If you are looking for a way to jazz up your daily regiment of cardio training, and if you want to give your metabolism a jump start, then interval training is the answer for you.
Interval training will train your body to burn fat more efficiently, is the fastest way to get into shape, and will burn maximum calories. The fact that it is time efficient adds to its appeal.
Interval training, simply put, is merely increasing the intensity of your aerobic activity for timed segments. The extra umph required from your heart, lungs, and muscles shocks your system into high metabolic gear. The result is quicker weight loss, more fat burn, and a leaner body.
Be sure that you have built a good base of regular cardiovascular activity prior to revving up your speed. Once you are past beginner level of fitness, you can incorporate interval training into your workout schedule two-to-three times per week on non-consecutive days.
Things You’ll Need:
- Stop watch
Good cardio walking or running shoes (depending upon your activity of choice)
Treadmill, bicycle, stationery bicycle, elliptical trainer, or other piece of carido equipment, OR a track or place to walk or run.
How to Begin Interval Training
For the purpose of illustration, I will use walking on a treadmill, but the same principles apply to other cardio machines, or to walking/running on a track or outside.
Warm up by walking at a slow to moderate pace for eight-to-ten minutes. Your speed will depend upon your fitness level. On a Perceived Rating of Exertion (RPE) scale of 1-10, with 1 being the easiest and 10 being the hardest, gradually increase your speed until you are working at a 5 or 7 by the end of the warm up period. On a treadmill, moderate speed would be 3.5-4.0 mph
After warm-up, increase your speed by 2 to 2.5 mph, or until your PRE is 7-9, with 9 for advanced fitness levels. Maintain this speed with a fast walk or run for one-minute. Moderate speed would be 5.5-6.5 mph
Reduce speed to 3.5-4.0, or whatever speed you were at the end of your warm-up. Maintain this speed for a recover period of two minutes. As you improve, you can reduce this amount to 1 – to 1.5 minutes.
Repeat the cycle of one-minute increased speed, and the two-minute recovery, seven more times.
Cool down for 10 minutes, gradually decreasing speed, taking long strides to dynamically stretch your calves.
Stretch calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, and low back. I recommend doing some Yoga stretches for a complete cool-down, and return to homeostasis.