Monday, 30 December 2013

Interval Training

What is it?

Interval training alternates between bursts of intense exercise followed by slower recovery phases. You use both your aerobic and anaerobic systems by varying either the resistance or speed you work at for different periods of time. Interval training can be done for almost any type of exercise, from cycling to bodyweight exercises to kettlebells, and there are so many benefits in making interval training your new workout...

1. It's efficient- it takes as little as 15 minutes a session depending on the length and number of intervals you do.

2. It burns sooooo many more calories than your standard steady-paced endurance workout because the intense exertion kicks your body into overdrive and kicks starts you metabolism.

3. It increases your cardio efficiency.

4. It improves performance- you will be able to train harder for longer ad your body uses its anaerobic system and adapts by becoming m ore efficient at removing lactic acid build-up. 

5. It mixes speed and intensity so there's less chance you'll get bored.

6.  There's variety- You can play round with the duration of your intervals or recovery periods, the speed you work at, the resistance and the number of repetitions you do of each interval. E.g. One popular type of interval training called Tabata involves working at 9/10 of your maximum effort for 10 seconds, with 20 seconds of complete rest. 

Interval training is great for people who are short on time, who get bored doing cardio or those who want to get the most out of their workouts. Here are the main benefits in summary:

  • Short and sweet- can be done in as little as 15 minutes
  • Bang for your buck- burns a lot of calories in little time
  • Quick but effective- improves both aerobic and anaerobic systems
  • Less chance of boredom
  • You put in more effort because each interval is fairly short (usually about 30-60 seconds)
  • There's variety because you can play around with variables like speed and resistance