Although it sounds impressive, it’s actually quite simple to incorporate interval-style training into your fitness routine. Professional athletes have long experienced its benefits. Now, interval training is becoming popular with a more diversified population. From marathoners wanting to improve stamina to new moms wishing to lose post-baby weight (before their baby enters high school), interval training is an excellent training technique.
Members who want to burn more calories in less time should consider interval training. Short, intense increases in activity throughout your regular exercise session give your workout a powerful boost, according to Fitness Manager Kevin Sanbeg. With interval training, exercisers don’t need to learn a new program or become familiar with different equipment. “Simply modify your current exercises to include intense bursts of energy followed by lighter activity. Consider consulting with a personal trainer for tips on effectively transitioning from one level to the next. Timing can be everything in obtaining maximum results,” shares Kevin.
How It Works
The concept is simple. Activity that is higher in intensity burns more calories. “Even by exercising at your maximum capacity in only three-minute intervals, you are benefiting from these power surges,” informs Kevin. Also, by improving cardiovascular capacity, you increase your ability to exercise: for longer periods, with stronger intensity, or both.
Results from a sixty-minute walk on the treadmill eventually can be accomplished in forty-five by increasing the pace. Or, suddenly, the sixty-minute session doesn’t seem as challenging so you extend your workout. Either way, you’re gaining more benefits while burning more calories. With this variety, the monotony of an overly familiar exercise program can easily be avoided. It also demands more concentration and discipline, requiring your body and mind to be fully present.
Take Out the Trash
During a healthy workout, muscles produce waste products. Adequate hydration and appropriate warm-ups and cool-downs expel these wastes to alleviate muscle soreness and cramping. Exercising at maximum intensity, without incorporating lighter intervals, can leave you tired and achy—the very issues we exercise to avoid. Consistently working out at a level that is personally moderate, with periods of intense and easy activity throughout, gives your body a chance to “empty the trash” by avoiding buildup of these waste products in your muscles. You’ll leave the Center feeling rejuvenated and healthy. Leave your tired and achy self behind.
Customize Interval Training
Make the workout yours. Alternate intensity, length, and frequency of intervals based on your goals and skill level. Move at your own pace. After heating your muscles with a warm-up, consider a 30-second high-energy interval followed by your normal pace. The next burst might last up to two or three minutes, depending on how you feel on any given day.
A personal trainer can help determine the best duration of your intervals and their intensity. This is especially useful if training to improve your sport or other physical activity. Interval training can mimic activity patterns similar to those experienced on the playing field or during competitions. You can then better prepare your cardio capacity and strength to assure peak performance at every event.
Play It Smart
Avoid injury by gradually introducing your high-energy bursts. Keep the bursts short when starting. Thirty seconds may seem quick; however, when maxing your physical capacity, it can be plenty. Perhaps wait to introduce intense intervals until toward the end of your session. By then, you’ll be plenty warmed up and ready to “sprint that extra mile.” Go with the flow of your stamina, which will significantly improve over time. Bring on swimsuit season!
“Interval Training: Can It Boost Your Calorie-Burning Power” at www.mayoclinic.com.