In this article, I would like to talk about one of the most outstanding training methods – interval training. About this method and its advantages, strangely enough, only advanced users of fitness equipment know something. And they use it somehow very sluggish and illiterate. But interval training is very good for solving a wide range of problems, especially weight loss.
Description Of Interval Training
Interval training is exercising at a breakneck speed/pace – slowing down motion is followed by speeding up and then slowing down again. And that you repeat several times.
A great example of interval training can be active team games like basketball, football, soccer, hockey. There you have to alternate slow and fast movements on the field. Boxing and wrestling rounds of 2-3 minutes, running or cycling over hilly terrain, alternating slow and fast swimming are also great examples of interval training.
One cycle of slow movement + acceleration is called an interval. In other words, a selected exercise is followed by the same but at different rate. In interval training, the intensity of the exercise varies in a sine wave pattern. It goes up and down. And it is that feature of interval training that makes it very efficient. After all, it allows you to perform considerably more work per unit of time without any particular fatigue. And this is the main secret.
In my opinion, interval training deserves more attention. It is incredibly efficient, saves a lot of time, and there are many methods of its application behind external simplicity.
Interval Training For Fat Loss
Let’s start with the rate of metabolism in the human body. The metabolic rate is the amount of energy used by the body for its needs: maintaining a constant body temperature, maintaining a steady chemical composition of tissues, maintaining the right blood pressure, the rate of circulation of fluids, and so on. And the faster energy is used, the less amount of it is stored in your body (especially in the form of fat).
Exercising gives some acceleration of metabolic processes in the body. For example, the metabolic rate increased during an aerobics workout remains raised for about an hour after. Not bad! But when I tell my clients that interval training can boost their metabolism, so it stays raised for about 20 hours after a workout or even more, there is a pause – they are shocked! ?
What follows from these numbers: 20 hours? If you want to lose weight, then there is no better workout system than interval training. To lose weight, you need to speed up your metabolism. There is a direct connection – the faster the physiological and biochemical processes in your body, the slimmer and more flexible you are.
You can do a simple cardio workout every day and speed up your metabolism for a whole hour after the exercise. And you can train three or four times a week using the interval training and lose weight much faster.
Experimental data show that people practicing interval training for 10-12 minutes three to four times a week reduced their weight nine times (!!!) faster than people practicing regular cardio workout for 40 minutes the same three to four times a week. Are you impressed?
Other Interval Training Advantages
Indeed, interval training for only 10-12 minutes has such a profound effect on the metabolism that it remains accelerated for almost 24 hours after the workout. There is an obvious time-saving. Moreover, for example, Tabata training guides to train only 4 minutes a day.
Of course, you can do longer interval workouts lasting up to an hour or even more. But that is only needed for specific tasks like professional rowing, marathoning, and other sports. 10-12 minute sessions are quite enough to achieve good health-improving and weight-loss effects.
Another exciting feature of interval training is its speed ability. Many exercises used in interval training have a high-speed manner of performance, for example, running.
The combination of speed training with interval training gives stunning results in transforming your body from a shapeless cloud to a neat shape. That is especially true for beginners and non-fitness people. They need interval training like air.
Interval Training Exercises Examples
Here is a list of simple and accessible exercises:
✅ Riding a bicycle. Especially on rough terrain.
✅ Fast and slow walking.
✅ Fast and slow running.
✅ Fast and slow swimming in different styles.
✅ Workout on cardio machines. Work with acceleration and deceleration. It is also possible to use a built-in program of the simulator.
✅ Jumping on a rope with acceleration and deceleration.
There are a lot of other possible applications of interval training, including combining different exercises.
Disadvantages Of Interval Training
You should not practice interval training for more than two months in a row. It is best to alternate it with regular cardio training. That is due to the strong physiological effects of interval work and possible burnout.
High-intensity interval training does not lead to an increase in the stroke volume of the heart. Therefore, from time to time (every 1-2 months), this parameter should be developed separately with long interval cardio of medium intensity.
❕ Avoid high-intensity interval training for a very long period. That can lead to overexertion, hurting your muscle gain.
❕ You should not do interval training every day without days off. There should be at least one rest day a week.
Pay attention to the duration and intensity of the intervals. Long intervals involve the same physiological mechanisms in the body and muscles. And the results are the same. At the same time, shorter intervals tend to produce different results. You can include parts of interval training in your regular training plan, and soon you will see better results.
Final Thoughts About Interval Training
If we talk about fitness in general and exercising among amateurs, I am surprised by an unbelievable fact. It turns out that the vast majority of gym visitors know nothing or know very little about the most efficient workout methods. There is a certain stereotype of some exercise, and most people don’t even think to move away from it to get better results.
? For some reason, most beginners and even experienced bodybuilders believe that bench press performed according to the classic scheme of 5 sets of 8 reps will surely make their pecs enormous. But in fact, it turns out that most people with great muscles have small pecs. That’s because this classic scheme does not work for everyone! I, for example, got the maximum benefit for my chest muscles doing push-ups on narrow bars.
? For some reason, men, who by definition should live in an aerobic gym, especially those who want to build impressive muscle mass, will never descend to cardio training. But aerobic exercise is vital to increasing your physical ability, which will allow you to pump above-average muscles.
? For some reason, women who come to the gym get on an exercise bike or treadmill and start monotonous work with a sufferer’s expression. But they don’t get any outcome. And they don’t even use the built-in programs!
? For some reason, only a few people use the most effective methods such as supersets, trisets, giant sets, circuit training, and interval training. These methods can encourage you in any activity.
And there are plenty of such examples.
But in fact, all major fitness principles apply to interval training, such as the progressive overload principle and the method of periodization. Moreover, interval training can also be an impressive principle on its own, making your workouts diverse and exciting.
That’s all, be healthy! ?