I want to talk a bit about interval training and why it’s probably the best choice to use when you’re designing fitness routines for your students.
One of the great things about interval training is that you alternate aerobic segments with stretching and strength development activities. The reason that’s so important is because younger students quickly fatigue and go off task. By keeping the intervals short, they’re going to have time to recover aerobically when stretching or doing muscular development activities.
Types of Interval Training
The most common intervals that we use for students is 30 seconds of aerobic activity, followed by 30 seconds of stretching or strength development activity. That gives them time to rest in between the two and for too long we’ve led students through fitness activities using intensity, number of repetitions, speed or distance, all things that favor the gifted. Even though we talk about doing your best fitness instruction always seems to resort back to these overload variables. Instead, use time as your variable and encourage students to do their best within the timeframe. That means that gifted students may do more in the same amount of time, but it will also sell students on effort and doing their best without comparison – particularly those students who may be less gifted and are trying hard but could never do as many as their more gifted peers.
Why Interval Training?
Interval training is one of the most important fitness training approaches because it alternates work and rest interval. Most fitness routines you do can be adapted to intervals. For example, circuit training, parachute exercises, continuity exercises, race track fitness, fitness challenges, and movement challenges, just to name a few. The bottom line of all this is if you use time as your overload variable, it will allow your students to do their best without having to measure up to one set standard. Who cares if all students don’t do the same number of repetitions or perform at the same intensity? Doing your best in a set time interval will ultimately help students feel successful regardless of their genetic gifts. Success is always the best motivator for staying committed to a lifetime of fitness.