All about Interval Training—Equip Yourself with Accurate Information

There are a lot of myths about weight loss— lose pounds in 5 minutes, fast weight loss, instant weight loss, and other compelling ads. The truth is it surprises me why many people get fooled by such unproven techniques. Listen. The key is knowing how to dig up accurate information and how to put it into practice.  You’ve probably heard about Interval training. Do you want to learn more about it? Now I would like to help you.

What is Interval Training?

Ok, let’s start. Basically, interval training is a type of exercise that consists of an activity performed at a high intensity for a period alternated with periods of low intensity. This activity is performed around 15-30 minutes alternating between the two periods or intervals.

So let’s talk about the 2 intervals used in Interval training: Sprint Interval and Rest Interval.

Sprint Interval

Listen here. The period of high intensity is also called sprint intervals. It can either be measured by time or distance. An example would be sprinting or running as fast as you can for 30 seconds or for a distance of 100 meters.

Rest Interval

The period of low intensity is also called rest period or rest interval. It’s important to understand that during this period/interval, the person performing the activity doesn’t stop but continues to perform the activity at a low intensity, allowing him/her to recover from the high intensity period.

Read these facts carefully. The length of the rest interval depends on the fitness level of the person and kind of sprint interval performed. This is very important in interval training because the rest period allows you to perform sprint intervals at the optimum intensity.

Is Interval Training the Best Way to Burn Fat?

Absolutely. You don’t want to miss this one! Many studies have already proven that high intensity interval training (HIIT) helps burn fat up to 9 times compared to regular aerobic exercise. Fact! Notably, this is because HIIT drains the muscles of their inbuilt source of energy. It can take up to two days for this to happen.

During this time, the body uses fat reserves as a source of energy. This is only the immediate benefit of HIIT. In the long run, this type of exercise increases the body’s ability to convert energy directly into the muscles. This results to the immediate use of consumed carbohydrates instead of storing it as fat. Interestingly, HIIT turns your body into a fat burning machine.

Types of Interval Training

Pay close attention! Interval training has two major types, namely fitness interval training and performance interval training. The difference is the intensity and duration for the sprint intervals and rest intervals. For people who are just trying to lose weight, fitness interval training is ideal. On the other hand, performance interval training is for athletes and advanced fitness enthusiasts.

Basic Interval Training Routine

I’ll get straight to the point. A basic interval training routine would start with a warm-up period of 5 minutes. Pick any cardiovascular activity like running or using any cardiovascular machine. Follow the warm-up period with 1-2 minutes of a sprint period or perform the chosen activity as hard as you can.

After the sprint period, perform the activity at a low intensity allowing your heart rate to go down for about 2-3 minutes. Repeat this 5-10 times or until you complete 15-25 minutes, then follow with a cool down period of 5 minutes. This interval training is to be done 3 times a week with one day rest in between.

Is Interval Training for You?

The bottom line is this. Interval training is a good way to lose weight, break a weigh loss plateau, improve fitness/performance and improve recovery time. However, it is not for everyone. People with cardiovascular problems, knee/ankle problems or low fitness levels may encounter problems with interval training.

Now, keep in mind that it is still best to check with your physician before starting interval training or any form of exercise. Let’s examine this idea closely. For people with low fitness levels, it is better to build up fitness levels before trying interval training. People with knee/ankle problems will have difficulty in running but can use cardiovascular machines like elliptical trainers and stationary bikes for their interval training routine.

What is your typical interval training routine? Share it with us by leaving your comments below.

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