Stuck in an exercise rut? Not getting the results you really want? Well, your solution could be interval training.
What is interval training?
Interval training consists of low intensity exercise intermixed with higher intensity exercises.
How it improves your overall fitness:
Not only does interval training burn more calories in less time compared to a slow jog, but it also will greatly enhance your aerobic capacity. When you push your body, you work your muscles harder. This makes your body use more calories because muscle at rest burns more calories than fat. Jogging/running also builds bone density and strengthens your muscles. Since you are strengthening your muscles, you will burn calories after you have stopped working out. Eventually your body will get used to the same slow jog, but interval training will keep your body guessing. This means that you will still burn around the same amount of calories as the first time you every tried interval training.
Interval training can also help increase your lung and aerobic capacity. It requires you to push yourself, which overtime your body will learn how to work more efficiently. You will be able to run faster and longer. Your cardiovascular fitness will also improve just from the jogging and running.
How to determine the intensity of your workout:
Workout intensity is measured in many different ways. Some measure your heart rate, but the easiest method is the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) method. It is usually measured on a scale from 1 to 10. It looks something like this:
Interval Training Workout:
0:00 - 1:00 level 4
1:00 - 2:00 level 5
2:00 - 3:00 level 6
3:00 - 4:00 level 7
4:00 - 5:00 level 8
5:00 - 6:00 level 4
6:00 - 7:00 level 5
7:00 - 8:00 level 6
8:00 - 9:00 level 7
9:00 - 10:00 level 8
10:00 - 11:00 level 4
11:00 - 12:00 level 5
12:00 - 13:00 level 6
13:00 - 14:00 level 7
14:00 - 15:00 level 8
15:00 - 16:00 level 9
*I usually take a 30 second break before the second set and after the second set to hydrate and catch my breath.
How often should you do interval training?
3-4 days max. Interval training is hard on your body. It needs time to repair and strengthen. Try to alternate interval training days with other forms of exercise.
Interval training does include anaerobic exercise which is often linked to soreness. Running/ jogging without proper form, especially at higher speeds, can cause injury. Other than that there is almost nothing stopping you from incorporating this into your exercise routine because you work at YOUR fitness level.
* I am not an exercise specialist. Always do what is right for you.
Photo found: Here, here
Information found: Here, here