General conditioning is a component of many exercise programs, as demonstrated in recent posts by Chris and Scott. In response to one of Nancy's clients, we discuss the merits of interval training for general conditioning.
In this podcast (Quicktime iPod compatible download, 28MB; Google streaming flash video), Nancy Arnold and I (Bud) go over a question put to her by one of her clients (we'll call the client C). C wanted to know what the value of interval training was compared to straight sets.
C had come to Nancy because, while she had been an off-and-on exerciser, she had knocked off for the last year and a half and wanted some help getting back on the wagon. Further, C had noted a loss in muscle mass as she got older and hoped to regain muscle. After starting an interval training program with Nancy, C saw people doing straight sets of weight lifting exercises and wondered how intervals would get her to the point where she could do that too.
Nancy explains that, given C's previous lay-off from all exercise, she is doing intervals with C to develop her general conditioning before progressing to heavier weight training. As we note, general conditioning is a component of many training programs. Chris Dorr is doing dinosaur training to develop his overall stamina, and Scott Bird has really gone to work on the kettlebell to keep his conditioning up while his weightlifting gear journeys from England to Australia. Indeed, general conditioning is a component of the periodization program Nancy and I are currently pursuing.