This article was originally posted on the site in 2009, but we are posting it again as a StrengthCoach Classic to serve as a refresher and so newer members can see it.
I just received an email from a reader saying that a local middle school in his area had instituted "Cardiovascular Days."
Students use heartrate monitors and must run for 20 min at 160 BPM.
This is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard of at least three reasons.
1- The 220-age formula is an estimate. It has been proven that nearly 70% of the population does not even fit the formula. In fact the formula is not even based on research. So even it was a good idea it would only be effective for 30% of the kids.
2- Distance training is widely accepted as one of the worst ways to train. Distance training disrupts the development of both speed and power. For statistical evidence check out Mark Smith's article at Sprint Interval Training-It's a HIIT.
3- Distance training produces an almost 60% injury rate in females, slightly less in males according to a US Army study.
How's that for three strikes?
Inaccurate training that makes you slow and gets you hurt.
Now that's what I call a Physical Education program.