Here is an overlooked system to train for increased recovery ability and to be more robust.
The first system was temperature and the second system is pH.
Your body has to regulate both core temp and blood pH very tight. Small deviations = no bueno.
Since your body is an amazing adaptive organism, you can train to tolerate higher temps, cooler temps, low pH and even higher pH temporarily.
One of the most common ways to train pH is by high intensity exercise (HIIT) as it creates tons of lactate and H+ ions. Yep, literally an acid.
The caveat here is that I am talking about true HIIT, not the mamby-pampy “HIIT” stuff done by the poor souls who hop on the treadmill at Planet Fitness. Or the random chest thumpers on the ole interwebZ that show a pool of sweat with the tag line “High intensity work done today for 45 minutes. Gotta train hard, bro #gainZ #intensity. “
Newsflash, High-Intensity Hank, if you can do it for 45 minutes continuously, that is not high intensity, bro-sefus.
The classic high intensity (HIIT) method used to torture clients and exercise physiology students around the world is Wingate testing.
When I was doing my PhD at the University of Minnesota, I was one of the TAs for the 400 level Exercise Physiology class where each Friday we would have a practical in the lab.
One of those practicals was Wingate testing.
Coach Cal Dietz and his staff were in the same building on the other side, and they shared one of the bathrooms with the Ex Phys. lab.
One day, one of Cal’s assistants (Kevin) poked his head around the corner into the lab.
I said hi and asked Kevin what was up.
“Ah, I figured you were doing Wingate testing today,” Kevin said.
“How did you know?” I asked.
“One of your students is puking in the bathroom so I figured it was Wingate testing day.”
Spot on assessment, Kevin.
Wingate testing is all-out-light-your-balls-on-fire max output for 30, 60 or even 180 seconds.
In the lab, we used special bikes where you start at a low wattage after your warm up. When the TA says GO, the student pedals as fast as they can for several seconds against a very low wattage (work). Easy right?
Wait for it …
….then BOOM, I flip the switch on the bike that instantly bumps up the wattage from
50-100W to 300 -700W or more instantly. The test has now started.
The student here keeps pedaling as hard as they can the entire time.