Interval Training; it seems to have become all the rage over the last decade…and for very good reason!
Let’s face it, the health and fitness industry is no stranger to super-hyped, marketing driven fads, fallacies and nonsense. Who remembers the Shake Weight, sauna suits, Power Balance hologram frequencies, vibration belts, toning shoes and even dumbbell knife, fork and spoons. The list of the banal and ineffective could go on and on!
But when something comes along that is the genuine article, a real training protocol, something legitimate and entirely results driven, then it stands out and lasts the test of time.
One of the great things about Interval Training (IT) is that it is incredibly time efficient. And when the most common excuse for people not exercising is ‘lack of time’, then IT is absolutely invaluable.
What is Interval Training?
Put simply, it is periods of intense activity interspersed with periods of low-intensity activity or a short period of rest.
It is incredibly versatile and is equally applicable to the most elite athletes in the world to a total novice. This is because the duration of the exercises, their intensity and the length of the rests can be adjusted according to any fitness level.
Interval Training is absolutely perfect for this day and age of busy, time-poor people who need to fit their exercise around work and family commitments. Even the average exercise class lasts 45-60 minutes and when you factor in traveling to the gym, changing, showering afterwards, returning home this can easily become a two hour commitment.
In the same time you can get around EIGHT Interval Training sessions!
An Interval Training Workout
As with any workout ensure you warm up, it might be tempting sometimes, but don’t skip it! Five minutes of increasingly intense cardio will do a decent job for you here. Once you have done this and performed a few dynamic stretches, you are ready to get on with your Interval Training workout…
These are examples of workouts and can be adjusted to your levels of fitness and altered accordingly as this improves.
They are mainly anaerobic intervals and best for burning fat – and IT is brilliant for fat loss!
Cycle, run or row fast for 60 seconds, then slow down for 120 seconds and repeat this 60/120 work to rest intervals five more times.
Row or run 2000m, rest 3 minutes
Row or run 1500m, rest 2 mins
Row or run 1000m, rest 1 min
Row or run 500m….finish!
Bodyweight Exercise Intervals
10 press ups
20 alternate leg squat thrusts (Mountain Climbers)
Go through this sequence as fast as you can, one after the other. Rest for two minutes, then go again. Aim to perform 5-10 circuits.
Time can no longer be an excuse!
Surely you can find 30 minutes twice a week to fit in interval training. Even if this is a bit of a push, alter your work and rest periods to accommodate the time you can afford. Even 10 minutes of real intensity can hit the spot.
No time? No excuse!
Connect here with WatchFit Expert David Lyons