling over. (I'm usually fairly wrecked by the end of the beginners class.)
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  6. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    Combat sports are aerobic alactic sports arguing anything else is simply wrong, you simply have to put a heart rate monitor on someone and watch the results.

    Also arguing any event which can last anywhere between 15 and 25 minutes is anything other than largely aerobic is silly.

    The good news is that when most people say they are working the anaerobic system what they are really doing is working the power of the aerobic system, 3minute rounds are largely done at the upper end of the aerobic system and thus aren't anaerobic in nature and won't actually harm your aerobic training

    The only combat sport which can be considered anaerobic is really free style wrestlony
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
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  7. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    Recovery between rounds and over a long period is aerobic in nature, work n your aerobic base you will get plenty of alactic work in your class on the pads.

    If you want to recovery better you need to build a better aerobic system through lots of steady state work
  8. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    @icefield did your first sentence cut off early? Use it to mimic what?

    I think* the only anaerobic training I do is my 1/week strength training and some of the exercises they have us do in Muay Thai class (push-ups, sit-ups, etc).

    * I'm not well versed in this stuff, I should read up on it more. I recently got the Ultimate Guide to MMA Conditioning to read, and may also pick up the recently published book by Parr who Monkey_Magic mentioned in his post a few up from this one.
  9. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    Sorry forget my first post it was a typo

    Secondly read ultimate mma conditioning its easy to understand and Joel is hands down the best conditioning expert in mma
  10. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    Also rounds on the pads depending on length and intensity can be anaerobic in nature, its not the exercise per say its how its used
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  11. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I wear a HR monitor--can I determine from its data whether I was doing aerobic vs anaerobic exercise during a particular portion of my session?
  12. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    based on your HR zones, you can determine if you are working aerobic or anaerobic based on the percent of your max HR.
    your polar profile should be able to calculate this for you based on your minimum and max working HR.

    For optimum results I would also echo doing High intensity first, then low intensity.
    whenever I've done it the other way round I can never kick in enough to get the intensity up to the right level (and feel very drained).
    the other way round at least you can still get some low intensity work without dropping form as much.
    Morik likes this.
  13. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Oh is it the fit/fat thing? Seems to be about halfway up the graph, but the graph starts at 80 something BPM.
    The threshold for fit vs fat seems to be about 75% of max heart rate on the polar graph; below that is anaerobic I assume, and above that is aerobic?
  14. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    Without specific testing in a lab its hard to do get an accurate reading of your threshold but there are plenty of tests you can do to help determined your range within 5-10 beats such as the coopers test Joel mentions in his book.

    Don't get too caught up on exact measurements though the normal way of looking at it is 8-10 seconds of hard work you are training the alactic system, 10 to 60-90secs the lactic and over that the aerobic system but it's important to note the systems are always working together for instance a 400meter race which was thought to be totally lactic actually has 40% + input from the aerobic system.

    Your time is best spent in the system which is the least genetically determined, which is also the system you can improve the most and which helps you recovery and that is the aerobic system.

    Its best to work on the capacity of the system first , so increase the size of your gas tank through steady state work in the 130-150bpm range, or if you are old like me 120-140bpm work constantly 30-90 minutes multiple times a week to increase the size of your left ventricle so you can work harder and longer.

    Then add in working on the power of the system, (how much horsepower your engine has) so how much work you can output aerobically before going lactic, so higher heart rates multiple intervals.

    There's no point working on the later first because you will simply hit your lactic threshold too early it won't matter how explosive you are if you are spent in a minute or so.
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  15. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    Amazon UK’s currently selling Ultimate MMA Conditioning for £117 :eek:

    I quite like Parr’s book. It loses readability by jumping about a bit, but at least Parr has relevant know-how (strength and conditioning coach, sports science degree, ex Muay Thai fighter). More importantly, his book’s a lot cheaper than £117!
  16. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I got it for $53.99 (according to google this would be £40.79), from amazon US. It was a bit pricey, but I when I started searching around for recommended reading on conditioning for martial arts many people pointed to this book, so I figured I'd give it a read.
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  17. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    Go to sherdog look up posts by eza specifically the posts he started . it's the same person and the information there is free and almost as good as the book. There is a thread he started that's about 100 pages long and full of good stuff.

    Joel Jamison was the official pride s and c coach, rich Franklins coach, and is currently mighty mouses s and c coach the only other person at his level putting out stuff is Martin Rooney but joels stuff is IMHO better.
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  18. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    Its hands down the best book out there from an mma or combat sports perspective,

    It covers the science in an easy to understand manner and the templates are also easy to understand and implement.
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