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An Introduction to Interval Training

Interval TrainingMore than just having your normal routine, if you really want to get the best possible results in your workouts, you may try what people call “interval training.” Many professional trainers cite this as the actual key to burning more calories as it allows you to avoid wasting energy on ineffective exercise.

What is interval training?

According to MayoClinic.com, interval training is when one alternates bursts of intense activity with moments of lighter activities in a workout. This is a method used to trick your body into burning more calories.

Trainers employ it when they want their clients to spend the same amount in the gym as they usually do but burn more calories than their regular routine. Efficiency is the key here: interval training allows you to get more “bang for you buck.”

Mayo Clinic staff expounds on interval training further using a nice example:

“Take walking for instance. If you’re in good shape, you might incorporate short bursts of jogging into your regular brisk walks. If you’re less fit, you might alternate leisurely walking with periods of faster walking. If you’re walking outdoors, you could walk faster between certain mailboxes, trees or other landmarks.”

How is interval training better than your average workout routines?

You may opt to stay with the routine you usually do when working out. But here’s the deal, interval training routines make use more of the time you shell out in working out.

When you live a busy life, it is very important to find something that makes use of your time the most with the best possible outcome. Coming again from the MayoClinic.com, interval training routines cites some specific benefits, proving yet again how it’s one of the best methods in working out:

• You’ll burn more calories.

• You’ll improve your aerobic capacity.

• You’ll keep boredom at bay.

• You don’t need special equipment.

Another great thing about interval training is that it gives you much more enjoyment than your usual repetitive workouts. Interval training workouts, in fact, mimics sports, which makes them definitely enjoyable and doable. Moreover, these interval training routines can be done in numerous ways like in running, cycling, swimming, and other workouts you normally do.

How can you incorporate interval training in your workout?

MensHealth.com has listed down the average interval training workout you may use in whatever routine you do for exercising:

Interval Variation I: Standard

The following is a typical interval workout. You alternate the same period of low intensity with the same period of higher intensity.

1. 3 – 5 minutes warmup (light jog, low intensity, gradually increasing at the end of the warmup period)

2. 1 minute moderate or high intensity followed by 1 minute low intensity (repeat 6 – 8 times)

3. 3 – 5 minutes cooldown (light jog, low intensity, gradually decreasing by the end of the cooldown period)

Interval Variation II: Pyramid
This pyramid structure allows you to start with short bursts of speed, and then you’ll peak at the longest surge of energy in the middle of your workout before coming back down.

1. 3 – 5 minutes warmup

2. 30 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity

3. 45 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity

4. 60 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity

5. 90 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity

6. 60 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity

7. 45 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity

8. 30 seconds high intensity

9. 3 – 5 minutes cooldown

If you’re more active than the average Joe, you can also use high intensity interval training. This kind of training is especially beneficial for people who are very active in sports such as football and basketball. Sports like these tend to keep you on your toes due to their unpredictability and usually require “bursts of energy” from time to time.

Here’s an example of a high intensity interval training workout also from MensHealth.com:

1. 3 – 5 minutes warmup

2. 2 minutes moderate or high intensity followed by 2 minutes low intensity (repeat once

3. 30 seconds high intensity followed by 30 seconds low intensity (repeat four times)

4. 60-yard sprints (or 10 seconds if not running) followed by 90 seconds rest (repeat 6 – 10 times)

5. 3 – 5 minutes cool down

Interval Training Indoors

If you’re the type who prefers staying indoors than heading out to the park and exercising out in the heat of the sun, you have nothing to worry about. Interval training on treadmill is also possible. Here’s standard interval training on treadmill that can guide you from Shape.com:

1. Cardio Blaster

•Warm up for 15 minutes.

•Then run, bike, or row for 3 minutes at 90 to 95 percent of your maximum heart rate (should feel like 8.5 or 9 on a scale of 1 to 10). Take 3 minutes active recovery (you’re still moving, but at an easy pace) and repeat the 3 on/3 off pattern 3 to 4 more times.

•Finish with a 10-minute cooldown.

2. Speedplay

•Warm up for 15 minutes, adding a few 20-second bursts at the end to prepare for the workout.

•Run, bike, or row for 30 seconds at a nearly all-out effort. Take 3 minutes active recovery and repeat the 30 on/3 off pattern 5 or 6 more times.

•Finish with a 10-minute cool down.

There you have it folks, interval training routines you can use under any circumstance. Isn’t it perfect how you can spend an average amount of time yet lose more calories? Now get on it and get that fit body!

Category: Cardio Workout

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