Paul Laursen coaches professional athletes around the world, such as triathlete Kyle Buckingham in South Africa. This is Buckingham (right) at the Ironman World Champions. (Submitted)

Revelstoke resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

Just because Revelstoke is small doesn’t mean you can’t dream big.

“There is a bit of a craze. If you just Google search HIIT. It’s a bit of a craze itself right now across the world. With people beginning to understand its power,” says Paul Laursen, a Revelstoke resident.

Laursen is one of the creators of HIIT Science, which stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. High-Intensity Interval Training includes workouts where athletes push themselves as hard as they can for a duration of time.

HIIT Science is a new 20-hour online course for coaches and sport scientists that teaches the science and application of high-intensity training. Laursen hopes the course will eventually be included in university programs.

HIIT training targets fast-twitch muscles, which are used for powerful bursts of movements like sprinting, as opposed to slow-twitch muscles, that are more used for long-endurance feats like distance running. Targeting the fast-twitch muscles makes them more fatigue resistant and can lead to improvements in many sports.

HIIT also stimulates the heart to work harder.

“Bringing in HIIT training makes all the difference,” says Laursen.

Laursen has been in sports science for decades.

“I became interested in running and the sport of triathlon emerged as I was in my teens,” says Laursen. He hoped one day to reach the Olympic level and spent a good decade trying, but unsuccessfully.

“So I went into sport science to learn how I could apply some of the scientific principles to train better.”

Laursen eventually did his Ph.D. on interval training and from 2009 to 2017 held a joint role in New Zealand’s Olympic program.

From Revelstoke, he coaches professional athletes around the world, such as triathlete Kyle Buckingham in South Africa.

“Going back to Kyle. We believe this [HIIT] is one of the key things that made a difference to his performance,” says Laursen. Buckingham is a three-time Ironman winner and age-group course record holder in Ironman World Championships. An Ironman is a multi-event sporting contest with swimming (3.86 km), cycling (180.25 km), and running (42.20 km).

Laursen married a girl from Revelstoke a couple years ago, which brought him to the City.

“What do you do in Revelstoke with my background? You join the Revelstoke tech force and do whatever you can with computers.”

Laursen says the online course is unlike any other.

“It’s pretty new. It’s perhaps a product of the changing world.”

One aspect that makes the course different is that its contributors are sport experts from around the world.

“They’re embedded in some of the best sporting teams,” says Laursen.

Some of the experts include: Adam Douglas from Hockey Canada, Moses Cabrera from the New England Patriots football team, Anna Saw from Cricket Australia and the other creator of HIIT Science Martin Buchheit who works for Paris Saint-Germain Football Club.

“It’s a global effort,” says Laursen.

“Our experts are the best of the best in every sport.”

The course will officially open Jan. 23rd. Those interested in enrolling can go to https://hiitscience.com/hiit-course?afmc=37

Laursen and Buchheit released a book last month called Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training, which according to their website is a great compliment to the online course. Books can be purchased at:

https://hiitscience.com?afmc=37

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