All exercise programs involve a level of training intensity within the workout. This training intensity indicates the level of stress that an individual will be placing on his or her muscles and nervous system during an exercise program. Intensity levels can usually be adjusted based on the individual's desired fitness outcome.
Physical fitness programs consist of two types of conditioning, aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic conditioning is the process by which an individual trains at a pace that is maintainable for long periods of time. Anaerobic is training at a level that requires more energy then is normally necessary, and therefore only possible for short periods of time within an exercise program.
High intensity training that is considered anaerobic will push the human body to a level that will produce a high heart rate and often generates a spike in improvement. This type of training is typically done in cycles, as the stress this places on the body requires considerable recovery time. High intensity training is not unique to any particular sport, and is used in most fitness programs to generate quick improvement.
A high intensity interval program is a hybrid of a high intensity training program, as it changes the intensity level over a specified time within an exercise program. Typically, this type of exercise requires a short burst of intensity immediately followed by a cool down period of about half of the time used during the burst. Most high intensity interval programs are used to produce fast results at burning fat, raising metabolism, and gaining speed.
Weight lifters and body builders also use training intensity to regulate the growth of strength, muscle, and endurance. Lifting heavy weights in a quick burst is an example of high intensity training for weight lifting. This type of training produces quick gains, but will not be sustainable over long periods of time due to the muscle fatigue from this type of exercise.
Low intensity training is also beneficial in an exercise program as it generates good circulation and overall well-being in the body, as well as providing for higher fat-burning characteristics. This type of training enables participants to exercise for a longer duration and typically produces fewer injuries then high intensity programs. Yoga, jogging, and walking are good examples of low intensity exercise.
It is important to consider the training intensity that will be required during a training program. Mixing the intensity will usually produce better overall results over the duration of an exercise program. Managing the training intensity balance is often the key to successfully obtaining goals within any exercise program.