Low to moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise can increase blood flow to muscle and various other tissue, which not only can deliver nutrients to damaged tissue, but also can shuttle away the waste by-products of exercise to help speed up central systemic-based recovery...as opposed to taking a day off completely from any form of exercise.
Doing it right allows for very low central nervous system or mechanical fatigue to the body, while providing just enough stimulation to drive the processes referenced above.
There are 3 main methods that we like that can be used on low intensity days and/or day when extra recovery is needed. These methods are called:
- Cardiac Output
- Tempo Intervals
- High Resistance Intervals
Completing these methods and spending time in the Morpheus blue Recovery Zone can actually aide in recovery as compared to taking a day off. You can certainly also use any of these methods on any day, not just when your recovery score is low.
NOTE: All heart rate training methods should be placed into a customized plan that allows for alterations each day depending on recovery score, how much time you have, and your mindset that day.
- The Cardiac Output Method is also often referred to as LSD (long slow distance).
- This method tends to get a bad rep because of its low intensity and potential to be "boring".
- This method helps develop the left ventricle of the heart and the overall vascular network needed to support higher levels of intensity.
- This is a great method to learn and focus on dynamic energy control. The low intensity can help you focus on breathing techniques to lower your heart rate.
- This method doesn't need to be the same pace or even the same exercise for the entire duration. Do whatever is best for your physical and mental mindset.
Below is an example of what one of these workouts may look like. You want to spend the majority of your time toward the top of the blue zone and bottom of the green zone.
When you do this method correctly, you should feel good during and afterward. You should not feel fatigued. And you will notice that Morpheus may adjust your recovery score up by giving you a "+" %.
The tempo method interval is a moderate intensity interval meant to promote blood flow into the moderate threshold fibers.
This is a GREAT method for recovery because it’s not overly challenging, yet 70% max intensity for a bunch of reps and proper rest periods should be enough to provide some CNS stimulation and promote great blood flow to tissues and aide in recovery.
- Looking for about a 10-12 sec work period at about 70% max intensity (many different exercises could be used, pick one).
- Each is followed by a 60 sec active recovery period focused on breathing and driving heart rate down quickly.
- Repeat 10-20 reps.
Below is an example of what one of these workouts may look like. With Morpheus as your guide, these intervals should drive heart rate to upper end of the blue zone or lower end of the green zone.
More info on this method can be found here: The Ultimate Recovery-Boosting Interval
High Resistance Intervals
The high resistance interval method interval is a moderate intensity interval meant to promote blood flow into the high threshold fibers.
The easiest way for most people to do this method is a on a hill or an incline on treadmill. It can also be done on a bike or any other equipment capable of high resistance.
- Looking for about a 10-12 sec work period at max speed/intensity
- Each is followed by enough active recovery to drive heart rate into the lower half of the blue zone. Focus on breathing and driving heart rate down quickly.
- Repeat 10-20 reps.
The goal is to do as many as you can with really good form (as form becomes difficult to maintain because of the high resistance) and while your heart rate can still come down relatively quickly to the lower half of the blue zone.
Below is an example of what one of these workouts may look like. With Morpheus as your guide, these intervals should drive heart rate to upper end of the blue zone or lower end of the green zone and then recover to the lower half of the blue zone.
You may notice that these intervals look very similar to Tempo Intervals (heart rate ranges will be very similar), but they are very different due to the high resistance and max intensity you should shoot for each rep; as opposed to low resistance and 70% max intensity for Tempo Intervals.