Hit It Harder With HIIT

Think of your lactic threshold like a stopwatch counting down the seconds from the beginning of a sprint to the point where your legs feel like lead. Someone who isn't in shape can't sustain performance at this level, which might be 65% to 70% of their maximum heart rate. A conditioned athlete can keep the pace going just under their lactic threshold for an hour or more. Their threshold point might be has high as 90% of max heart rate.

A study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that pushing that threshold north of the 65% mark can quickly be achieved through interval training. Set your sights on performing at just over peak power output for half as long as you wind down your effort to a moderate pace. Researchers had 20 active adults add either one or two sessions of interval training to their regular workouts. One weekly session increased lactic threshold by 4% while two per week took it about 8% higher.

True Strength Moment: If these trained athletes could increase their performance by 4% to 8% in just 6 weeks, imagine what the average Joe or Jane can accomplish. This just goes to show that, whether you're a weekend warrior or aspiring pro, there's always room for improvement.
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