Peripheral heart action training is a form of exercise programming that can be very effective and efficient for those who perform it. Peripheral heart action training involves alternating the muscle groups used from the upper body to lower body. This is an effective form of exercise training for many reasons. First, many resistance training programs focus on performing large amounts of sets and repetitions on one part of the body. When muscle contractions are repeatedly performed on one part of the body, blood is trapped in that area during contraction, which keeps the waste products such as lactic acid in it. Over time waste products can build up, which leads to fatigue and potential delayed onset muscle soreness.
Peripheral heart action training distributes the blood from the upper portion of the body to the lower portion and continues that pattern, which allows for the blood to be shunted from one body part to another. Therefore, the blood is able to distribute waste products more effectively and reduce waste build-up in certain muscles of the body.Changing from upper to lower body exercises also forces the heart to work harder, by shunting blood repeatedly throughout the body in order to perform large amounts of work. This shunting action and increased exercise intensity can increase the hearts ability to pump large amounts of blood through training adaptations such as an increased stroke volume that comes from either a greater stretch of the heart muscle due to increased blood flow or an increased contractility of the heart muscle due to strengthening. This adaptation can also improve a persons’ VO2max, which is a significant indicator not only of a person’s fitness level, but also of their potential risk of morbidity and mortality.
Other features of peripheral heart action training, that can benefit exercisers, include an increased efficiency of an exercise session. This efficiency is created, because while changing from upper to lower body exercises, one muscle group has the ability to rest while the other is working, therefore allowing for extremely short rest periods. These short rest periods and elevated heart rate due to the work being performed correlate to larger amounts of calories being expended throughout the duration of an exercise session. Large volumes of work being performed can also lead to increases in muscle mass and therefore also lead to increases in a person’s metabolism.
Overall, there are a lot of benefits of peripheral heart action training, but it should be noted that this could be very taxing in beginners. Most people without a resistance training background can benefit from a two-week period in which they get accustomed to lifting and performing resistance exercises before engaging in peripheral heart action training. Most beginners adapt very quickly and can fair quite well even in the early stages of the training. In the case of a cardiac patient, it is necessary to get a doctor’s approval before engaging in an exercise program that elicits large demands on the heart.