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Arc Trainer Exercise Series: Interview With an Athlete [part 2]

This is the second part of our interview with one of the top players in the AthleteFIT program. In the first part of the interview the soccer player told us how she developed strength on the Arc Trainer and now she will explain what training on the Arc Trainer did for her cardiovascular endurance and sprint speed. 

AthleteFIT (AF): We know the Arc has been proven to increase strength, power and both muscular and cardiovascular endurance, but you’re showing speed increases as well. You mentioned that you replaced one conditioning program with an Arc Trainer workout one time per week in the off-season…  What did this training program consist of?

Soccer Player (SP): I alternated between the 3 minutes on 1 minute off and 2 minutes on 1 minute off workouts for the first few weeks, and then got into the 1 minute on 1 minute off workouts over the next few weeks. In all my workouts I kept the over 140 strides per minute and just focused on increasing the resistance each set. So if I could keep the 140 strides per minute pace for the full 3 minutes, I would increase the resistance on the next set. I would keep doing this until I couldn’t hold the pace, and then I would decrease. Each of these workouts was 30 minutes long. After a few weeks of that I started alternating between the minute on minute off workout and a 20-30 second on 90 second off sprint based program on the Arc, where I would start off at a resistance of 60 and increase to a resistance of 90-100 over the course of the workout. In the sprint based workout, I did 2-3 sets of 5 reps of the 20-30 second sprints.

If I was feeling tired or if we had a difficult practice the day before, I would go back and do one of the 3 minutes on 1 minute off workouts. I don’t think I could have handled the sprint based workout…mentally or physically! This happened a few times over the 10 week off season.

AF: So overall, how did the program go?

SP: I enjoyed it more than running on the treadmill, it’s painful in a different way! When I run on the treadmill my knees hurt, and sometimes my back (rib injury) would bother me, but when I run on the Arc I feel no pain, I just feel like I am getting a really good work out. Also after I run on the arc I recover faster, feel better, and I have absolutely no soreness the next day.

AF: You were preparing for a big tournament in Florida during this time? How did you feel in the Disney Tournament?

SP: I felt different than I ever had before. I was a different kind of fit. I was able to sprint for longer bouts and at faster pace without getting tired.  I have never been able to do that before. I was also more powerful when I ran, it was much harder to knock me off the ball and I was able to make sudden stops faster.

Normally, when I do the conditioning, I feel like I am in great shape. I would be able to run all over the field and never need a break, but I could only do a couple full speed sprints and then fatigue would set in and the rest of my sprints would not be as quick. But this year after using the arc I could make 20 full speed sprints down the length of the field in a game without a sub and without any kind of decrease in speed or power, but in between those sprints

I wasn’t able to run around the field like I usually do. I needed about15 seconds to recover between each sprint before I was ready to go again. I think that was because on the arc the workouts were not continuous, they were short bursts of power and speed and then a time to rest. Therefore on the field I was able to run super fast for a long distance, but then I would need a little break, but after that little break I was able to run just as fast for just as long as the time before and every time before that time. I felt more balanced, in control, and sturdier then I had before. I liked this kind of game fitness of being able to do these unlimited sprints for 90 minutes better than being able to simply run around the field for a full 90 min. Also, because I am a forward, the sprints are more important to my position. I was more balanced when I would cross the ball across the field while running full speed. My crosses and shots were more powerful, too.

AF: What do you feel are your weaknesses now?

SP: Long distance runs (for example, running 3 miles continuous through is harder for me, but sprints are easier, which is a good thing, because sprinting is more important). I think part of that is just because I have taken so much time off from those, I need to readjust.

Scott Moody
Founder and CEO Soccer F.I.T. Academy