Interval Training

A client of mine asked me why interval training is better than normal cardio workout,  so I explained to him how interval training boosts up your heart rate higher than consistent speed cardio workout does, how interval training can help you to burn more calories, and how interval training can improve both your muscular and cardiovascular endurance.  With about 100 people around my client and I working out and the blasting music the gym was playing, I don’t even know if my client heard what I was saying.  So I decided to elaborate on that a little bit here.  There are five reasons I think why everyone should incorporate interval training in their workout routine.  Why?  Because it is good for you, in many aspects.

For those of you who might not know what interval training is, it is not as complicated as you might think.  Interval training is simply alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity.  There are two types of interval training: 1) performance interval training – a very high-intensity effort designed to enhance competitive performance in a specific sport, and 2) fitness interval training – a modest-to-vigorous intensity effort designed to improve general fitness.  Unless you are a competitive athlete, the second type will be enough to try out once or twice a week.

Here are five reasons why everyone should make interval training a part of their workout routine:

One, interval training raises your heart rate in a short period of time.  By alternating high intensity sprints with low or medium intensity jogs, your average heart rate is higher than a normal speed run.  Therefore, the amount of work your body has done in a 15-minute interval training is equal to the energy your body produces in a 30-minute run.  Why spend hours in the weight room “burning calories” when you can get the job done in the gym quickly and get out for other matters in life?

Two, interval training burns more calories than a constant speed cardio workout.  The more vigorously you exercise, the more calories you will burn.  Even if you increase intensity for just a few minutes at a time, you are still burning more fat in a shorter workout.

Three, interval training improves your aerobic and anaerobic capacity.  Do you ever find yourself getting tired after running non-stop for 10 minutes?  Interval training can help you to increase your non-stop running time.  As your cardiovascular fitness improves, you will be able to exercise longer and with more intensity.  Interval training also helps with building up your body tolerance to lactic acid.  Have you ever found your muscles are sore after 10 minutes of weight lifting?  Interval training can change that.

Four, interval training keeps you away from boredom in the gym.  Turning up your intensity in short intervals can add variety to your exercise routine.  I don’t understand why people say they get so bored exercising.  If you are bored with your current workout program, then get a trainer from your gym and ask he/she to put some interval training in your program to make working out spicier!

Five, interval training saves time.  Sometimes I tell my clients, “you don’t wanna waste your time in the gym!”  They look at me and wonder if I was asking to be fired.  What I would like to see everyone doing is to get in the gym, get exercised, and get out!  We only have 24 hours in a day, and there are so many things that need our love in life.  Don’t put too much love in the gym.  Gyms need our sweat, not our two-hour workout sessions.  So apply interval training in your workout and live a better life.

Now, I am not telling you to jump on interval training if you have never been on a treadmill or have a chronic pain in your right knee.  Interval training isn’t appropriate for everyone. If you haven’t been exercising regularly or have a chronic health condition, consult your doctor before trying any type of interval training.

I hope this blurb about interval training helps you to understand this technique of training a bit more.  The below online articles are worthwhile checking out if you want to know more about interval training.

Have fun exercising and live your life happier!

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6 Replies to “Interval Training”

  1. I agree 100%!! I do cardio for 20-25minutes and people are like “WHAT?!” but I work so hard during that time that it really pays off. Doing that three times a week is MUCH more manageable than trying to get to the gym for two hours at a time.

    Will, what would you suggest on the days I’m not doing my 20-minute cardio training and I’m doing weights? I like to use the machines but do a lot of lunges in between on my lower body. One of the lunges I do uses the bench and I really feel my heart-rate get up there, but otherwise I don’t tend to put a lot of cardio into it… and i’m already spending about 45-min to an hour with the weight-training.

    1. Hey Shelle, I’m glad you are applying interval training as a part of your workout routine. I’m not sure what your question is though. You want to know what you should do when you are not doing your interval training? If you incorporate aerobic interval training twice or three times a week, that’s good enough. Anaerobic interval training, such as super-sets and triple-sets, is more difficult to do, and I wouldn’t recommend you to try them out unless you are in a decent shape. I’m sure you are in a good shape and can try them out. I can show you a few super-sets next time if you want 🙂

      Take care.


  2. I’d love to see some super sets next time. I guess what I was asking was do I need to intersperse weights with aerobic activity on the days that I’m NOT doing my interval training?

    I did some interval training this morning and thought of you 🙂 Teehee

    1. If you are doing aerobic interval training, you can stay with weights the next day. I can show you some supersets next fo sho 🙂

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