Archive for April, 2010

What is Interval Training?

I’ve seen interval training get a lot of attention recently because it is supposed to be a quick way to get fit, in this article we look at what it actually is. Interval training is when you use timed intervals to alternate between two different levels of intensity as you exercise. For example, you could warm up, then go on the treadmill for 1 minute of easy jogging at 7km/h, then crank it up to 14km/h for 1 minute, then go back to 7km/h and repeat that for as long as you want to train for.

The reason this is so good is because if you tried to push yourself to do 14km/h on the treadmill for as long as possible in one session then you might only last a few minutes, then you’d stop because you were exhausted. With interval training then the recovery interval you give yourself after each intense interval allows you to push on and do far more of the intense intervals than you could do if you tried to do them all in one go.

Another thing I have found with interval training is that as you are so focused on waiting for the minute to end so you can change the speed up or down, then time goes by much faster. Usually jogging is incredibly boring for me and after 5 minutes I am fed up and just want it to end, but I don’t get that with interval training.

Interval training is probably a more natural way to exercise anyway, consider sports, when you are close to the action then you are doing an intense interval as you try and get the ball etc, then you get to rest as the action moves away from you. Plus we have actually descended from hunters, and that is how they would have exerted themselves too.

The treadmill was just an example though, you can actually use interval training to spice up almost any kind of exercise, you could be on the elliptical trainer, the rowing machine, or even out on a normal bike on the roads. The good news is that studies suggest your metabolism can be elevated for hours after finishing interval training, rather than returning straight back to normal after most other types of exercise, so you are burning fat for a long time even after you finish your workout!

If you prefer changing your diet to lose weight rather than exercising, then check out Cheat Your Way Thin instead.

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