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Interval Training: Get the Most Out of Your Workout

Tired of doing the same workout for 30 minutes every day? Not getting the desired results. Want to get maximum benefit without the boredom? Interval training is your answer. Read on…

 

It’s amazing how well the body responds to the same routine done with a twist. Interval training just makes you alternate the intensity and pace of your workout without changing the overall duration. It combines short bursts of high intensity workout with longer duration of low intensity recovery periods.

 

You can also mix several different workouts in one interval training session. This keeps not just you but your whole body on its toes leading to the best possible results without the monotony.

 

Why Should You Go For Interval Training

Maximize Cardiovascular Benefit

Your heart rate is elevated and brought down at frequent intervals. The idea of any cardio workout is to elevate your heart rate. Interval training makes sure you stretch yourself more than you normally would but at the same time provides recovery time so you don’t overdo it. This ensures you get the most bang for your buck per heart rate, which is the very intent of any cardiovascular activity.

Burn More Calories

When you do at the same intensity, you might slow down, unintentionally, after a while leading to fewer calories burning. Interval training ensures you are constantly focused since the time involved is very short at every intensity level. So you burn maximum calories.

Delay Reaching the Plateau

If you do the same routine over and over again, your body gets comfortable with it and doesn’t respond the way you want it to. Slowly, you stop seeing any results. But with interval training, since you keep your body guessing all the time, it doesn’t get into a habit and lose the vigor to burn calories. You will delay reaching the plateau much longer with interval training.

Enjoy the Workout

Since your concentration level is so high and you are closely monitoring your workout, it seems more like a game rather than a boring workout. It gives you a certain kick to keep varying the intensity and you would enjoy even the same workout a lot more with interval training. Also, the fact that you can combine several different exercises into one workout program makes it even more fun.

See Time Fly By

Since you are constantly changing the pace and need to be on your toes, you don’t allow any room for monotony. Your workout will be monotonous only if you are doing the same thing at the same speed and intensity for 30 min. Your mind starts wandering and either you lose focus or start looking at your watch every 2 min. Here too, you will be looking at your watch but for different reasons. You want to make sure you switch the intensity on time!

 

Steps Involved in Interval Training

Warm Up

This is important for any exercise since you can pull a muscle or two otherwise. A stiff body is not prepared for a workout. Warming up helps your body get into the mood for a good, demanding workout.

Alternate Between High and Low Intensity

This is what interval training is all about. You need to switch between at least two intensities. Start with a short burst of very high intensity workout. This should really make you stretch yourself! The relax at a lower intensity level for a longer duration before repeating this combination several times. This should leave you with just enough time to cool down.

Cool Down

Cooling down is as important as warming up. Your heart rate is very high during the workout. If you suddenly stop working out, your heart rate drops suddenly, which is not desirable. You need to slowly bring down your heart rate and cooling down takes care of this.

 

A Customized 30 Minute Workout Plan

This plan can be followed for any cardiovascular exercise, be it walking, running, elliptical, exercise bike, swimming or dancing. Intensity ranges from levels 1 to 10, where level 1 is as easy as lifting a glass of water and level 10 makes you completely breathless.

Step 1: Warm up at level 3 for 3 minutes.

Step 2: Increase intensity to level 9 for 30 seconds followed by level 5 for 90 seconds. Repeat this step five times.

Step 3: Then slow down to level 3 for 2 full minutes.

Step 4: Then again increase to level 9 for 30 seconds followed by level 5 for 90 seconds. Repeat this combination – - five times.

Step 5: Finally, cool down at level 3 for 5 min.

 

Summary:

  • Interval training ensure maximum cardiovascular benefits
  • Burn a lot more calories without increasing the duration
  • You don’t have to worry about hitting the plateau for a long long time
  • Workout is suddenly a lot more enjoyable than you ever imagined
  • There is no room for boredom with interval training

 

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