What Is Interval Training?
I’m frequently asked “what is interval training?” and I think it’s useful to know a bit about how it works, what it is used for, how it differs from other training methods and why it is so popular.
Why Do So Many People Use It?
Interval training is a method of exercising using periods of ‘work’ separated with periods of ‘rest’. The work and rest periods can be manipulated many ways and when used with different types of exercise, the different workouts that result can help with fat-loss, muscle building, increased aerobic and anaerobic capacity, increased core strength, toned muscles and all in a time-efficient manner.
How Is It Different To Normal Workouts?
Generally the workout is divided into timed periods with a watch or, as I use and recommend a GYMboss interval timer. The rest periods are short, so complete recovery isn’t possible which makes the whole workout quite aerobic. Heart rates tend to be pretty high and this demand on both the muscles and heart is the reason why interval training has so many health benefits.
How Do I Do It?
A very simple interval training workout is walking for a minute then running for a minute. Anytime you challenge the body with a period of hard exercise and then take some time to rest is an interval training session.
The Sciencey Bit
By interspersing high intensity exercise with rest periods, the total amount of high-intensity exercise is much more than if you were to exercise at the high level un-interrupted.
Imagine sprinting as hard as you can for as long as you can. It wouldn’t be too long until you were completely spent. If however you were to sprint for 30 meters, walk back to the start, sprint 30 meters and walk back to the start and repeat a few times you would have trained at the sprinting level for far longer than the first method.
The idea with exercise is to place a demand on the body that causes it to become stronger, faster and more efficient. The longer you can spend exercising at that high level then the quicker and larger the response is.
The take home message is if you want to look like someone who is fit and strong then you need to train hard and interval training allows that in a time efficient and scalable way.
So, if you were wondering “what is interval training?” and “what are the benefits?”, now you know, and you can visit my ‘high intensity interval training‘ page to get started. If you love cycling, I have the perfect cycling workouts for you. You don’t need to waste time researching workouts, I have all the information you need to get faster, fitter and slimmer.
There are no excuses. Interval training can be tailored to all fitness levels and some workouts take a matter of minutes. Do a workout now to improve your health and take you closer to your goals!
“Do or do not, there is no try.” – Yoda
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