Interval training can be a key ingredient to help you lose weight. Interval training works both the aerobic and anaerobic system.
An aerobic workout consists of any activity that increases the heart rate. This movement can usually be sustained anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour. An anaerobic workout increases the heart rate significantly and can usually only be sustained for no more than 5 minutes.
High Intensity Interval Training (HITT) workouts consist of quick bursts of high intensity activity, followed by periods of low intensity.
Benefits of Interval Training
This type of training will increase your body’s Maximal Oxygen Consumption (VO2 Max). This is the common measurement of how much oxygen that your body transports to your lungs during exercise.
Interval training will also increase your body’s metabolism. A faster metabolism will help your body burn fat.
The quick movements involved during this activity will jump start your metabolism. It does this by teaching your heart and muscles use more oxygen more efficiently. This will help you exercise at a higher intensity for a longer period of time.
Ultimately, by making your body work harder, you burn more calories than you would during a less intense aerobic workout.
Interval Training Workout Routines
There are all kinds of interval training routines available. This wide variety will help motivate you by changing up the monotony of your daily routine. For best results, perform the training routine 2 to 3 times a week. It is also important to stretch and warm up prior to exercise.
You can do this workout on a treadmill or outside. You will also need a timer or a stop watch.
- Start this exercise by jogging for about 5 minutes to warm up.
- Increase the intensity by sprinting for 30 seconds, then jog for 1 minute.
- After the 1 minute recovery, sprint for 1 minute, then jog for 2 minutes.
- Repeat the 1 minute sprint, followed by the 2 minute jog. Do this 5 times. As your level of fitness increases, you can add sets as you wish.
Plyometric exercises are used to gain speed and power. They are often sports specific and used by all types of athletes. Football players, MMA fighters and basketball players utilize plyometrics to improve their skills. The below Box Jump routine applies the HITT principle:
- Stand with your arms at your side. In one motion, swing your arms up and jump onto a box or a step.
- Jump down and repeat. Make sure to push off on the balls of your feet as you jump.
- Try to do 5 or 6 sets with 10 to 15 repetitions per set.
- Rest no more than 1 minute per set.
This is a good exercise because of the low impact on the joints.
- Warm up for 5 minutes on the bike.
- Increase the resistance level and pedal hard for 30 seconds. Lower the resistance and pedal slower for 30 seconds.
- Increase the resistance and pedal hard for 1 minute. Decrease and pedal slower for 30 seconds.
- Repeat 1 minute of fast pedaling, followed by 30 seconds of lower intensity 10 times.
These high intensity interval programs can be varied as you see fit. High intensity interval training workouts can be done with just about any exercise. Just stick to the concept of high intensity bursts followed immediately with lower intensity activity.