Interval Training Workouts
Greater fat burning and cardio results in 1/3 the time.
Interval training workouts involve performing repeated bouts of high and low intensity exercise. They can be done using traditional cardio like running or biking and even using bodyweight and strength training exercises.
The secret sauce to their effectiveness lies in how they’re designed. The length and duration of the high intensity bout will depend on what you are trying to accomplish, but in general, reducing the recovery bout makes your interval training workouts exponentially more challenging.
My Best Interval Training Resources:
A Smarter Way to Train
Athletes almost exclusively use interval training in their conditioning programs because it more closely mimics what they’d be going through in a game. If your goal is to burn fat, you too can greatly benefit from replacing traditional long cardio with interval training workouts.
Here are 8 reasons interval training is better than steady-state cardio:
- Interval training workouts vastly reduce boredom. Traditional steady-state cardio training can become quite boring. Interval training offers more variety and excitement to your workouts.
- Interval training increases post-exercise energy expenditure. Interval training doesn’t just burn extra calories during your workout, it also increases the number of calories burned following exercise, and a great deal more than steady-state exercise at that. It simply means that more fat is burned overall. After intense exercise, the body needs extra calories as it works to repair muscles, replace energy stores (i.e. carbohydrates) and restore the body to its normal state (e.g. reduce heart rate). As this can take many hours, you will keep on burning more calories long after the workout is over. In fact, research shows that metabolic rate is higher for several hours following interval training compared to steady state exercise.
- Interval training stimulates the respiratory system and cardiovascular system to a greater degree. Therefore, more fat and carbohydrates are burned to support the expanding energy demands of the body during, and after, intense exercise.
- Interval training workouts increase the activity of enzymes involved in fat burning. Research has shown that after a bout of interval training there is more fat in the blood (i.e. free fatty acids), which is an indication of more fat being used for energy production.
- Interval training causes a greater increase in VO2max (aerobic capacity). By stimulating your cardiovascular system to work closer to its maximum capacity for a longer duration than steady-state exercise, you increase your aerobic capacity.
- Intervals save you time. For instance, a typical 30 minute steady-state run on the treadmill could be reduced to 10 – 15 min of high intensity interval training (HIIT) due to its demands on the aforementioned systems.
- Interval training workouts increase circulating growth hormone (GH) following exercise. This promotes an increase in lean body mass and increased fat burning. This does not occur to the same extent with steady-state exercise. This is particularly beneficial for those looking to maintain their muscle mass and at the same time reduce body fat.
- Interval training makes use of both aerobic (type 1) and anaerobic (type 2) muscle fibres. This is in contrast to steady state exercise that only makes use of type 1 fibres. By increasing the conditioning of these type 2 muscle fibres you will greatly increase your capacity to tolerate high-intensity exercise, which means an increased opportunity to exercise at higher levels that burn a lot of calories.