You’ve all no doubt heard about the increasing popularity of interval training these days, but what does this really mean for exercise and what benefits does it bring?
Interval training is defined as training in which a participant alternates between two or more activities, typically requiring different rates of speed degrees of effort, duration etc. Intervals of high intensity are anaerobic while the lower intensity periods target the cardiovascular system.
Weight training with timed rest or varying resistance, bike or running sprints with short bursts of activity followed by a recovery period are two such examples that can be classified as interval training.
With the current level of research available, interval training is shaping up to be the most effective method to burn fat and increase muscular performance. Studies have shown that interval training, especially high intensity interval training or HIIT, improves aerobic capacity at a faster rate when compared with continuous intensity exercise (steady state). HIIT has been shown to increase lactate threshold and VO2Max.
You can easily add interval training to your program right now with a few simple tweaks. While warming up on cardio equipment or running, add in 20 to 30 seconds of higher resistance and speed followed by lower intensity interval of about twice that time. Keeping the work rest ratio at about 1:2, higher intensity intervals may require more rest. For the same time you would usually spend warming up, you will be getting much more effect than just moving at a steady pace.
Additionally with weight training, try super setting exercises with a cardio element such as steps/mountain climbs or another weights exercise working a different part of the body.
Give it a try your next workout and maximize your time in the gym.