Tag Archives: heavy light medium

The Nose Knows

Heart rate monitors and tracking things to the finest detail are not for everyone.

There is another way you can regulate your efforts in training, you will actually learn to listen to your body and know just how fatigued you really are.

3 Stage Breathing

  • Nasal (breathing in and out only through the nose)
  • Nasal/Mouth (in through the nose, out through the mouth
  • Mouth (breathing in and out through the mouth)

The first stage can be considered pace breathing, the second is utilised for more vigour activity and the last many deem to be panic breathing, or in a fitness sense a max effort.

When training you can regulate your sets based on how you breath.

You’ll find that Nasal only will keep your efforts in a very manageable realm, it may even feel like you’ve not done too much and you’d leave feeling energised and strong. Once you start to lose the rhythm you’d rest, the begin once again when you feel your heart calm.

Next up would be training to the point where you can continue to breath in deeply through your nose and are forced to exhale via your mouth do to an increased effort, think sub-max, as this is sustainable and will be easy to recover from, meaning once you feel your heart calm you get back to it.

Lastly this is where you’d be pushing a max effort, you’d stop once you’d no longer be able to continue with the same level of intensity, your recovery comes in the form of being able to breath nasally again, that means you’re read to go again.

Basing your rest periods on how you breathe will be very eye opening for you.

Not only will you be able to gain more control of your HR, it will also show if you’re recovered or are perhaps suffering some lingering fatigue, this is because it will take you longer to calm your heart if your in a state closer to constant sympathetic dominance and in a touch of deep in-road.

While it will take time to get used to, this is a wonderfully personal way of training based on your own individual level of fatigue.

Give it a go the next time you train.

Split the types of breathing in to Hard-Medium-Easy days.

  • Easy day = Nasal Only (in/out)
  • Medium day = Nasal (in) & Mouth (out) > once back to nasal only = recovered for next effort
  • Hard day = Mouth (in/out) > once back to nasal only = recovered for next effort


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Too hard, too often.

It’s not unusual for those who love training to go a little hard at the gym leaving nothing left in the tank and while it might seem like they will make progress this way, following this route will often leave you broken and without meaningful progress.
It’s an easy place to fall in to.
Back when what would breed the training of today was originally becoming popular (1800’s) there were two main schools of though:
– Daily practice of heavy lifting, near done to failure
– Cycling heavy, light and medium sessions
Both provided solid foundations of strength and built great physiques, as such there is a lot that we can learn from these teaching.
When it comes to those who like to lift heavy and often, picking 1-3 movements is all you need per session (focusing on those 1-3 for an extended period of time is also advised), it’s imperative you make sure you’re stopping well short of failure, as such this will mean each set is of limited repetitions and there is multiple sets (to get in the required volume to grow), you’ll leave the session feeling strong and potentially like you could have done more, don’t do more.
This style of training on the nerve can be quite taxing is you start chasing fatigue instead of performance, remember, you don’t want to start feeling tried/drained, if you do that means you’ve done too much and need to stop.
Take a deload every 3rd or 4th week, it will keep you lifting for longer.
The second option suit itself to many different goals, the former is more of a strength/performance method.
The use of H-L-M training sessions is a great way to train because it will allow you to have one session with maximal intensity, one that focuses on recovery and the last one that allows you to put ins one well needed work on volume/reps.
Some in the modern age call this method DUP (daily undulating periodisation).
The hardest thing about cycling is the temptation to make each session super hard and that’s not the idea, the light session is designed to let fatigue dissipate, hence why having it between the heavy and medium is ideal. You can also base your volume numbers off of your heavy day, for example:
H – worked up to a top set of 5
L – sets of 10 to increase blood flow and practice movement
M – 80% of the top 5 on heavy day for volume work to failure
You’d be surprised how well this works on either full body or split styles of training. The rep options you have for this are endless depending on your goal.
The reason the styles of method lost some favour over the years is because they didn’t fit in with the trend of ‘more is better’, it’s worth remembering that often times more is rarely better, it’s just more.
If you’re a little lost in your training give one of these a try, you’ll find not going for broke each session will not only keep you lifting longer but also give you focus and much needed progress.

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