Many people plug away at various workouts for an hour or more each day, several days a week, with minimal results. Exercising at a steady rate simply won’t achieve the same results as interval training. While interval training has been around for several years it has recently garnered a lot of attention as a way to increase fat loss. The following information describes what interval training is, why it works, and the different ways you can incorporate it into your favorite exercise.
What is Interval Training?
Interval training is also called HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). This type of training requires you to complete quick and intense bursts of exercise that are followed by short recovery periods. By alternating your workout between intense bursts and more moderate activity you’ll keep your heart rate at a higher level while increasing the need for oxygen. An example of a basic interval routine could include moderate walking for 2 or 3 minutes followed by 30 to 60 seconds of jogging or running.
Why Does Interval Training Work?
Interval training works because you will burn more calories during the actual workout while increasing overall fat burning for the rest of the day. What is referred to as the “afterburn effect” causes a post exercise consumption of oxygen that increases fat burning more than what occurs with steady workouts. Interval training also works because it only requires 20 or 30 minutes per workout, works for every fitness level, and can be done practically anywhere.
Interval Workouts While Running
The great thing about interval training is that you can make it as easy or difficult as your fitness level allows. Your interval training could include a routine as easy as walking for 2 minutes and then running for 1 minute. Your overall workout would last 20 to 30 minutes. A more difficult interval routine could include jogging slowly for 2 minutes and then running for 4 minutes. You could complete 5 cycles for a 30 minute workout.
Interval Workouts With the Stationary Bike
Before starting make sure the resistance level on the bike is high enough so that your legs don’t spin out of control during the intense phase of the workout. Begin your workout with a steady 5 minute warm-up at a moderate pace. Then complete 30 seconds of intensity followed by 30 seconds of easy pedaling. This should be repeated 4 or 5 times. Then increase each rep to 1 minute of intensity followed by 1 minute of easy pedaling.
Interval Workouts While Swimming
Instead of timing your intense portions of the workout it may be easier to divide swimming workouts into laps. For example, you could swim one 25 meter freestyle as quickly as possible and then complete a 25 meter backstroke at a leisurely pace. Swimming is a great way to get an intense workout while exerting minimal strain on bones, joints, and tendons. Incorporating physical therapy into your routine can maximize muscle strength and flexibility, and even promote healing.
Interval Workouts With the Jump Rope
The easiest jump rope interval workout is to simply pick a number of reps. You could jump 100 reps and then rest for 1 minute. Repeat until you reach 1,000. You could also do timed reps. Get as many jumps in as possible in 30 seconds and then rest for 60 seconds. Just 20 minutes would provide a fairly intense workout.
Finally, you could do sliding scale intervals. This would include 300, 200, 100, and 50 reps. You would rest 60 to 90 seconds between each of the sets.