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WEEKLY WORKOUT: Contrast Training

Personal trainer Angie Gallagher always has new tricks up her sleeve.  She calls this workout “cardio legs,” because it blasts the legs while pumping up your heart rate.

The technical terms is contrast training.  It combines different types of resistance training in one workout.

“You take a really heavy exercise, like dumbbell squats and do one set to about failure,” explained Gallahger.  “You follow that immediately with a plyometric or explosive power move.”

For instance, squats with weights are followed immediately by box jumps.  You can do the cycle multiple times, using multiple exercises.  Side lunges and speed skaters are another example.

Physiologically, our bodies are going through what’s called potentiation.

“It’s where your muscles are capable of generating more force,” said Gallagher.  “It lasts about thirty seconds to a minute after you’ve done the heavy strength training.”

Your heart rate also stays elevated throughout the workout, making it the best of both worlds – a cardio workout with strength training.

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