You can exercise day in and day out and still not see the weight loss results you want. If it’s time to get more from your effort, looking into interval training makes a whole lot of sense. This precision workout can provide the calorie-burning push you’ve been lacking in your routine.
Understanding Interval Training
Interval training involves a precision workout that combines intense, but brief, bursts of activity with less intense physical measures. The idea is to blend an aerobic and anaerobic workout into a single training session to maximize caloric burn.
Let’s say a runner does great at 4 miles per hour on a treadmill, but starts to tire at 5 mph. An interval session might include a normal warm up period, several minutes of that runner working out at 4 mph and then a minute or two at 5 mph before the workout goes back down to the 4 mph range.
Essentially, an interval workout pushes the body farther, but not for extended periods of time. A short, but effective sprint in the case of the runner can maximize workout time and increase calorie burning.
Does It Work?
The simple reality is interval training does work and can produce a number of benefits. While that 4 mph run does burn calories and helps tone and trim the body, that burst of energy expended during the one-minute run can increase the overall effectiveness of the same amount of workout time without overextending the body in the process.
The benefits of interval training include:
• Decreased chance of injury – It’s okay to push the body to its limits or near them, but not for too long. Interval training sessions help reduce the chance of injury and undo wear and tear because the burst of energy in the extreme range is very short and occurs after a person is properly warmed up.
• More effective use of time – Where it might take 45 minutes to gain results running at a single pace, an interval training session can shave time off the routine. Basically, interval training makes for a more effective workout.
• Increases fat burning – Interval training sessions put the body to work in the fat-burning sense. Studies have shown that interval sessions improve efficiency of mitochondria. These are tiny cells that use oxygen to help create energy. This more efficient use of them can increase fat burning properties of a workout.
Interval training is a great way to get bigger gains out of your workout time. Before starting a program, however, it’s a good idea to make sure you work with a personal trainer or check with the pro at your gym for assistance. This type of workout isn’t for everyone and you want to make sure you are working out appropriately for your fitness level and goals.