Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cardio Max

By Courtney Westlake


It's a common misconception that 30 minutes of constant jogging or stepping at one pace is the best exercise you can get. In truth, your body gets the most ideal workout when you reach all different levels of your heart rate.

"Interval training is important when you exercise so you're not at that steady heart rate zone; you want to dip into all levels of your heart rate during your workout," said Amanda Jillson, assistant director of fitness and instructional programs at the TRAC.

To give people a try at interval training, the TRAC will be offering a new group fitness class called Cardio Max, which starts Monday, June 9 and runs throughout July.

Cardio Max will be held in Fitness Area 1, Jillson said. Participants in the class will use ellipticals, treadmills, recumbent bikes or upright bikes for their cardio routine, and an instructor will guide participants through the workout.

"Participants in our P90X class like being out on the floor and not just in the fitness room, so we decided to bring in Cardio Max," Jillson said. "It's an alternative to group exercise classes in the fitness room."

In the class, participants will select a machine of their choice and warm up for two or three minutes at a beginning speed. Then the pace will be increased to mild, moderate and finally, a sprint to achieve a certain stride, RPM or mile per hour.

The class will run from 12:30 p.m. until about 1 p.m. and is a "great workout in such a short amount of time," Jillson said.

Interval training burns more calories than if exercising at a constant speed on treadmill or bike, so you want to dip into the different zones of your heart rate if your goal is to burn more calories, Jillson said.

"You're exerting more energy, therefore burning more calories and more fat in a shorter amount of time," she said. "This is a great class for someone who wants a great workout and wants to be told what to do, instead of getting on a machine and not knowing what to do except plugging away at same speed for 30 minutes."