Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

A Great Way To Spice Up Your Workouts -- Interval Training


There's been a lot of buzz recently about Interval Training. So, you may be wondering what it really is and, more importantly, why you should incorporate it in your fitness workouts. Well, if you want a workout that can help propel you to the next fitness level, burn more calories, increase your speed, improve your power and more, then it's time to learn more about this effective technique.

A simple definition of Interval Training is: short, high-intensity exercise periods alternated with periods of rest. These higher and lower intensity periods are repeated several times to form a complete workout . Here's a basic example: walk for 5 minutes at 3.5 MPH, walk for 1 minute at 4.2 MPH and then repeat this sequence several times.

Most people spend their workout time only performing continuous training exercises. These are exercises where the intensity level is basically constant throughout. An example of this is walking at 3.5 MPH, at 0% incline for 30 minutes.

Continuous training is very effective and should not be eliminated from your weekly workouts. However, it's recommended that you include both Interval Training and continuous training sessions as part of your fitness regimen.

Why should you include Interval Training? As previously mentioned, there are many benefits to this type of training and execution is relatively simple. Interval Training can help you improve cardiovascular fitness, increase speed, improve overall aerobic power, burn more calories, break-through a plateau, increase workout duration, reach new exercise levels, expand your workout options and increase your workout threshold - just to name a few.

Plus, this training method has useful applications for beginners, intermediate exercisers and even conditioned athletes. There are two basic types of Interval Training. For the majority of exercisers (novices and intermediate) Fitness Interval Training methods are recommended. Athletes can choose a more advanced technique known as Performance Interval Training.

The Fitness training method utilizes periodic increases in intensity. Typically the higher-intensity levels range from 2-5 minutes in duration and are followed by lower-intensity periods that also range from 2-5 minutes. And, a critical element in Fitness Interval Training is determining the appropriate level for the higher-intensity periods. This level should not exceed the anaerobic threshold (which is usually reached below 85% heart rate reserve).

On the flip side, the Performance training technique involves periods of near maximal or even maximal intensity (e.g. >85% heart rate reserve - even reaching 100%). The higher-intensity levels can range from 2-15 minutes in duration and are followed by lower-intensity periods that also can range from 2-15 minutes in duration.

Don't let the two types of training and their ranges confuse you. Incorporating Interval Training methods into your exercise routine is actually quite easy. Since the majority of exercisers fall into either the beginner or intermediate category, we'll focus on getting started with those techniques.

To begin, choose the type of exercise: walking, jogging, swimming, biking, etc. Next determine your lower-intensity level. This is usually somewhere between 50-65% target heart rate. This will be your baseline, lower-level intensity. Then simply increase the intensity-level up to where you feel like you are working hard to very hard, but avoid reaching a level over 85% target heart rate. If monitoring your heart is not feasible, instead use the RPE scale where 1 is basically at rest and 10 is working extremely hard. For example, if you find that when you are exercising at a comfortable level you rank a 5, then bump up to a 7 for the higher-intensity intervals.

You may choose to systematically raise and lower your intensity (e.g. 2 minutes lower intensity followed by 1 minute higher intensity and repeat) or you can alternate more randomly by raising and lowering the level at your discretion. To increase your intensity, you may choose to change the speed, incline, or some other variable.

Interval Training can be especially helpful in situations where you are trying a new form of exercise. For example, this can be very beneficial when first learning to jog. If you attempt to jog continuously without building up to it, you will probably fatigue quickly and even give up. However, if you begin with intervals of walking interspersed with jogging periods, the workout will be much more enjoyable and effective. Also, you will be more likely to stick with the program and achieve the end result - continuous jogging.

Now that you know the benefits of Interval Training and the basic techniques for it, why not give it a try for yourself. Not only will it provide health benefits and improved fitness levels but it is also a great way to avoid workout boredom. Plus, with Interval Training workouts often are more enjoyable, go by quicker, and improvement results come faster. So why not try spicing up a stale, run-of-the-mill workout with Interval options? You may even find yourself excelling in an activity you were skeptical of even trying.

About The Author

Lynn Bode offers her personal training services online through her company, WorkoutsForYou.com. Workouts For You provides even the busiest of parents affordable, personalized exercise programs (via the Internet)for losing weight, toning-up, building muscles & increasing stamina. The programs can be done on their schedule and in the comfort of their own home (or gym or on-the-road). Visit www.workoutsforyou.com for a FREE sample workout.

info@workoutsforyou.com


MORE RESOURCES:

AskMen (blog)

Reward for sweating? We drink more alcohol when we exercise
Today.com
A 2009 survey found people who drink alcohol are more physically active. The new study focused on the other way around — we drink more when we exercise. It didn't go into why exercise is linked to alcohol consumption, or how much we're boozing when ...
We Drink More Alcohol When We ExerciseTIME
Drinking Alcohol More Common on Exercise DaysU.S. News & World Report
Alcohol And ExerciseAskMen (blog)
Daily Northwestern -Metro.us
all 34 news articles »


Exercise system targets signaling of nerves to muscles
Las Vegas Review-Journal
According to James Wong, co-owner of The Fit Labs, a fit life can be achieved through the principles of the exercise system Z-Health. Z-Health is not just about working out. It uses the brain's cues to turn one's body into a metabolically efficient ...



Why To Exercise Today: To Beat Back The Toxic Stress Of Life
WBUR
Well, apparently, there's something even better! NPR quotes Dr. Robert Waldinger, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University, who offers what appears to be the closest thing to a secret, stress-busting heavy weapon: exercise.

and more »


Q: Is exercise ever bad for you?
Everyday Health
A: Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind. It helps manage your weight, reduce disease risk, and boost your spirits. But “it's definitely possible to go about exercise in the wrong way where it can hurt you,” says ...



Fitness pro brings exercise to Sherman Hills
Wilkes Barre Times-Leader
The 52-year-old martial arts and fitness instructor from Wilkes-Barre uses the wooden pole, riddled with flattened staples from long gone posters and fliers, in the Sherman Hills Apartments complex as a sort of punching bag during his daily exercise ...

and more »


Voices

Sue's Morning Stretch: New exercise classes are for breast cancer survivors
Voices
Advocate Christ Medical Center will be offering two seven-week, 14-session programs designed to introduce breast cancer survivors to a variety of aerobic exercises with the goal of improving their abilities. Fatigue and stress are two of the most ...



Exercise routines can be modified to accommodate physical limitations
Tribune-Review
“There are 33 chronic diseases that can be modified by exercise,” says Dr. Vonda Wright, an orthopaedic surgeon and the medical director of the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex under construction in Cranberry. “We are designed to move. We do not slow ...



WTSP 10 News

Pet Exercise & Fun
WTSP 10 News
According to the Association of Pet Obesity and Prevention, 52.6% of dogs and 57.6% of cats are overweight or obese. Other than diet, regular physical exercise can help pets stay fit and slim. Additionally, a physical regimen can reduce problems like ...



Exercise for older adults
WZZM
(WZZM) -- Regular exercise can make a big difference in the quality of life as we get older. Mike Faber from the Older Learner Center at Grand Rapids Community College visited the WZZM13 News at Noon to share ways to stay active during aging.



The Diplomat

China and Iran's Historic Naval Exercise
The Diplomat
Beijing's sent two ships to Iran — a frigate and a missile destroyer — to participate in four days of joint naval exercises with the Iranian navy. The Changchun, a Type 052C Luyang II Chinese guided-missile destroyer and the Changzhou, a Type 054A ...
Goodwill Visit? Or Joint Naval Exercise? Chinese Warships Dock at Iranian Navy ...Chinatopix

all 90 news articles »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.