What we can learn from Virat Kohli’s workout session

Virat Kohli continues to inspire us, not just with his cricketing skills but also with his dedication towards fitness. In a short video shared by Virat Kohli on social media recently, he is seen performing a short but intense burst of cycling and running on treadmill.  

Here is the video:

virat-kohli-working-out

This is what Virat mentioned while sharing the video.

“Sneak peek into my morning cardio session. 15 mins on the bike at level 3 maintaining an RPM of 120 throughout then straight onto the treadmill for 10 strides of 20 second each and step on the sides for 10 secs rest in-between. 10 of this back to back at a speed of 19km/hr and level 1 on incline. All of this using the altitude training mask which makes it twice as hard. Train hard and smart.”

The workout shown by Virat definitely inspires us but it also teaches us how we can train smart, effectively inorder to achieve our fitness goals. Here are the 3 key things that we can learn from Virat Kohli’s workout session: 

Interval training to burn more calories in a short duration

Simply put, interval training means alternating periods of high-intensity workout with low-intensity efforts. For e.g. you run a sprint for 15-20 seconds followed by rest or slow jog for few seconds. 

Interval training is considered the best and the smartest way to burn fat.

The magic of high intensity interval training is that it keeps our body burning fat even after we leave the gym. In-fact some researchers have also come out in support of interval training burning more calories than the endurance efforts.

Exrx.net conducted a program where the people were divided into 2 groups – one performing high-intensity interval training, also known as HIIT. They alternated sprints with a lower intensity of running. While the other group performed endurance running where they ran at slow pace but higher distance.  At the end of the study, the HIIT group lost three times the amount of fat than the endurance group.

This reason might explain the fact that elite ultra-runners have very lean muscle mass as compared to short distance runner who are more muscular. During long distance runs, some of our muscle is metabolized for energy but on the other hand, interval running allows us to burn a significant number of calories (from fat) without sacrificing our muscle mass. 

High altitude training  

Virat Kohlis is seen using an altitude training mask while working out. Pro and elite athletes often head to high altitudes regions as a part of their training program. But it’s not always practical to head out to high altitudes so athletes subsequently use altitude training masks .

Why high altitude training?

When the air is thinner at high altitude, our body works harder, increasing the ability to process oxygen, making our work out more strenuous. When we return to lower elevations, our performance will show substantial increases in strength, endurance and speed.

Working out in high altitude is believed to improve an athlete’s capacity to better perform as the body is exposed to high altitude causes it to acclimatise to the lower level of oxygen available in the atmosphere. When this happens, the acclimatisation improves the delivery of oxygen to the muscles – the theory being that more oxygen will lead to better performance.

Who can forget how Milkha Singh trained high altitude in Ladakh to bring out his best performance. This was well captured by Farhan Akthar training as Milkha Singh in movie Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.

High altitude training

High altitude training

Why altitude training mask?

An altitude training mask like the one used by Virat have air resistance valves that makes us breathe (inhale) fuller and deeper. With this, the body adopts as lungs will be trained to take deeper breath and use the available oxygen more efficiently thus increasing the alveoli’s surface area to transport more oxygen via red blood cells and carry it to the working muscle groups.

It’s about training smart and not just hard

All of us who work out will agree that training hard for a long time is fine but we really need to train smart to maximize our workout producing far greater results in a short duration. Given our hectic lifestyle these days, it makes all the more sense to utilize all the time we devote in increasing the intensity of our regime. What Virat teaches us from his video is the fact that the lesser the rest between sets the better it is for us. We can see in gyms that some people spent more time taking gaps between reps then the total time spent on their work out.

So train smart for faster results. Thanks Virat for showing us the way!

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