Volume vs Intensity

The post is rated Ironman, see where you fall.

When it comes to Ironman training, the age old belief is “the more you go, the stronger you’ll grow.” For decades, the best endurance in the world have trained 20 + hours per week. If you think about the sheer distance of the Ironman race (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run…yes, all at one time) it would make sense that 3 to 4 hours of training per day is necessary.

What we don’t always realize is that huge volume also brings an increased risk of injury and even burn-out. I was reading an article just this past week on a new training regimen known as H.I.T. or “high intensity training.” The idea is to replace 3 to 4 long workouts each week with 30 minute efforts at 90% of maximum perceived exertion. I don’t know about you, but this freaks me out…

I just cannot wrap my around the notion of a 30 minute workout replacing a regularly scheduled 3 hour session, BUT then again…I have not tried it.

I guess it sounds ok in theory, but then again theory is no substitute for experience. I wonder if you might have any insight? My point is, just because something is new and different doesn’t necessarily make it bad or irrelevant.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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0 thoughts on “Volume vs Intensity

  1. I that was the mindset when Beachbody created the program “Insanity” – they used high intensity interval training with 3 minutes of heart-attack inducing moves, then a minute of rest. It only lasted 45-55 minutes and I can attest to it’s effectiveness. After going through two months of that, not only was I explosive in the short run, but had hours of endurance to call upon. I outperformed at boxing and Brazilian Jiujitsu in terms of stamina. It’s worth trying out, even if just to shake up your body and make it think for a second.

    • Tim, thank you for providing your specific experience! To your point, when our bodies are exposed to new and dynamic movements they are forced to adapt. The break from routine is what forces us to grow and you validate this with your comment here. I very much appreciate your feedback!