Through the training process, the most common goal is to try to improve one’s performance or simply achieve an improvement in one’s state of health. However, it often happens that for various reasons, including work trips or family commitments, the time available for training is drastically reduced. Thus, at such times the focus shifts from improving performance or health to simply maintaining it.

In such cases, a question arises: what is the minimum amount of exercise that allows us to maintain the adaptations we have achieved? The answer is given to us in this episode of Cubetti di Sapere by Luca Demolli, sports technician and fitness trainer at the Mapei Sport Research Centre.

«From what has emerged in the scientific literature, it would seem that the key parameter for minimising the negative effects associated with a reduction in training is intensity. In fact, even when faced with a drastic drop in training volume or frequency, but keeping the intensity high or even very high, the adaptations obtained could be maintained for short periods» explains the trainer at the Italian centre.

«However, it is important to understand what we mean by training intensity, because if we talk about maintaining the levels of the aerobic mechanism, we are referring to the heart rate, which should be maintained between 80 and 100 per cent of the maximum, together with a weekly volume that should not be reduced to more than 60 per cent, and with a training frequency of at least two sessions per week – the expert points out. – On the other hand, when we talk about maintaining maximum strength levels, by training intensity we mean the percentage of the load in relation to the maximum, which should be of such a magnitude as to allow the execution of 8 to 12 repetitions for a volume of one set per exercise and frequency of at least once a week».