Friday, July 20, 2018

Interval Training in 5 Easy Steps

Interval training is one of my favorite ways to workout. I love the combination of high intensity and low intensity periods used back and forth, back and forth, throughout the workout. In a quick 15-20 minute workout, your body can burn calories more efficiently and continue to burn longer throughout the day.

The key to interval training is push to max effort during the high intensity period (work) and then rest from cardio (but keep moving) during the low intensity period (recovery).


Interval Training in 5 Easy Steps

1) Decide what kind of workout you want to do: What are you in the mood for or what can you do? I'm all about what you can, when you can so I mix things up. There are lots of interval training options like HIIT, Tabata, sprints (run, elliptical, swim), even jumping jacks alone can be your workout. Any type of aerobic workout will work. Pick what works best for you, but at the same time will challenge your body.

2) Plan your intervals: Again, so many options! If you are just beginning, you will want to start with a work to recovery ratio of 1 to 4 which means your recovery will be 4 times longer than your work. For example: 5 seconds work to 20 seconds recovery or 30 seconds work to 2 minutes recovery. As you become fitter, you can adjust the work to recovery ratio so that you spend more time at max effort and less time in recovery ---> 1:3, (intermediate) 1:2, 1:1. 2:1, (advanced) 3:1, 4:1.

3) Warm-up: I highly recommend doing at least 10 minutes of easy warm-up (like walking) before doing high intensity workouts.

4) Use a timer: This will make doing your workout so much easier. Instead of staring at a clock or your watch, download an interval app (this is my favorite) on your phone or look for something like a Gymboss timer.

5) Cool down: A low intensity cool down is just as important as the workout. The longer the cool down the better so the body can metabolize the fat it was using during the workout instead of letting it return to where it came from!

I really began to understand the impact of interval training when I first started carb cycling. The program I follow pairs interval training with low carb days, which forces the body to reach for stored fat as energy (learn more here). I wasn't running at the time, so I did all my interval training workouts on the elliptical or doing HIIT workouts. It's really easy to make interval training work for you.

Do you do interval training?

I'm linking up with Lacey and Meranda and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0!




14 comments:

  1. I don't do enough interval training to be honest but my husband swears by it and says it has improved his running and general fitness SO much. And what I find amazing is that it doesn't take that long. He does 30-min but it is so effective.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that about interval training...short but burns so good ;)

      Delete
  2. I tend to do more interval training on the bike these days but whenever I wasn't training for a race, I did mix up my runs with interval training. Using timers and changing up the speed helped and it also made the run go by faster!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband used to use the bike a lot. I've also done it while swimming laps. I love that you can turn just about any exercise into interval training!

      Delete
  3. I love interval training. Now I'm going to follow your lead and incorporate it on low-carb days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think this is what helps me lose inches and tone up the most when I "fall off the wagon" ;)

      Delete
  4. Many of my runs and workouts end up being interval style almost by accident. Great way to keep it fresh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Intervals runs are how I was able to prolong running for an extra year longer than I probably would have.

      Delete
  5. I just started doing more interval training (not running) in my weekly workouts. It definitely is a challenge and gets me pretty worked up during the hour long sessions I do with my trainer! I've always used intervals in running so I'm somewhat familiar with the approach from a running standpoint.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is definitely truth behind the term high intensity, right?

      Delete
  6. OTF is heavily focused on intervals, and we do a lot of intervals in spinning class. I love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awesome! I have not done OTF or spinning, but always hear great things.

      Delete
  7. I don't do interval training but wondered how other people do it
    Thanks for linking up.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I definitely enjoy interval training but I'm bad about cutting out the cool down when time is tight. That's good to see about why the cool down is important.

    ReplyDelete

I love comments!

*