Continuous training, also known as continuous exercise, is any type of physical training that involves activity without rest intervals. Continuous training can be performed at low, moderate, or high exercise intensities, and is often contrasted with interval training, often called high-intensity interval training. Some training regimens, such as Fartlek, combine both continuous and interval approaches.
Exercise modes noted as suitable for continuous training include indoor and outdoor cycling, jogging, running, walking, rowing, stair climbing, simulated climbing, Nordic skiing, elliptical training, aerobic riding, aerobic dancing, bench step aerobics, hiking, in-line skating, rope skipping, swimming, and water aerobics.
As the below examples illustrate, exercise intensity is measured in different ways and is defined inconsistently across studies. Forms of continuous exercise may be performed at multiple intensities for different health benefits; for example, long slow distance training can be performed at low or moderate intensities.
Examples of low-intensity continuous exercise protocols include:
Definitions of moderate intensity continuous exercise include:
- 70-75% maximum heart rate for 50 minutes.
- 60-65% VO2max for 30 minutes.
- 65% of peak power output for 40 minutes.
Examples of high-intensity continuous training protocols include:
- 100% of peak power output until exhaustion (cycling).
- 80% of peak power output for 45 minutes (cycling).
- Hansen, D.; Dendale, P.; Jonkers, R. A. M.; Beelen, M.; Manders, R. J. F.; Corluy, R.; Mullens, A.; Berger, J.; Meeusen, R.; van Loon, L. J. C. (2009). "Continuous low- to moderate-intensity exercise training is as effective as moderate- to high-intensity exercise training at lowering blood HbA1c in obese type 2 diabetes patients". Diabetologia. 52 (9): 1789–1797. doi:10.1007/s00125-009-1354-3. PMC 2723667. PMID 19370339.
- Heyward, Vivian H. (2006) . "Designing Cardiorespiratory Exercise Programs". Advanced Fitness Assessment And Exercise Prescription (5th ed.). Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-7360-5732-5. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
- Di Donato, Danielle; West, Daniel; Churchward-Venne, Tyler; Breen, Leigh; Baker, Steven; Phillips, Stuart (2014). "Influence of aerobic exercise intensity on myofibrillar and mitochondrial protein synthesis in young men during early and late postexercise recovery". American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism. 306 (9): E1025–E1032. doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00487.2013. PMC 4010655. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
- Ramos, Joyce; Dalleck, Lance C.; Tjonna, Arnt; Beetham, Kassia; Coombes, Jeff (2015). "The Impact of High-Intensity Interval Training Versus Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training on Vascular Function: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis". Sports Medicine. 45: 679–692. doi:10.1007/s40279-015-0321-z. PMID 25771785.
- Kurti, SP; Smith, JR; Emerson, SR; Castinado, MK; Harms, CA (2015). "Absence of Respiratory Muscle Fatigue in High-Intensity Continuous or Interval Cycling Exercise". Journal of Strength Conditioning Research. 29: 3171–6. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000000974. PMID 25932987.