Interval training is a great way to ramp up your workouts! Introducing interval training workouts into your training routines actually challenges your body in a way that can get you to where you want to be faster! Interval training is for all fitness levels, athletes to beginners, just be sure to find workouts that are in line with your fitness level and GET TO IT!
Simply put, interval training workouts alternate between low-intensity exercises and bursts of high energy, high-intensity exercises. These types of workouts are a VERY effective way to burn calories and accelerate fat loss. You can get an even more effective workout when you add incline and resistance into the mix.
Boost Calorie Burn
The biggest benefit to interval training workouts is that they increase the efficiency at which calories are burned – meaning you burn more calories in a shorter time period than you would if you were not using intervals in your workouts. In general a cardio routine is recommended to be 30-60 minutes long. Interval workouts however can often be just effective as traditional cardio workouts but only last 20-30 minutes – if you really give it your all. Do keep in mind that a longer one will have greater benefits but just fitting them in is important!
Depleats Carbohydrate Reserves Quickly
Interval workouts exhaust your muscles carbohydrate reserves, glycogen, in a shorter time period than traditional cardio workouts. What’s the benefit of this? After the carbohydrate reserves are gone, fat becomes the primary fuel source for energy! This is where the road to results begins.
Fends off Workout Burnout
Finding new ways to work out helps head off workout burnout. If you are going to the gym and running for the same length of time and at the same intensity over and over again it can get pretty boring – dare I say, you may even hate it. Having to change the speed, and hopefully even the incline, throughout your run gives you something else to focus on other than the time. Interval training also gives you a little reward after each high-intensity push, you get to slow down a bit and catch your breath.
Versatile and Adaptable
Interval workouts are extremely versatile. You can perform them without equipment, or using any piece of cardio equipment you have available to you, a treadmill, Stairmaster, elliptical machine, literally any machine can be used to get in a good interval training workout. This is also good news for those of you who get bored, like me, using only one type of machine over and over. I need variety in my workouts and the versatility of interval training is right up my alley.
Can be Done with Limited Planning
You can make interval workouts as structured or unstructured as you want. This means you can set specific time parameters for the high and low intensity stints, or you can just workout as hard as you can for as long as you can, switching to low intensity until you are ready to kick it into high gear again. Either way you choose the calorie burning and fat loss benefits are still there.
Bottom line, adding interval training into your workout routine 2-3 times per week will help you get closer to your goals. One thing I have learned is that changing up my workouts helps me stay on track and keeps me interested and committed!