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PAI Score 2: More High Intensity Intervals

Thursday, November 07, 2019

About two months ago I switched to using PAI score as my main metric for exercise decisions. To learn about PAI score, read my previous blog post and, more importantly, read about it here:

Making decisions based on PAI score has led to somewhat different exercise decisions than previously.

The biggest difference is that I do more high intensity interval work. Long walks, I found, only raise my PAI score by a few points and take a lot of time. I still take some long walks for the social benefits of walking with my wife and the environmental benefits of walking in the park. But I can gain many more PAI points in a very short time by doing high intensity intervals consisting of any move that gets my heart rate into the upper one or two heart rate zones.

As one earns PAI points, as long as you earn many each day, they get harder to earn. This is because your aerobic fitness is improving, so you have to do more to continue progressing.

At the beginning, I could earn more than enough PAI points from 2 hours of pickleball games, including ample wait time between games. Now I sometimes come home from pickleball and still need a few more points to reach my daily goal of 100 PAI points. A few minutes of burpees, martial arts moves, running or other high intensity intervals can very quickly top off my PAI points.

PAI score is really only an aerobic metric, so I pretty much ignore it when it comes to strength training needs. A good strength training workout raises very little PAI but is essential to my 58 year old body and joints. I try to do some strength training almost every day. Some of it consists of moves I learned in physical therapy in order to maintain and protect my knees and shoulders which have been sprained in the past.

Recently I have been researching high intensity moves that cause the least strain to my knees. Pickleball puts a lot of strain on the knees so I don't want to do too much jumping in other areas of exercise. Some jumping and leg work is fine, and really it is correct technique that saves the knees more than abstaining.

This is how using PAI score as an exercise metric is working for me. For someone else, it might look very different depending on their current fitness level and age, etc. For example, some people would probably get plenty of PAI points from a long walk because that would be an ample physical challenge for them at the time.

I'll definitely come back with more to say about PAI score after I've used it for a longer time. Maybe earlier as more observations come to mind.

Screenshots from my PAI dashboard this morning:

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